A recent the American Lawyer story by Samantha Stokes, “Kirkland Secures $56M in Fees in Toys R Us Bankruptcy,” reports that more than 100 Kirkland & Ellis partners, and about 240 firm lawyers overall, billed time in the Toys R Us bankruptcy proceedings, netting the law firm more than $50 million. A judge approved $56.2 million in fees requested by Kirkland, according to an order filed in the Eastern District of Virginia. Kirkland billed for 57,237.30 hours of work as debtor’s counsel over nearly a year and a half in the toy retailer’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings.
Toys R Us filed for bankruptcy in September 2017, marking the latest in a string of brick-and-mortar retail failures in the online shopping era. The company retained Kirkland to restructure its nearly $5 billion in debt, as previously reported by The American Lawyer. Kutak Rock, Goodmans and Munger, Tolles & Olson landed roles in the case. In all, 105 partners, 131 associates and two of counsel from Kirkland billed time on the case between the September 2017 bankruptcy filing and Dec. 17, 2018. Its partner billing rates for the work ranged from $565 an hour to $1,795, according to the firm’s final fee application.
Seven partners and five associates billed more than $1 million each, and two partners in the restructuring department—Emily Elizabeth Geier and Josh Sussberg—each billed for more than $3 million. Of everyone working on the case, Geier billed the most hours—3,194—and ran up the highest fees—$3,302,795. She also put in nearly 135 hours working on the case as an associate, billing an additional $135,000.
Despite Kirkland’s hefty fee award, the firm’s final tally came in far below the $79 million to $88 million it said it budgeted for the matter, according to court documents. Kutak Rock was also granted its fee application for its role working as local counsel with Kirkland, to the tune of $1.4 million.