SES fights back in ‘expert witness’ spat

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Last week it was alleged by Intelsat’s lawyers that an expert witness retained by SES to provide advice in the Intelsat bankruptcy case should be excluded. Intelsat’s lawyers argued that James Millstein, co-chairman of Guggenheim Securities, had been retained on a contingent fee tied directly to his testimony.

‘Not so’ implied SES’s lawyers who commeneted: “There was no intent on anyone’s part to influence the testimony of James Millstein or to run afoul of the ethical rules. The engagement letter contemplated a broad array of consulting services, and noted that Guggenheim would ‘be available’ for expert reports and testimony ‘to the extent requested by Counsel’ and as ‘appropriate under the circumstances.’”

The SES filing to the bankruptcy court continued, saying: “[Millstein] has also testified numerous times as an expert witness in bankruptcy and other restructuring-related cases. As a practical matter, and as evidenced by his long tenure in public and private life, Mr. Millstein’s testimony cannot be bought, and the Initial Fee Structure did not influence the opinions reflected in his report or his deposition testimony.”

The lawyers for SES add that Guggenheim will receive a one-time fee of $3 million for their on-going work under its amended agreement with SES.


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