Lawyers who successfully argued that Musk39s pay package was illegal.com2F462F272Fcd0614c2dc3f16b3ff536a5dbf652F2336c5da2e0046b4ae793e85f13243f2

Lawyers who successfully argued that Musk's pay package was illegal are demanding $5.6 billion in Tesla shares

DOVER, Del. (AP) – The lawyers who successfully argued that a massive pay package for Tesla CEO Elon Musk was illegal and should be voided have asked the presiding judge to award them $5.6 billion in company stock as legal fees to award.

Lawyers representing Tesla shareholders in the case decided in January raised the Delaware judge's request in court papers filed Friday.

If approved, the sum would apparently be by far the largest such award. Lawyers in class action lawsuits related to the Enron collapse were awarded a record $688 million in legal fees in 2008.

“We are 'ready to eat our food,'” the Tesla plaintiffs' lawyers wrote in the court filing, arguing that the sum was justified because they had operated solely on a contingency basis for more than five years. If they had lost, they would have gotten nothing. The benefit to Tesla “was enormous,” they said.

The requested grant represents 11% of the Tesla shares – worth about $55 billion – that Musk sought in the compensation package that Judge Kathaleen St. Jude McCormick ruled illegal in January.

The application not only burdens the electric car company's balance sheet, it is also tax deductible, the lawyers argued. They are also seeking $1.1 million in expenses.

In her ruling, Judge McCormick accepted shareholder lawyers' argument that Musk personally dictated the landmark 2018 pay package in sham negotiations with non-independent directors.

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