Business of Law

Weil Gotshal Seeks OK of $431.6M Legal Bill for Lehman Bros. Bankruptcy, Won't Seek Fee Enhancement

Weil Gotshal & Manges has asked a federal bankruptcy judge in Manhattan to OK more than $430 million in fees for representing Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. in a record-breaking bankruptcy case over a period of three-and-a-half years.

During that time, lawyers and staff billed approximately 747,000 hours in the largest Chapter 11 bankruptcy case ever filed, according to Legal Week and the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.).

Much of the billing has already gotten the court’s OK, and last week’s filing represents a finalizing of overall figures.

“While the aggregate amount of Weil’s fees and expenses is substantial, it is a product of, and directly related to, the aggregate value of the debtors’ assets and liabilities, the complexity of the issues addressed in these Chapter 11 cases and the skill, time and effort required to address the myriad issues that arose in connection with their administration,” explained lead lawyer Harvey R. Miller.

He is one of about 40 Weil lawyers who billed $1,000 per hour during the case, the Wall Street Journal reports. The law firm and an advisory firm, Alvarez & Marsal Inc., is seeking some $620 million for its work, recovered about $70 billion in assets. Lehman owes around $500 billion.

Although the filing calls the work performed “extraordinary” and says it presents “a foundation for fee enhancement, Weil has determined to forego any such request,” the Legal Week article notes.

A hearing is scheduled on Aug. 15. Although Lehman exited from bankruptcy several months ago, the winding-down of the storied investment bank continues.

Related coverage: “Some Top Lawyers Bill More than $1,000 an Hour for Bankruptcy Work” “Weil Gotshal Clocked $300K a Day on Lehman; Total Bill Now Nears $150M” “Lehman Paid Jenner $53.5M for Report on Collapse; and $794M in Fees to All Lawyers, Managers” “Jenner Chair Anton Valukas Talks with ‘60 Minutes’ About Lehman Brothers ‘Shell Game’”

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