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Holocaust lawyer paid $1 million

Fagan was said to be unhappy with the original offer of $250,000

(Keystone Archive)

United States lawyer Ed Fagan, who helped broker a settlement between Swiss banks and Holocaust survivors and their heirs, will receive almost $1 million (SFr1.5 million) for his services.

Fagan had contested the $250,000 payment initially offered to him in September.

The United States judge, Edward Korman, said the New York-based lawyer would now get $750,000 for his work, as well as an additional $222,000 in backdated interest.

Korman also awarded five Holocaust survivors $400,000 in recognition of their contribution to the class-action lawsuit.

The judge gave the go-ahead in September for legal bills to be paid, relating to the SFr1.83 billion ($1.25 billion) settlement.

Korman sanctioned a payment of $250,000 for Fagan, based on a recommendation made by Burt Neuborne, the lead lawyer in the case.

Fagan, who was said to have originally demanded $4 million, was reportedly unhappy with this offer.

Revised bill

Neuborne reportedly revised his recommendation before the parties appeared again before Judge Korman in November.

This time, Neuborne estimated that Fagan's efforts were worth $1.15 million, of which $400,000 was to be earmarked for Holocaust survivors who had made an outstanding contribution towards the case.

Fagan indicated to Judge Korman that he would not contest the second recommendation.

Neuborne emphasised that the fees charged by lawyers in the case were extraordinarily low by US standards.

In August 1998, Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse agreed a $1.25 billion payout with Jewish groups to settle Holocaust-era assets.

The bulk of the money - some $800 million - was to be used to compensate the holders of dormant bank accounts, while the rest was intended for other victims of Nazi rule, such as forced labourers and repatriated refugees.

swissinfo

Key facts

UBS and Credit Suisse agreed in 1998 to pay $1.25 billion to settle a case brought against them by Holocaust survivors and their heirs.
The settlement was to compensate victims of Nazi rule, such as the holders of dormant bank accounts, refugees and forced labourers.

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