DOVER, Del. (NEWSnet/AP) — Lawyers who successfully argued that a massive pay package for Tesla CEO Elon Musk is illegal and should be voided have asked a judge to award them company stock worth $5.6 billion as legal fees.

The attorneys, who represent Tesla shareholders in the case, decided in January, made the request Friday.

“We are ‘prepared to eat our cooking,’” the Tesla plaintiff attorneys wrote in the court filing, arguing the sum is justified because they worked purely on a contingency basis for more than 5 years. If they lost they would have gotten nothing. The benefit to Tesla “was massive,” they said.

The requested award represents 11% of the Tesla stock, worth $55 billion that Musk was seeking in the compensation package, which Judge Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick ruled illegal. 

The request would take nothing from the car company's balance sheet, and is tax- deductible, the attorneys argued. They also seek $1.1 million in expenses.

In her ruling, Judge McCormick accepted the shareholder lawyers' argument that Musk personally dictated the landmark 2018 pay package sham negotiations with directors who were not independent.

It would have doubled Musk's stake in Tesla. He currently holds 13%.

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