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Advisers in the Global Crossing Ltd. bankruptcy case could end up being paid about $163 million in fees, according to the special committee appointed to evaluate the requests for payment from the myriad firms handling the work. And that’s only if the case can be wrapped up by midyear. The fee figure is about two-thirds the total value of Hutchison Whampoa Ltd.’s and Singapore Technologies Telemedia Pte’s court-approved purchase of a 61.5 percent stake in the reorganized company for $250 million. The estimate includes court-approved bills for January to April 2002, invoices submitted for May to September, projections for the following months and success fees. Since Global Crossing filed for bankruptcy protection in January, the committee said in court filings, professionals’ fees have totaled roughly $11.25 million per month. Judge Robert Gerber in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York is scheduled Monday, April 21, to consider the advisers’ second interim applications for fees and expenses covering work done between May 1 and Sept. 30, 2002. Global Crossing’s counsel at Weil, Gotshal & Manges has the top request at about $7.3 million in compensation and expenses for the second interim period. In August, Weil Gotshal received approval for $4.4 million in fees and expenses for its work from January to April. Special counsel to the debtor, Debevoise & Plimpton, had the second-highest request, $6.6 million in compensation and expenses for nearly 15,000 hours. Its court-approved fees and expenses for the first interim period totaled about $6.4 million. Third is the legal representation for the unsecured creditors’ committee, Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels, seeking close to $4.2 million in fees and expenses for the second period, as compensation for more than 12,000 hours. The firm’s $1.2 million in fees and expenses were approved in the first period. In its report on the second application for fees, the committee said Global Crossing’s 15-month-old bankruptcy proceedings have been “properly and well administered” and that “the professionals’ overall performance was excellent.” The report noted that the parties discharged about $7.9 billion in debt from the company’s books, won court confirmation of a reorganization plan within a year of the Chapter 11 filing and dodged much litigation by settling disputes. While Gerber has already approved the plan, its centerpiece, a $250 million investment by Hutchison Whampoa and Singapore Technologies Telemedia, is hung up before U.S. regulators. The deal requires the approval of the Federal Communications Commission and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. Sources have said that national security concerns by some members of CFIUS have stalled the review. Given the regulatory uncertainty, the committee suggested holding 20 percent of the fees for the second billing period until June 30 to protect the debtor’s cash. The court held 10 percent of the fees from the first payment period. The report gave additional guidance for requests for reimbursement from the bankruptcy estate. For the second interim period and future invoices, the group advised that professionals bill no more than $20 per overtime meal, fly coach or economy (though some international business class flights would be acceptable) and use mass transit “whenever practicable.” Gerber approved the creation of a committee to monitor fees in August, two weeks after he approved the first tranche of compensation applications. Lawyers from Weil Gotshal, Debevoise and Brown Rudnick could not be reached. �Copyright 2003, The Deal, LLC. All rights reserved.

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