The law firm hired to help the Tribune Company navigate through bankruptcy is getting the "highest hourly rate" ever seen by some experts.
Lawyers at Sidley Austin are asking as much as $1,100 an hour for bankruptcy work on the company, surpassing the rates charged by Weil, Gotshal & Manges in the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. case, the largest in history.
"That’s the highest hourly rate I have seen or heard of for a bankruptcy lawyer,” Lynn LoPucki, who teaches bankruptcy law at the University of California at Los Angeles, is quoted by Bloomberg.com as saying. "For the past 11 years the fees of bankruptcy professionals have been steadily rising -- through good times and bad."
Tribune filed for bankruptcy on Dec. 8, hoping to buy enough time to raise cash by selling off assets in a tight credit market. It also could put additional pressure on its lenders to ease their targets, possibly in exchange for higher interest rates, as many other newspaper companies already have done.
The company entered court protection with $13 billion in debt and $7.6 billion in assets. [Read More...]