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Attorney Fees in Texas Billionaire's Bankruptcy Top $5M

October 21, 2015 | Posted in : Bankruptcy Fees / Expenses, Expenses / Costs, Fee Award, Fee Request

A recent Texas Lawyer story, “Attorney Fees in Sam Wyly Bankruptcy Reach Over $5M” reports that a Dallas federal court has approved $5 million in fees and expenses to lawyers in the former Texas billionaire Sam Wyly’s bankruptcy protection case.  The lion’s share of the fee award--$3.8 million—has gone to debtor's counsel Vinson & Elkins.  V&E filed a fee application seeking an additional $1.9 million in fees and $35,000 in expenses for the time period of June 1 through Sept. 30.

In the fee application, the V&E lawyers cited working on negotiations for Wyly to strike a global settlement between the entrepreneur and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the Internal Revenue Service.

In addition to V&E, a handful of other large Texas firms, including Dallas’ Haynes & Boone and Houston’s Susman Godfrey, are engaged in the Wyly bankruptcy.  Haynes & Boone serves as counsel for the committee of unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy.  The Dallas firm’s lawyers filed on Oct. 16 an application for $110,700 in fees and expenses for the period of June 1 through Sept. 30.  The court has already approved $172,900 in fees and expenses for Haynes & Boone.

Susman Godfrey serves as special litigation counsel to Wyly.  The Houston firm, according to one of its bankruptcy fee applications, help Wyly, along with his appellate counsel from Quinn Emanuel, prepare for an appeal of the New York federal court’s ruling in favor of the SEC.  The bankruptcy court has approved $326,000 so far in fees and expenses for Susman Godfrey.