• Law
  • Chicago law firm earns a whopping $50 million fee. Now, it's trying to collect.

    Litigation boutique Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott, known for its take-no-prisoners approach to trial work, is turning up the heat on one of its clients.

    Japanese businessman Kazuo Okada

    Japanese businessman Kazuo Okada


    79彩票注册网址Chicago litigation boutique Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott is known for its take-no-prisoners approach to trial work. Now it has turned up the heat on one of its clients, a former Wynn Resorts director known as the king.

    79彩票注册网址Bartlit Beck says Kazuo Okada stiffed it on a $50 million contingency fee after a legal settlement with the Las Vegas-based casino operator. The law firm won an arbitration last month for the full amount but is suing to get it enforced.

    According to court filings, Bartlit Beck agreed to represent Okada in late 2017 after he asked for the firm's top-tier lawyers, including Philip Beck, the attorney for the Bush presidential campaign in the 2000 Florida recount. Three partners flew to Tokyo and cut a deal in Okada's home, Bartlit Beck said in a Nevada federal court filing in September.

    79彩票注册网址Starting in the early 2000s, through his gambling equipment company Universal Entertainment and a U.S. subsidiary, Okada had become Wynn Resorts' biggest shareholder, with a 20 percent stake valued at $2.7 billion. (Tokyo-based Universal is a manufacturer of slot machines, video games and machines used for playing pachinko, a popular Japanese arcade game.)

    Then, relations soured., conducted on behalf of Wynn Resorts by former FBI Director Louis Freeh, found that Okada “likely violated” the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act by allegedly bribing regulators and other gambling industry officials “to advance his business interests in Asia."

    79彩票注册网址Wynn Resorts tossed Okada off the board in 2012 and forced him to trade his stake for a 10-year note. The parties sued each other in Nevada state court. Okada alleged that the note on a present-value basis was worth less than $2 billion.

    Before trial began, the parties settled in March 2018, with Wynn Resorts agreeing to pay Okada's slot machine empire $2.63 billion.

    79彩票注册网址"Now, having received the benefits of Bartlit Beck’s work, Mr. Okada refuses to pay the contingency portion of the fee to which Bartlit Beck is entitled," the firm said in its September filing.

    Okada, however, may be out in the cold himself. He was dismissed from Universal Entertainment in 2017 after the family-owned company accused him of fraud. He won't see any settlement proceeds unless he regains control, l. The paper said Okada has denied wrongdoing.

    Bartlit Beck's contingency fee, based on how much Okada realized above the redemption price, was capped at $50 million. Otherwise, it could have been as much as $300 million, the firm says.

    With interest and costs, down to the penny, the amount is $54,641,079.48, the firm said Dec. 30 in a U.S. District Court petition here to confirm the award.

    79彩票注册网址Okada could not be reached for comment. A lawyer who has represented Universal Entertainment did not return a call.

    79彩票注册网址In a statement after the settlement, Okada said, “I cannot get back the last six years of my life, but now the world knows what I have known all along—I am innocent.”

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