Kevin Abikoff was quoted in The Wall Street Journal regarding the increasing presence of compliance monitors installed in settlements between the Justice Department and corporations.
The Jan. 20, 2014 article, "Apple E-books Case Shines Light on Compliance Monitors," noted that the federal judge who ruled last year in a civil antitrust case that Apple colluded with five US publishers to drive up e-book prices appointed attorney Michael Bromwich of Goodwin Proctor for two years to review and evaluate Apple's antitrust-compliance policies, procedures and training program. However Apple and Bromwich have butted heads for months, arguing about everything from the scope of his authority to cost, one of the company's primary complaints.
"The lightning-rod issue is the fees," Abikoff was quoted as saying. The article noted that he has served as a monitor of several companies and isn't involved in the Apple case. While Bromwich is charging $1,100 an hour for his time and $1,025 an hour for other lawyers on his team, Abikoff said he works for a fixed fee to establish the total cost from the start and take his hours off the table.
According to the article, U.S. District Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle raised concerns in 2010 in a plea agreement for specialty-chemical manufacturer Innospec Inc. after the company pleaded guilty to violating trade sanctions against Cuba and the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, a bribery law. "It's an outrage that people get $50 million to be a monitor," Judge Huvelle said during a hearing in Washington, DC. "I'm not comfortable, frankly, signing off on something that becomes a vehicle for someone to make lots of money."
Innospec, the Justice Department and Judge Huvelle ultimately approved Abikoff to serve as monitor.