More details have emerged about what BEA Systems’ Europe, Middle East and Africa general counsel Nils Breidenstein calls the “highly unusual” split with Bird & Bird.
Although both sides are playing down the break-up, The Lawyer hears of one particular entry in Bird & Bird’s catalogue of woes.
Breidenstein says that, for a minor employment tribunal hearing in Munich, the firm flew in a lawyer from Düsseldorf and charged for seven and a half hours’ work and the flight – atotal of €3,000 (£1,980). Not only did this seem steep, but also, under German law, the firm should have charged a cheaper statutory hourly rate.
Breidenstein argues that although BEA had a general agreement with the firm, it did not have a specific one covering such cases in Germany that would have permitted Bird & Bird to charge non-statutory fees.
Bird & Bird declined to comment, citing client confidentiality. Shouldn’t that be ex-client?