The bunfight for fees on the WorldCom restructuring has begun, with lawyers battling over their share of an estimated $150m (£89.6m) in costs.
The telecoms group, which has since rebranded as MCI, this month saw its reorganisation plan approved by a New York judge after 15 months of fraught negotiations.
As counsel to the official creditors committee for WorldCom, Akin Gump Stauss Hauer & Feld has submitted a bill for $3.3m (£2m) for advice given between 29 July 2002 and 30 November 2002. However, a fee audit committee - which was established by US Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez in order to oversee the huge legal and financial advisory costs - questioned a number of bill and expense claims, resulting in Akin Gump reducing its billings by $95,000 (£57,000). At this stage it is not clear what Weil Gotshal & Manges' will charge. The firm, which is acting for WorldCom, notched up as much as $3m (£1.8m) a month during the restructuring.
The fee committee is expected to submit three reports on the fees. In the first of these reports, the committee recommended an overall $323,000 (£193,000) reduction related to all advisers on the case.