"Rarely have lawyers been paid so much to lose so much."

Hugh Eakin Reviews ‘Chasing Aphrodite’. An excerpt:

I recently reviewed tax filings by the Getty Trust showing that it paid $16 million for outside legal services between mid-2005 and mid-2007 alone—a period during which it had handed its Italian dealings to a team of lawyers from a high-end Los Angeles firm. (This does not include the $750,000 that, according to Felch and Frammolino, the Getty paid to a “crisis management” firm, also in Los Angeles, for “largely unheeded advice.”) A truer estimate, though, would also have to take account of the hundreds of millions dollars’ worth of art—far more than the Italians would have been contented with in 2002—that was finally turned over to Rome and Athens, leaving the Getty Villa a pallid shadow of its former self. Rarely have lawyers been paid so much to lose so much.

  1. Hugh Eakin, “What Went Wrong at the Getty,” New York Review of Books, June 23, 2011, http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2011/jun/23/what-went-wrong-getty/?pagination=false.
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