Litigation pushes Parmalat legal expenses to €100m

Gianni Origoni set to take lion’s share of adviser payouts in insolvency bonanza

Legal fees for Parmalat’s restructuring are on track to rise to an estimated €100m (£68.7m) as the company prepares for its delayed listing on the Milan Stock Exchange.

Sources close to Parmalat have indicated that total advisers’ fees could hit €170m (£116.8m), with legal fees falling between €70m (£48.1m) and €100m. Litigation is expected to account for up to 80 per cent of the bill.

The chief beneficiary of the fees bonanza is, unsurprisingly, Gianni Origoni Grippo & Partners, lawyers to Parmalat administrator Enrico Bondi. The firm advised on the restructuring, some discrete pieces of litigation and the upcoming IPO.

However, the firm’s role has dwindled in recent months as the restructuring nears its conclusion. Gianni is now understood to be submitting bills of between €200,000 (£137,400) and €300,000 (£206,200) a month, compared with fees of €1m (£690,000) to €2m (£1.4m) per month at the outset of the administration.

Weil Gotshal & Manges, meanwhile, is believed to be submitting invoices of between €200,000 and €300,000 per month.

The firms leading Parm-alat’s court actions are now reaping the lion’s share of fees.

Around 70 law firms across 35 countries are acting on more than 500 pieces of litigation arising out of Parmalat’s insolvency.

Studio Legale Lombardi Molinari – the litigation boutique advising on many of Bondi’s revocation actions, as well as on the mammoth US suits against Citibank and Bank of America – and US plaintiff firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges are the biggest litigation billers.