Finally, someone other than me is officially pointing out the injustice that, I believe, has been going on far too long in Delaware’s Court of Chancery. TransPerfect, which had been battling in this court and continues to dispute the bills it has been paying law firm, Skadden Arps, close to $10 million in undisclosed legal fees since being appointed the company’s custodian.
My friends over at Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware (CPBD) are calling for reforms to our once-proud business court. In my opinion, folks, the court bends to the will of Chancellor Andre Bouchard and his old co-workers at Skadden Arps, including Robert Pincus, who was appointed by Bouchard. And (now thankfully) retired Supreme Court Justice, Leo Strine. I would love to see Bouchard follow in Strine’s footsteps and leave his post before it’s over!
Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware is asking for much-needed reforms from our legislators, including transparency at the Chancery Court. Bills should be disclosed, itemized and viewable by those who are paying them. In my view, these outdated bullying tactics, employed by the Chancery Court, must stop.
According to TransPerfect’s motion, years after the TransPerfect case was settled, the custodian in the case, Robert Pincus has continued to bill the company every month for undisclosed services, including his own $1,475 an hour fee! According to this motion, his responsibilities remain unclear. How is that possible?! Skadden Arps has received a significant amount of the millions spent on the entire case.
“The Skaddenomics that Chancellor Bouchard has enabled in his Chancery Court, while violating the court’s rules to direct millions of dollars to friends at his old law firm, are unacceptable, and exactly the sort of behavior that our over 5,000 members are committed to fighting,” said Chris Coffey, the Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware’s Campaign Manager.
I say Go Citizens! I’m thrilled to see this group taking on Andre Bouchard and his Chancery Court! I know many of my readers will be happy to see this news. Reform has been needed for years! Hello Delaware — this is an election year!! Let’s see if our State Legislators have what it takes to get this done!
See the announcement below, taken from the Associated Press news service. Let’s help make this happen, folks!
Get in touch with your state representatives and let them know this is what Delaware needs and that we mean business!
Judson Bennett-Coastal Network
Full story from PR Newswire below:
Court Motion Reveals Skadden Arps has Charged $10 million in Undisclosed Legal Fees as Custodian of TransPerfect While Hiding Behind Obscure Chancery Court Order; Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware Renews Call for Reform
WILMINGTON, Del., Jan. 22, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Following a court motion filed in the Delaware Court of Chancery today by TransPerfect Global, Inc. revealing that the law firm of Skadden Arps has billed the translation services company for upwards of $10 million in undisclosed legal fees since being appointed the company’s custodian, Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware (CPBD) is renewing its call for reforms to the opaque business court.
Among the much-needed reforms is legislation, introduced to the Delaware State Legislature, that would bring much-need transparency to the Chancery Court, requiring appointed custodians to itemize and publicly disclose a complete accounting of the costs they’ve passed on to the companies under their control so that the public, and the companies themselves, know how their money is being spent. The legislation follows Delaware Chancery Court Chancellor Bouchard’s abuse of court rules, as he appointed his last employer, Skadden Arps, and ruled that TransPerfect – which is incorporated in Delaware and has nearly 4,000 employees globally – should be sold as a result of an internal dispute between the company’s ownership. Since, Skadden Arps has received a significant amount of the $250 million that was spent on the case.
Said Chris Coffey, Citizens for a Pro-Business Delaware’s Campaign Manager, “The Skaddenomics that Chancellor Bouchard has enabled in his Chancery Court by violating the court’s rules to direct millions of dollars to friends at his old law firm are unacceptable, and exactly the sort of behavior that our over 5,000 members are committed to fighting. The Delaware State Legislature should take a long look at this motion and consider the legislation before them to create a fairer and more transparent Chancery Court. When you eat a meal at a restaurant, you get a receipt with a breakdown of the charges. Why shouldn’t the Chancery Court be required to do the same for companies they’re forcing to pay millions in legal fees?”
According to TransPerfect’s motion, over two years after the TransPerfect case was settled in 2015, the custodian in the case, Robert Pincus, has continued to bill the company every month for undisclosed services, including his own $1,475 an hour fee. According to TransPerfect’s motion, his responsibilities remain unclear, and any efforts to ascertain the substance of his work on behalf of TransPerfect have been met with silence. The Chancery Court has kept all invoices and description of services under seal – allegedly to protect the sale process, which ended over two years ago.
As Delaware dropped 10 spots to number 11 according to the Chamber of Commerce in its judicial rankings last year, CPBD announced a new platform to dramatically improve ethics, transparency, and accountability in the State’s Government and Chancery Court. The full platform is available here.