A former UBS AG banker who received a $104 million whistleblower award has settled a legal malpractice lawsuit against his former lawyers at Schertler & Onorato. The firm is dismissing its counterclaims in a related case.
Bradley Birkenfeld sued his former lawyers at Schertler & Onorato, accusing them of mishandling the whistleblower process—costing him a potentially larger award and exposing him to criminal charges. Lawyers for Schertler & Onorato called Birkenfeld's allegations "vindictive and baseless" and accused him of suing in an effort to avoid paying legal fees.
The two sides yesterday filed notice that they were dismissing their respective claims in pending cases in District of Columbia Superior Court and in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
In the federal case, Birkenfeld dropped his claims against Schertler & Onorato in 2011, but the firm's counterclaim for fees, which was later moved to the D.C. Attorney-Client Arbitration Board, was still pending. According to a status report filed in September, a hearing was scheduled to begin today before the arbitration board.
The firm told U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins yesterday it agreed to voluntarily dismiss arbitration of the fee dispute and its counterclaims.
Birkenfeld filed a new lawsuit against the firm in October 2012 in Superior Court. In the notice filed in Superior Court yesterday, the parties said the case "has been settled."
Schertler's attorney, Mark London of London & Mead, declined to comment. Birkenfeld's lawyer in the federal court case, David Colapinto of Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, declined to comment, as did his lawyer in the Superior Court case, Christopher Hoge of Crowley, Hoge & Fein.