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Law Firms Oppose Fee Cuts in Lehman Brothers Bankruptcy

March 18, 2010 | Posted in : Bankruptcy Fees / Expenses, Billing Practices, Expenses / Costs, Fee Dispute, Fee Reduction, Legal Bills / Legal Costs

An recent NLJ article, “Law Firms Protest Lehman Fee Committee’s Cuts in Legal Bills” reports that three law firms (Milbank Tweed, Jones Day, and Curtis Mallet) filed papers this week objecting to cuts in their legal bills for their work in the Lehman’s bankruptcy.  Since Lehman filed for bankruptcy in September 2008, fifteen law firms have billed the Lehman Brothers estate more than $300 million in total fees and expenses.  The fee cuts were made by the Lehman’s fee committee, headed by Kenneth Feinberg, the Obama administration’s bailout pay czar.  Feinberg slashed Curtis Mallet’s $4.8 million bill for a four month period by about $178,000.  The firm protested the cuts and Feinberg agreed to put $29,000 back onto the firm’s bill.  Jones Day billed the Lehman estate $9 million over the same four month period.  Feinberg cut the Jones Day bill by $412,000 because his findings included nearly $8,000 in first-class flights when its lawyers were suppose to fly coach and the firm exceeded the $20 per person limit on overtime meals by nearly $2,500 over those four months.  Jones Day protested the cuts and Feinberg compromised with a fee reduction of $293,000.