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March 17, 2009 5:41 PM

More Firms Get Gov't Money for Bailout Work

Posted by Zach Lowe

It's been a while since we've taken a look at which firms are getting bailout work, so it's good to know the blog Bailout Sleuth is on the case while we're obsessing over bankruptcies and Bernard Madoff. Today, the blog alerted us to two new contracts the Treasury Department signed with law firms for advisory work on bailout transactions. 

The contracts are with Simpson Thacher & Bartlett (a bailout veteran) and Venable, which becomes the seventh Am Law firm to score bailout work, according to this list of Treasury contracts. (Warning: Some of the Treasury links are broken.) As has become Treasury's custom (unfortunately), the contracts are not very informative--especially on the details we'd most like to know. They run for six months and will pay each firm between $50,000 and $5 million (quite a range) for their work on capital purchases in banks and holding companies. The contracts include hourly rates for partners and associates, but, alas, those are redacted. 

You'll recall that Simpson was the first firm to jump on the bailout bandwagon in October, when it accepted a $300,000 contract to advise Treasury on capital purchases--a deal four other firms rejected, most likely because of Treasury's onerous conflicts rules, according to experts and sources within the firms we talked to.  Hughes, Hubbard & Reed and Squire, Sanders & Dempsey scored the bigger deals--worth $5.5 million each--in helping Treasury draft documents on hundreds of bailout asset purchases.

The lead partners on the deal--Lee Meyerson at Simpson and John Beaty at Venable--did not immediately return calls seeking comment. 

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