Judge James Peck of the United States Bankruptcy Court in New York approved several of the “substantial contribution” requests of the creditors of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (PINK:LEHMQ) worth as much as $16 million.
Based on court records, Judge Peck ordered Lehman Brothers to pay $9,519,212.47 legal fees and expenses incurred by White & Case LLP, legal counsel of the Ad Hoc Group led John Paulson’s hedge fund company.
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Judge Peck also ordered Lehman Brothers to reimburse a total of $3,112,068.03 in legal fees and expenses incurred by Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, the law firm represented Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS).
In addition, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (PINK:LEHMQ) will also pay $3,228,987.84 legal fees and $77,140.91 expenses incurred by the lawyers at Brown Rudnick LLP that represented a group of creditors including Citi Group Global Markets, Royal Bank of Scotland and Aurelius Capital.
In July, a group of hedge fund companies and Wall Street banks including Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (NYSE:GS), Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC), D.E. Shaw & Co. and Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS) among others filed legal fees claims to the bankruptcy court citing that they made “substantial contributions” to Lehman Brothers’ Chapter 11 bankruptcy case. The total amount of legal fees claimed by the group was $33 million.
U.S. trustee Tracy Hope Davis, who helped in the enforcement of the bankruptcy laws disputed some of the group’s claims. Davis argued, “active participation alone is insufficient to a substantial contribution claim.” She also told the court that some of the firms failed to provide enough evidences and details to support their claims while other claimants were not legally entitled for payment. She asked the creditors to provide further details and evidences regarding the legal fees they incurred to help the presiding judge to determine if their claims were reasonable or not.
In a related report in July, Judge Peck ruled in favor of the Lehman Brothers’ trustees regarding the issue whether the money managers and hedge funds should be prioritized to receive payments. In his ruling, Judge Peck cited the soft dollar arrangement between Lehman Brothers and money managers and hedge funds was not a guarantee for payment prioritization. In addition, Judge Peck emphasized the federal law does not provide customer status to money managers.
In 2008, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (PINK:LEHMQ) filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy worth $639 billion. It was the biggest and most expensive in the history of the bankruptcy. The company emerged after three years and started paying its creditors on April 17, 2012.