Law Firms

WilmerHale Leader Is Confident Firm Won’t Have to Pay $214M Malpractice Settlement

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr reached a $214 million malpractice settlement in February, but co-managing partner William Perlstein says he’s confident the money won’t have to be paid.

So far, the litigation over a patent deadline is in WilmerHale’s favor, according to The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times. In a ruling last year, a federal judge found that WilmerHale lawyers did not miss the deadline when they filed for a patent extension on behalf of a pharmaceutical client. A patent bill that passed the House would codify the decision.

The settlement would be paid only if Wilmer loses an appeal in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit or the legislation stalls, according to The BLT and Roll Call.

“It is a contingent agreement where we have every expectation that no payment will have to be made,” Perlstein told The BLT. “We are confident the court’s decision will be upheld.” But if the payment does need to be made, he said, “We will handle it.”

If Wilmer does have to pay, its malpractice insurer would cover $99 million of the $214 million settlement. Wilmer would pay over time, with the amount capped at $11.5 million a year, The BLT says.

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