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October 27, 2009 6:40 PM

Bankruptcy Court Approves $31 Million More in Chrysler Legal Fees

Posted by Brian Baxter

A U.S. bankruptcy judge has approved an additional $31 million in legal fees for six firms retained in the Chapter 11 case of Old Carco, the auto manufacturer formerly known as Chrysler.

The lion's share of the money will go to lead bankruptcy counsel Jones Day, which submitted a request for fees and expenses totaling $21.3 million for work between April 30 and August 31.

Jones Day agreed to defer payment on $213,663 in fees for work it did on issues that lacked the consent of the government. The Am Law Daily noted last week that the Treasury Department had moved to foreclose on a $262 million escrow account Chrysler is using to pay its lawyers unless the company starts repaying a $3.8 billion credit line the Treasury extended in June.

New York bankruptcy boutique Togut, Segal & Segal, Chrysler's Chapter 11 conflicts counsel, billed for $2.9 million in fees and expenses between April 30 and August 31. The firm's September compensation request was for an additional $181,263.

Schulte Roth & Zabel billed Chrysler for $5.1 million for its role in brokering the car maker's strategic alliance with Fiat this summer. (Schulte Roth is longtime counsel to Chrysler's former owner, private equity giant Cerberus Capital Management.)

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, which served as Chrysler's lead European adviser on its partnership agreement with Fiat, billed for $1.4 million in fees and expenses between April 30 and September 24. 

Michigan firm Dykema Gossett, which has handled litigation matters for Chrysler, billed for $230,471 in fees and expenses between May 1 and August 31.

A firm advising Chrysler's independent directors, Cahill Gordon & Reindel, received bankruptcy court approval to expand its role as special counsel. Cahill billed for $98,497 in fees and expenses in September.

Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, which represents Chrysler's creditors committee, billed for $184,711 in fees and expenses in September.

So what assets are left in Chrysler's bankruptcy case? For one, an assembly plant and its surrounding property in beautiful Newark, Del.

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