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Although a U.S. Bankruptcy Court has approved Enron Corp.’s reorganization plan, more than 360 attorneys who have worked on the case at Weil, Gotshal & Manges are not heaving a sigh of relief just yet. Representing the energy giant in the second-largest bankruptcy in history, 1,125-attorney Weil Gotshal has used hundreds of its lawyers in matters big and small related to Enron’s Chapter 11 filing in New York’s southern district. At the same time, the New York firm represented WorldCom Inc. in its bankruptcy, the world’s largest Chapter 11, which was declared in July 2002. Spreading the work Spreading the work among many lawyers has been the key to the firm’s ability to handle the two huge undertakings while still accommodating other clients, said Martin Bienenstock, head of the Enron team at Weil Gotshal. The approval of Enron’s reorganization plan by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Arthur Gonzalez in New York seems to be the beginning of the end for the Enron matter. But Bienenstock still is not booking any long-term vacations. “It’s not too much different yet,” he said. At least five creditors so far have appealed the court’s approval of Enron’s reorganization plan. The company has thousands of creditors holding an estimated $63 billion in claims. Weil Gotshal’s core Enron team consists of about 40 attorneys, Bienenstock said, adding that other lawyers have become involved in “discreet matters” that relate to the bankruptcy. He also said that Enron obtained other counsel in matters that could have created potential conflicts of interest for Weil Gotshal. As for his own schedule, Bienenstock said his Enron work demands about half his time. “I’m in charge of running the departments. I couldn’t say to all our other clients ‘I’m unavailable,’ ” he remarked. During the first four months alone of Enron’s bankruptcy, Weil Gotshal was approved to receive more than $23 million in fees and expenses. The company declared bankruptcy in December 2002. Weil Gotshal also has devoted enormous energy to the bankruptcy of WorldCom, now known as MCI Inc. The company received court approval for its reorganization in November 2003. Weil Gotshal attorney Marcia Goldstein, who led the WorldCom reorganization team, said that the core group of WorldCom attorneys consisted of about 35 lawyers. Some 246 attorneys billed for at least five hours or more of WorldCom work, with 50 attorneys handling about 80% of the telecommunication firm’s matters, Goldstein said. WorldCom’s emergence from bankruptcy in April has meant that Weil Gotshal attorneys no longer need to “live and breathe WorldCom” these days, Goldstein said. Harvey Miller, who led the firm’s business finance and restructuring department for 32 years before resigning in 2002, said that Weil Gotshal is positioned to handle the workload. “That may mean they work extraordinary hours. You age quickly,” said Miller, who now is vice chairman and managing director of Greenhill, an investment banking firm in New York. Of Weil Gotshal’s 1,125 attorneys, about 110 work on bankruptcy matters full time. The practice generates about 20% of the firm’s business, Bienenstock said. Jones’ e-mail address is [email protected].

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