Bankruptcy lawyers

Lehman legal fees approaching $400 million

Just how much are bankruptcy lawyers and advisers making in the ongoing Lehman Brothers bankruptcy?

Bloomberg reports that the $873.1 million in fees billed since the case was filed in September 2008 would quadruple the annual payroll of the New York Yankees. According to a Thursday SEC filing, 17 law firms collectively will bring in at least half that amount, with almost $396.7 million being paid out by the debtor in the largest bankruptcy case in U.S. history.

Lehman's lead counsel at Weil, Gotshal & Manges is by far the biggest earner on the matter. The firm's Lehman haul now stands at nearly $200.6 million. Weil isn't alone on the debtor's side--ten other firms also have roles advising what remains of Lehman. Here are the firms and their billings on the case since September 2008, according to Lehman's 8-K filing:

Jones Day, special counsel for Asia and domestic litigation: $30.2 million.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle, special conflicts counsel: $18.1 million.

Bingham McCutchen, special tax counsel: $12.8 million.

McKenna Long & Aldridge, special counsel for commercial real estate lending: $3.9 million.

Bortstein Legal, special counsel for IT and vendor contracts: $3.3 million.

Reilly Pozner, special counsel for mortgage litigation and claims: $3 million.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, special counsel for SEC reporting, asset sales, and congressional testimony: $2.4 million.

Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf, special real estate counsel: $1.5 million.

Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones, special real estate counsel: $259,000.

Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman, special litigation counsel: $254,000.

As The Am Law Daily reported on July 14, Jenner & Block recently cashed out of its role as examiner in the Lehman case, taking home $54.5 million in fees for its work.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy leads the way among the law firms representing Lehman creditors with $56.5 million in fees. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, which is serving as conflicts counsel to creditors, has billed $7.8 million. Richard Sheldon, special U.K. counsel with London's South Square barristers, has received $105,000 for his creditors work.

And let's not forget the fee examiners, whose decisions have raised hackles about escalating fees by bankruptcy lawyers and restructuring professionals. Pay czar Kenneth Feinberg has slashed the fees of several firms in his role as fee examiner in recent months.

Feinberg's own firm, Feinberg Rozen, has received $1.4 million for its work as fee examiner. Another firm in Richmond, Va., BrownGreer, has been paid $197,000 for its services as a fee and expense analyst.

(Published by The Am Law Daily - July 23, 2010)

latest top stories

subscribe |  contact us |  sponsors |  migalhas in portuguese |  migalhas latinoamérica