Commercial Division Blog

Posted: September 27, 2016 / Categories Commercial, Attorney Fees

Contract Entitled Prevailing Party to Fees, But Not Fees on Fees

On September 8, 2016, Justice Ramos of the New York County Commercial Division issued a decision in Grossberg v. Van Bakergem, 2016 NY Slip Op. 31718(U), awarding counsel fees but rejecting a claim for fees on fees, explaining:

[T]he recovery of "fees on fees" should not be permitted. Under New York law, an award of fees on fees must be based on explicit statutory authority or contract. The relevant provision, section 11.11, does not contain clear language expressly providing for an award of fees on fees. Given the absence of unmistakably clear intent regarding the recovery of fees on fees, a right to recover those fees should not be implied.

(Internal quotations and citations omitted).