Dewey: the $14m aftermath

It was only a matter of time before what was probably the biggest law firm story of 2012 spilled over into 2013. In fact, getting almost three whole days into the new year without a Dewey & LeBoeuf story should be considered good going. But it could only last so long, and news of how much the failed firm’s bankruptcy has so far cost in US advisory fees was bound to break the run.

According to the stats, law firms racked up the biggest bills. Dewey’s bankruptcy counsel Togut Segal & Segal came top, putting in a request for fees of $4.71m. Turnaround firm Zolfo Cooper billed second highest, at $3.66m, but after that it was two more law firms, Brown Rudnik as counsel to the unsecured creditors’ committee and Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman as counsel to the official committee of former partners, which billed the most at $2m and $1.3m respectively.

Using the filings as a representative snapshot (hardly scientific, we know) it would also appear as though lawyers tend to enjoy more expenses than other breeds of adviser. Whereas Deloitte incurred only $178 in expenses (or 0.027 per cent of its total bill), Brown Rudnik racked up $111,000 (or 5.55 per cent of its total bill). Togut Segal & Segal’s expenses claim, meanwhile, was a little over $50,000, or 1.1 per cent of its total bill.

Togut Segal & Segal even gave a breakdown of its expenses, which showed a near $5,000 meals bill, and $21,843 spent on photocopying.

Not all lawyers are living it up off the festering corpse of Dewey, though. The firm’s pensions adviser Keightley & Ashner had only one expense – a $290 train ticket for a round trip from Washington DC to New York to attend a hearing on retention issues. Bless those modest pensions lawyers.


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