Foley Wins Appeal in Estate Case of Renowned Artist Robert Rauschenberg

29 February 2016 Media Contact: Jill Chanen News
The Florida Second District Court of Appeals upheld a $24.6 million award obtained by Foley & Lardner LLP on behalf of the three trustees of the Robert Rauschenberg Revocable Trust. The award had been challenged by the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation who asserted that the fees awarded were excessive.

The Court unanimously affirmed the award of fees, upholding a previous decision by Lee County Circuit Judge Jay Rosman with regard to both the method for calculating the fees and the amount. The Foundation later filed for a rehearing en banc, which was denied on February 22, 2016.

In the four years following Rauschenberg’s death in 2008, the trustees increased the value of his artwork from approximately $600 million to nearly $2.2 billion. They sought a fee based upon the value of their services, whereas the Foundation argued they should receive an hourly-based fee. According to the Foundation’s expert, the hourly-based fee should have been no more than $375,000.

The trustees were represented at trial by Foley Partner Michael Gay, who also serves as the firm’s national department chair for Litigation. Foley Partner James McKee successfully handled the appeal.

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