Law Firm Paul Hastings Files Motions Requesting $2.6M in Kwok Chapter 11 Fees

News | May 31, 2024 By:

Law firm Paul Hastings LLP has filed two motions seeking additional fees totaling $2.6 million for their work on a high-profile Chinese exile’s bankruptcy case in January and February.

If approved, the additional fees would bring Paul Hastings’ total compensation to over $34 million for representing the Chapter 11 trustee in the complex case of Ho Wan Kwok. The motions also request $229,850 in expense reimbursements.

Paul Hastings has been actively pursuing Mr. Kwok’s worldwide financial assets, which are allegedly worth over $1 billion. Trustee Luc A. Despins, whose hourly rate at Paul Hastings is $1,975, has launched hundreds of legal actions across multiple jurisdictions in an extensive investigation.

However, recovering assets from Mr. Kwok’s vast network of affiliated companies located globally has slowed the process and driven up costs. Mr. Kwok has also faced criminal fraud charges and accusations of misusing over $1 billion invested in a media company, cryptocurrency venture, and other projects.

The bankruptcy case was initiated in February 2022 after Mr. Kwok, a Chinese real estate developer and investor, fled to the US in 2014 claiming China falsely charged him with corruption and seized $1.75 billion in assets. With Paul Hastings billing high hourly rates and the complex, multinational nature of the case, legal costs continue mounting as the trustee pursues repayment to Mr. Kwok’s creditors. A ruling on the new fee requests is pending court approval.