Attorney Fees

Some Top Lawyers Bill More than $1,000 an Hour for Bankruptcy Work

A few lawyers are billing more than $1,000 an hour for bankruptcy work in Manhattan and Delaware courts.

The top billers for the year ending in August 2009 were Pleasantville, N.Y., solo Alan Harris and tax partner Bernie Pistillo of Shearman & Sterling and, the American Lawyer reports. Harris charged $1,200 an hour for work as special real estate litigation counsel on the bankruptcy of Digital Printing Systems, the story says. Pistillo charged $1,065 an hour for work in the bankruptcy of a building products supplier, Stock Building Supply Holdings.

Billing rates for 11 other partners in top law firms also broke the $1,000 an hour mark, while some associate rates topped $700 an hour. The publication gleaned the information from its own database of more than 13,000 billing rate entries submitted in bankruptcy cases in Delaware and the Southern District of New York, the nation’s two busiest bankruptcy courts

Harvey Miller of Weil, Gotshal & Manges billed $950 an hour for work on the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy, while Corinne Ball of Jones Day billed $900 an hour for work on the Chrysler case.

The law firm with the top median rate for partners in bankruptcy cases was Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, with a median hourly rate of $980.

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