Patton Boggs has recently been in the news time and again for seemingly wrong reasons, but this time no one can deny the reasons are right, except affected clients. On Wednesday, both Chevron and Patton Boggs proposed to settle their disputes, with the law firm agreeing to pay $15 million to Chevron, and, in effect, purchasing economic certainty for its near future.
According to the agreement, Patton Boggs will no more try to enforce the $9.5 billion environmental verdict against Chevron that was passed by a court in Ecuador, and the law firm will also withdraw itself from all litigation related to the matter. Further, Patton Boggs has promised that it will turn over to Chevron any profits made from the matter. The law firm was entitled to 5% of the proceeds. Patton Boggs also agreed to cooperate with discovery efforts of Chevron.
By making the deal, Patton Boggs has now removed the biggest problem it faced while seeking unsuccessful mergers with other law firms. Industry experts expect that the proposed merger of the law firm with Ohio based Squire Sanders may now take place smoothly.
In a statement issued on Wednesday, Patton Boggs said that the decision of a federal judge in a related racketeering case against Steven Donziger, the lawyer for the Ecuadorean plaintiffs, “includes a number of factual findings about matters which would have materially affected our firm’s decision to become involved and stay involved as counsel,” in the matter.
Donziger issued a statement in response calling Patton Boggs’ act a betrayal and warned that he is exploring legal options to prevent the law firm from turning over confidential client documents and communications to Chevron. Donziger said the firm’s decision to “surrender to Chevron’s pressure campaign is a violation of its ethical duty to its clients …”
Patton Boggs, well known as a Washington D.C. lobbying powerhouse had been struggling in recent times and seeking a merger to stabilize itself.
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