Attorney Fees

Judge Questions Dewey Fee Application Seeking About $100K a Day

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A federal judge is seeking more information on a $2.1 million fee application by Dewey & LeBeouf that breaks down to about $100,000 a day in attorney fees.

U.S. District Judge Denny Chin asked for more information on the application by Dewey partner Timothy Coleman, who is the receiver for WexTrust, according to the Am Law Daily and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog. The law firm was appointed as receiver to safeguard the trust’s assets after the Securities and Exchange Commission sued, claiming the trust was operating as a Ponzi scheme that targeted the Orthodox Jewish community.

Chin questioned billing rates as high as $950 an hour for some partners, $605 an hour for some associates, and $285 an hour for summer associates.

“It is difficult to evaluate the reasonableness of the hourly rates for most of the lawyers listed,” the Manhattan judge wrote. “For example, [five attorneys]—all simply described as “Associate”—have substantial hours billed at hourly rates of, respectively, $605, $605, $550, $605 and $605. Without knowing anything about their backgrounds, it is difficult for the court to determine whether the requested hourly rates are reasonable.”

The Am Law Daily posted the fee application (PDF) and Chin’s order (PDF).

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