Business of Law

Lytal Reiter Partners Battle for Client Fees After Firm Split; Did Name Partner 'Fake' Retirement?


Current and former partners of Lytal Reiter are battling for big bucks after the split of the South Florida law firm last year.

Those who stayed say they are entitled to millions in fees from the work taken by six partners who reportedly exited nearly a year ago with one hour’s notice from Lytal Reiter Clark Fountain & Williams, recounts the Palm Beach Post.

Plus, because the defectors cherry-picked all the best cases to bring along to their new firm—Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather, Keen & Littky-Rubin—the percentage of fees those who stayed with Lytal Reiter are entitled to goes up, those still at Lytal Reiter contend.

Lytal Reiter had an unusual partner compensation setup that is now also at issue—rather than requiring capital contributions from partners, the firm expected partners to pay 17 percent of their case income to founder Lake Lytal Jr. to fund his retirement, the newspaper says.

Two court cases and an arbitration are ongoing to try to resolve the situation, and in legal documents Clark Fountain lawyers allege that Lytal “orchestrated a fake retirement” even as he continued actively working at the law firm so he would get the extra 17 percent payments.

But those on the other side said Lake Lytal is disappointed that those mentored by Lytal Reiter are now trying to get out of their deal to fund his retirement.

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Report: 6 Partners Exit Lytal Reiter With 1 Hour’s Notice”

ABAJournal.com: “As 6 Partners Leave Fla. Trial Firm, Ex-Associates Get Top Billing”

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