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Weil Gotshal & Manges has fallen foul of cyberspace communication
The firm is handling the bankruptcy of telecoms company Global Crossing, but unfortunately for the companies that had expressed a confidential interest in buying Global Crossing, when Weil Gotshal sent them an email on 28 March it accidentally allowed all parties to see who else had received the message. Although the message contained only standard information regarding bidding procedures for Global Crossing, the inadvertent disclosure of all interested parties is an embarrassing lapse for the New York-based firm. The companies listed had signed confidentiality agreements with Global Crossing's financial adviser Blackstone Group. Potential bidders include international telecoms companies BT, Deutsche Telekom and France Telecom, as well as financial giants Credit Suisse First Boston, Lehman Brothers and UBS Warburg. Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom partner Michael Gisser was also among the recipients. Global Crossing is the fourth-largest bankruptcy in the US. High-profile bankruptcy dominates the Weil Gotshal agenda. In addition to Global Crossing, the firm is Enron's lead counsel. Some commentators have suggested wryly that Weil Gotshal may be stretching itself a little thin. It is certainly working its associates hard. According to documents filed at the US Bankruptcy Court, one associate in the Dallas office billed 28 hours in a single day and 52 hours over two days. Weil Gotshal partner Martin Bienenstock has stated that the bill was simply a keying error. He blamed any negative interpretation of that particular bill, or of the fees claimed more generally by the firm in relation to Enron, on market cynicism. Weil Gotshal has sent invoices amounting to $6.6m (£4.6m) in relation to Enron and $1.5m (£1m) for Global Crossing. Weil Gotshal did not reply to requests for comment on the email mishap.