The law firms and financial advisers retained in the Thornburg Mortgage bankruptcy have had it pretty good for a while. Shortly after the jumbo loan issuer went belly up last May, the federal bankruptcy court in Baltimore established a compensation plan that allowed professionals to submit bills every month, rather than every 120 days as directed in the bankruptcy code. Among the top beneficiaries have been debtor’s counsel Venable ($1,160,693) and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, which is counsel to the unsecured creditors’ committee ($858,198). But the days of quick payouts may be numbered. Last week, the trustee in the case filed a motion (pdf) asking the court to terminate the monthly compensation order.

The trustee argued that the bills are too numerous to analyze and that their preparation is costing the estate a small fortune. Special criticism was reserved for Quinn Emanuel, which the trustee noted has billed the estate nearly $75,000 simply for the preparation of its monthly fee statements.

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