Cases
Fee Sharing Dispute

$1.6 Million Award Against Law Firm

8/24/2010

Anthony Ostlund wins jury trial on behalf of a law partner against his law firm

 “I had seen people in law firms being mistreated.  It was very gratifying to help Brian - a hardworking, earnest, good guy - receive the compensation he was entitled to.” --Vince Louwagie, Attorney for Brian Williams

Client Issue

Our client, Brian Williams, was a non-equity partner at the law firm of Heins Mills & Olson (Heins) in Minneapolis. In 2004, when he made partner, our client was told that he would receive 5% of the firm’s net income. When his law firm won a $2.65 billion class action lawsuit against AOL Time Warner for securities violations, our client received several million dollars but he did not receive five percent of the firm’s net income from the suit.  Heins stood behind its compensation calculation, which effectively shortchanged our client of millions of dollars in legal fees from the Time Warner case and other class action settlements Heins had won since he became a partner.

The Anthony Ostlund Approach

This was a difficult case, with lawyers fighting lawyers. We tenaciously represented our client at trial, alleging that Heins fraudulently misrepresented its compensation system by omitting to disclose the way in which it calculated payments.

Result Achieved 

The jury agreed and awarded our client $1.6 million dollars, finding that Heins committed fraud by omission when they promised to pay our client five percent of net income when they never actually intended to do so. Anthony Ostlund subsequently successfully represented Mr. Williams at the Minnesota Court of Appeals when the Court of Appeals affirmed the jury verdict.

Client Testimonial 

"As an attorney, I didn’t truly appreciate great lawyering until I became the client. In successfully representing me in a high-profile fraud case against my former law firm, Vince Louwagie’s confident, zealous and ethical approach to litigation proved critical to securing favorable decisions from the jury, trial court and appellate court. Nice guys can indeed finish first." - Brian Williams 

Brian Williams v. Heins Mills & Olson, Hennepin County District Court