Gianni Origoni cashes in on Parmalat with €1m a month

Gianni Origoni Grippo & Partners is reaping an average €1m (£656,000) a month for its role on the Parmalat administration, with overall annual legal fees expected to reach €30m (£19.7m).

It is understood that the law firm, which is acting for Enrico Bondi, the Italian government’s appointed administrator on the restructuring of the debt-ridden dairy group, has been submitting invoices for legal fees on an ongoing basis since Parmalat filed for bankruptcy last December.

Weil Gotshal & Manges, which is providing US and UK legal advice on the process, is believed to be billing an average of €500,000 (£328,000) a month for its services.

Although the combined legal fees reach an average €1.5m (£984,000) on a monthly basis, sources state that this can vary depending on the amount of work undertaken.

As legal requirements can increase in any given month, sources estimate that the total bill for the year could end up at €30m.
It is understood that Gianni Origoni and Weil Gotshal are the only two law firms which will have their legal fees reimbursed by the administrator.

As opposed to US bankruptcies, where the debtor pays for creditors’ law firms, under Italy’s recently established insolvency law, the company does not have to shell out for legal bills.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton will be remunerated by client Close Brothers, which was retained as financial adviser in May by Bondi to review Parmalat’s restructuring plan. It is understood that Close Brothers’ fees will include a provision for legal fees, but this has been capped. Any legal costs above the cap will have to be met by Close Brothers itself.

Gianni Origoni declined to comment.