Business bankruptcy filings declined 14 percent for the year ending June 30 compared to the same 12-month period a year earlier, according to data recently released by the administrative office of U.S. courts.
The statistics mirror those contained in a report released last month by the American Bankruptcy Institute in conjunction with bankruptcy software and services provider Epiq Systems.
Despite the decline, some firms continue to feast on long-running restructuring-related matters. Exhibit A: Weil, Gotshal & Manges, which is still billing for its work on behalf of such big-ticket debtors as Lehman Brothers and Washington Mutual.
Bloomberg reported last week that Lehman, which emerged from bankruptcy earlier this year, paid its outside professional advisers $16.4 million in June. Weil reaped $6 million of that sum, bringing its total take so far for representing the fallen financial services giant to roughly $420 million. ( The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Weil’s tab could eventually reach the $430 million mark.)
Weil was also recently the beneficiary of a ruling by U.S. bankruptcy judge Mary Walrath in Delaware, who approved more than $80 million in legal fees and expenses for the firm in connection with WaMu’s Chapter 11 case, according to a report last week by the WSJ.
Some WaMu shareholders had objected to Weil’s fees on the grounds that some attorney’s from the firm were billing 24-hour days at inflated rates for extended periods of time. In approving Weil’s legal bills, however, Walrath noted her own time in private practice when she “did not take a day off for six months,” the WSJ reports.