In a June 16, 2011 decision by Justice Fried, the court affirmed an arbitration award that granted over $300,000 in attorneys’ fees to the respondent in a FINRA arbitration. The parties litigated in the arbitration a number of claims for, among other things, breach of contract, negligence, promissory estoppels, fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, and negligent misrepresentation. Both parties sought attorneys’ fees in their initial pleadings and revised pleadings.

The arbitration panel dismissed the petitioner’s claims and awarded the respondents (Bear Sterns et al.) their attorneys’ fees for defending themselves in the arbitration. Bear Sterns sought to confirm the award in the Supreme Court. The petitioner in the arbitration opposed confirmation, arguing that the arbitration panel had no contractual or statutory basis for the award of attorneys’ fees. The court rejected that argument, holding that both parties had “acquiesced in the award of fees” by including a request for fees in their initial and revised pleadings. The court also rejected petitioner’s argument that its request to withdraw its claim for attorneys fees during its closing argument was sufficient to modify its initial acquiescence.

Matter of Bear Sterns & Co., Inc. v. International Capital & Mgt. Co., Inc., Sup Ct, New York County, June 16, 2011, Fried, J. Index No. 650125/11.