In Defense of Professional Fees

In In re Hungry Horse, LLC, Adversary Proceeding No. 16-11222 (Bankr. D. N.M. September 20, 2017) (“Hungry Horse”), the New Mexico Bankruptcy Court reminded us that many U.S. Supreme Court opinions can be limited in scope and do not necessarily dispose of all potential remedies to an issue. The issue in Hungry Horse—as in many […]

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Wow! Fifth Circuit Eases Standard for Awarding Professional Fees

In a long-awaited opinion, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently reversed its ruling in Pro-Snax Distributors, Inc., 157 F.3d 414, 426 (5th Cir. 1998), providing that a bankruptcy professional can only collect fees for services provided to a bankrupt debtor that “resulted in an identifiable, tangible, and material benefit to the bankruptcy estate.”  See Baron & Newburger, P.C. […]

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Texas District Court Affirms Fees in Stellar Case

In an appeal in ASARCO LLC’s chapter 11 bankruptcy case, pending in the Southern District of Texas, the U.S. District Court recently affirmed the Bankruptcy Court’s award of a fee enhancement, a.k.a. a fee bump, to ASARCO‘s bankruptcy counsel, which had obtained “extremely favorable” results for the Debtor and its creditors.  See ASARCO LLC v. Baker Botts, L.L.P., Case No. 2:11-CV-290 (S.D.T.X. […]

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Filings plummet but US firms reap big bankruptcy profits – The Global Legal Post

Filings plummet but US firms reap big bankruptcy profits – The Global Legal Post.  As reported: “US law firms continue to rack up significant fees in bankruptcy work despite a 14 per cent drop in business filings, recently published research has revealed. A report on the AmLaw Daily web site maintains that although corporate bankruptcy filings have […]

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Fifth Circuit Upholds Fee Award of Debtor’s Counsel Who Received Retainer by Creditor

In Robbye R. Waldron v. Adams & Reese, L.L.P. (In re American International Refinery, Inc.), the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals recently upheld the fee award to bankruptcy counsel to the debtor, notwithstanding that such counsel was indirectly paid a pre-bankruptcy retainer by a secured creditor of the debtor. The Court did, however, affirm the bankruptcy […]

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Texas Bankruptcy Court Enforces Standards for Retention of Counsel

The Bankruptcy Code contains elaborate rules for the employment of counsel, accountants, consultants, financial advisors and other outside professionals in all bankruptcy cases.  These rules generally require bankruptcy court approval of all professional engagements.  Section 327 of the Bankruptcy Code and Federal Rule of Bankruptcy Procedure 2014, as modified by Court opinions, contain the primary standards that bankruptcy courts use to approve […]

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