The Bankruptcy Files: Amid Lehman Anniversary, More New Filings
On September 15, 2008, the largest bankruptcy case in history began when lawyers from Weil, Gotshal & Manges filed a Chapter 11 petition on behalf of client Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan.
Lehman retrospectives were all the rage this week amid the fifth anniversary of the now-defunct investment bank’s stunning collapse, which Weil bankruptcy bigwig Harvey Miller has called a " tragic error" on the part of government regulators who in his mind allowed the financial services giant to fail.
Weil and Miller’s work putting together the Lehman bankruptcy in record time was the subject of a December 2008 feature story in The American Lawyer. Since then the firm has reaped roughly $500 million from its work in the Lehman case, according to a recent report by Bloomberg, and Miller and other key players in the bank’s massive Chapter 11 case have been busy making the media rounds this month to discuss some of the ramifications of Lehman’s failure.
Five years on, the Obama administration continues to defend its role handling the aftermath of the 2008 downturn, with Lehman's demise forever changing the bankruptcy landscape. A dip in big bankruptcy cases in New York has some firms like Weil trimming their ranks, according to sibling publication the New York Law Journal, although the firm still remains near the top of The Deal’s latest bankruptcy league tables.
Below are more of the latest recent bankruptcy filings and their lawyers of note. As usual, hourly billing rates are listed when available.
Anchor BanCorp Wisconsin
The Madison-based parent of Anchor Bank filed for bankruptcy in the state’s capital on August 12, listing $2.3 billion in assets against debts of $2.4 billion. New investors have agreed to pump $175 million in new capital into Anchor BanCorp, a rather novel recapitalization that will allow the bank holding company to slash $180 million in debt, according to The New York Times’s DealBook.
William Rubenstein, cohead of the financial institutions group at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, is leading a team from the firm serving as special counsel to Anchor BanCorp that includes corporate restructuring cohead Van Durrer II, financial institutions and enforcement partner Brian Christiansen, tax partner Stuart Finkelstein, and corporate finance partner Michael Zeidel.
A declaration by Durrer states that Skadden has received more than $2.3 million from Anchor BanCorp in the year prior to its bankruptcy case. Skadden was paid a $250,000 general retainer for its services and has agreed to bundled hourly rates of between $840 and $1,220 for partners, $845 to $930 for of counsel, and $365 to $795 for associates, according to court filings.
Rebecca DeMarb ($400 per hour), Jerome Kerkman ($400), and James Sweet ($500) from Wisconsin firm Kerkman & Dunn are serving as general bankruptcy counsel to Anchor BanCorp. A court filing by the firm states that it has so far been paid $220,000 by the debtor.
Anchor BanCorp’s general counsel is Mark Timmerman, who took a substantial pay cut in 2011 to stick around as the bank’s top in-house lawyer and corporate secretary after stepping down as its president. Duane Morse, a former Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr partner and onetime chief risk and compliance officer at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, is an independent member of Anchor BanCorp’s board of directors.