Note: After being granted summary judgment in an action by 2002 Irrevocable Trust for Richard C.Hvizdak (Applicant) against Huntington National Bank (Issuer) for fraud, negligent misrepresentation, negligence, and conspiracy to commit fraud, Shenzhen Development Bank (Beneficiary) moved for an award of attorney's fees and expenses under Florida Statute §675.111(5) (Remedies). Applicant maintained that Beneficiary was not entitled to attorney's fees and expenses since §675.111(5) is only available for remedies under Fla. Stat. §675.109 (Fraud and Forgery).

The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Fort Myers Division, Honeywell, J., granted Beneficiary's motion in part.

Fla. Stat. §675.111(5) provides for "[r]easonable attorney's fees and other expenses of litigation [for] the prevailing party in an action in which a remedy is sought under this chapter."

The Judge noted that §675.111 is not limited to actions seeking an injunction but, as §5-111 Official Comment 6 explains, the section is broad in scope including any remedy sought under Rev. UCC Article 5. The Judge noted that while Applicant's Second Amended Complaint did not invoke §675.109, Applicant did seek a temporary restraining order under §675.109, stated a cause of action under LC fraud, and defended against Beneficiary's Motion to Dismiss and Motion for Summary Judgment by citing §675.109.The Judge ruled that Beneficiary therefore is entitled to attorney's fees and expenses.

In calculating the fees, the Judge determined their reasonableness by multiplying the number of hours reasonably expended in litigation by a reasonable hourly rate based upon billing rates of attorneys with similar expertise and experience. The court awarded US$334,339.50 to Beneficiary, with US$47,419.50 for Weidenmiller Law Firm and with US$358,650 for Skadden Arps, which the court reduced by 20% to US$286,920 for redundant and unnecessary billing that included multiple tasks in an entry rather than single time entries with discrete explanations of the work.



The views expressed in this Case Summary are those of the Institute of International Banking Law and Practice and not necessarily those of ICC or the other partners in DC-PRO.