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September 15, 2010 12:59 PM

Quinn Emanuel Wins Approval of Contingency Fee in Facebook Settlement

Posted by Brian Baxter

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan may still have egg on its face for revealing terms of a settlement last year between Facebook and former clients of the firm who alleged that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for a social networking Web site. But it looks like the firm will at least get to hang on to its $13 million contingency fee in the case, according to sibling publication the New York Law Journal.

In February 2009, Quinn Emanuel inadvertently disclosed the terms of a confidential $65 million settlement between Facebook and the founders of ConnectU, Divya Narendra and twins Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss. Narendra and the Winklevosses have since maintained that the firm committed malpractice in calculating Facebook's stock values in the run-up to the settlement.

But the NYLJ reports that Quinn Emmanuel claimed in papers filed late last month in Manhattan Supreme Court that an arbitration panel has ruled that it "earned its full contingency fee" of 20 percent of the settlement, or $13 million. The arbitration panel also found that Quinn Emanuel committed no malpractice, the NYLJ reports, citing an affidavit by litigation partner Richard Werder, Jr.

Narendra and the Winklevosses were represented in the arbitration by New York's O'Shea Partners. Quinn Emanuel represented itself in the fee dispute.

Earlier this year, a New York state judge denied ConnectU's request to force Facebook to supply stock price information that could change the value of its settlement with ConnectU. The NYLJ has more details on how Facebook's stock price affects the value of the settlement, as well as litigation between Quinn Emanuel and its former clients.

The litigation itself will hit the silver screen next month in a film that's already receiving Oscar buzz. The personal connections between Narendra, the Winklevosses, and Zuckerberg are detailed in a profile of the Facebook founder this week by The New Yorker.

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