Tobacco Fee Arbitration Panel Announces Unanimous Illinois Decision
The Tobacco Fee Arbitration Panel announced today a unanimous decision regarding attorneys' fees for outside counsel retained by the State of Illinois in last year's state tobacco litigation settlement.
As detailed in an opinion signed by all three arbitrators, in this case the Panel determined that full, reasonable compensation for these attorneys is $121,000,000.
These fees, which will be paid by the tobacco companies, are separate from B and in addition to B the $9.3 billion financial recovery Illinois will receive through its settlement with the tobacco industry over the next 25 years, and additional payments in perpetuity.
The Illinois State Fee Payment Agreement specifically granted the Panel the authority to award a fee either lower or higher than the contract stipulates. The Panel's findings are final and not appealable by any party.
The arbitrators for the Illinois case included the Panel's two permanent members -- Dr. John Calhoun Wells, the Panel's chairman, and former U.S. District Court Judge Charles Renfrew, the industry-appointed member -- and Jack Dunbar, Esq., the Illinois counsel-appointed member. Dr. Wells is the consensus selection of both parties and is permanent chairman.