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Lehman Bankruptcy Could be Most Expensive in History

Sunday, March 21, 2010

The largest bankruptcy in US history will also likely be the most expensive. Lehman Brothers' bankruptcy estate has paid nearly $680 million in fees to lawyers, financial advisors and restructuring consultants, according to a court filing this past week. WNYC's Lisa Chow reports.

REPORTER: The biggest winners are two New York firms. The company managing Lehman Brothers' wind down, Alvarez and Marsal, has earned, on average, $480,000 a day since the investment bank collapsed in September of 2008. Lehman's lawyers from the firm Weil Gotshal and Manges have billed $300,000 a day. The firms' main job is to sell off Lehman's assets to pay back hungry creditors. And they've been selling everything from the art work that hung on conference room walls, to the complicated derivatives that the bank owned. While significant, the fees are a sliver of how much the bank held in assets when it went belly up.

For WNYC, I'm Lisa Chow.

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