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The parameters of Halliburton Company’s asbestos liability have been drawn. The oil field services provider has agreed to pay about $4 billion in cash and stock to release itself from future claims and settle the more than 300,000 present claims against it and its subsidiaries. The majority of the present claims are aimed at DII Industries, LLC (formerly Dresser Industries, Inc.), which the company acquired in 1998, when Vice President Dick Cheney was Halliburton’s chairman and chief executive. As part of the agreement, Halliburton plans to take advantage of a section in the bankruptcy code that allows companies afflicted by asbestos claims to pay into a trust to satisfy all current and future claims. Under the agreement, Halliburton will put subsidiaries DII Industries and Kellogg Brown & Root, Inc., and other affiliated entities under Chapter 11 protection in a prepackaged arrangement. Previously, many corporate parents strapped with asbestos litigation have been forced to seek Chapter 11 protection and contribute most of their assets toward funding a trust for asbestos victims. The bankruptcy filing for Halliburton’s subsidiaries is expected to happen in March. At press time the company had not decided which court to file in. The plaintiffs firms listed below are some of those comprising the informal creditors committee in the expected prepackaged bankruptcy. For Plaintiffs Weitz & Luxenberg (New York): Perry Weitz. Baron & Budd (Dallas): Frederick Baron and Russell Budd. Law Offices of Cooney & Conway (Chicago): John Cooney. Law Offices of Peter G. Angelos (Baltimore): Associate Armand Volta, Jr. Ness Motley (Mount Pleasant, South Carolina): Joseph Rice. Silber Pearlman (Dallas): Steven Baron. Kazan, McClain, Edises, Abrams, Fernandez, Lyons & Farrise (Oakland): Steven Kazan. Ferraro & Associates (Coral Gables, Florida): James Ferraro. Kelley & Ferraro (Cleveland): Michael Kelley. For defendant Halliburton Company (Dallas) In-house: Vice president and general counsel Bert Cornelison, Jr. Godwin Gruber (Dallas): Donald Godwin, Thomas Hoekstra, and Keith Langley. Godwin Gruber has represented Halliburton and its subsidiary DII Industries in asbestos matters for several years. Kirkpatrick & Lockhart (Pittsburgh): Jeffrey Rich and Michael Zanic. (Rich is in New York.) Kirkpatrick is providing advice on insurance coverage and bankruptcy issues to Halliburton subsidiaries. Baker Botts (Houston): Corporate: Andrew Baker and Darrell Taylor. Bankruptcy: Jack Kinzie and Brenda Rhoades. Finance: Bill Hart, Jr. (Baker, Kinzie, and Rhoades are in Dallas.) Halliburton general counsel Cornelison, who is a longtime acquaintance of Andrew Baker, brought in Baker Botts to replace Houston’s Vinson & Elkins as Halliburton’s main outside corporate counsel last summer. Baker Botts is providing bankruptcy, general corporate, and finance advice to Halliburton. outlook The agreement must be approved by Halliburton’s board of directors and the bankruptcy court. At press time Halliburton was finalizing agreements with claimants, and preparing to finance the settlement. — Andrew Longstreth

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