Mr President Obama you need to kick some serious a.... decency needs to be reinstated and humbleness - if money is the only value that counts the culture and spirit of the Independence declaration did not get on the right track
Bankruptcy Lawyers Seek $18.50 a Minute From Court (Update1)
By Lindsay Fortado and Linda Sandler
Jan. 28 (Bloomberg) -- Lawyers at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, home to former Whitewater prosecutor Ken Starr, are asking as much as $1,110 an hour for bankruptcy work while creditors are recovering less of their loans through company restructurings.
Kirkland requested a top rate equal to $18.50 a minute for advising Tronox Inc. in its bankruptcy, according to court papers filed Jan. 26. Chicago-based Sidley Austin LLP and New York’s Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP also requested hourly rates exceeding $1,000 in the past two months in separate bankruptcy cases, as lenders’ recoveries are forecast by ratings company Moody’s Corp. to drop 22 percent in the recession.
Professionals’ fees in bankruptcy cases are growing at four times the rate of inflation, estimated Lynn LoPucki, a professor of bankruptcy law at the University of California, Los Angeles. Total fees paid for lawyers, accountants and other professionals in bankruptcies from 1998 to 2007 doubled, while the consumer price index rose about 25 percent, he said.
“As the economy gets worse, the bankruptcy lawyers are charging more,” LoPucki said. “It seems that each month one sets a new record for hourly billing rates. $1,110 is, to my knowledge, a record for the debtor’s bankruptcy counsel.”
Lenders’ average recoveries may shrink to 35 cents on the dollar as the worldwide economic slowdown deepens, compared with 45 percent of the face value of corporate debt in previous downturns, Kenneth Emery, Moody’s Investors Service Inc.’s director of corporate default research, said in an interview earlier this month. Bonds of newspaper publisher Tribune Co., which filed for bankruptcy Dec. 8, are trading at 1.5 cents on the dollar to 4.25 cents, signaling bondholders may get no more than the market value.