The Work

May 18, 2009 6:43 PM

Stanford Receiver: $20 Million in Fees, Please

Posted by Zach Lowe

Getting a piece of a major bankruptcy or a billion-dollar Ponzi fraud can keep a law firm humming for months at a time, and the $8 billion Allen Stanford case is no exception. Late Friday, the attorney acting as the court-appointed receiver in the case of Sir Allen and his phony certificates of deposit submitted for the court's approval a bill for fees totaling about $20 million, according to the Houston Chronicle

The filing (available below) by attorneys for the receiver (Dallas-based Krage & Janvey) shows that Baker Botts has been the big winner among law firms in the Stanford case. Exactly 101 Baker lawyers have represented Janvey on any number of issues, including tracking down Stanford's assets around the world; preparing clawback suits that could net as much as $300 million; and keeping Stanford's assets safe from liquidators around the world and investors seeking to get their money back immediately. 

Baker Botts, like all legal and accounting firms involved on the matter, has discounted its hourly rates by about 20 percent; rates for the top partners max out at $555 per hour. 

Thompson & Knight, which is helping the receiver dispose of Stanford's offices and deal with foreign investors, is next with about $1.8 million in legal fees. (You may recall that partners from Thompson & Knight and Krage & Janvey were accused of unlawfully seizing property that belonged to ex-Stanford executive Laura Pendergest-Holt--and rummaging through her underwear drawer--during a search in February. Pendergest-Holt is the only person associated with Stanford to face criminal charges so far; federal authorities have charged her with lying to the SEC.)

Krage & Janvey's bills total about $560,000, court records show. 

The fee application explains that lawyers have tracked down $70 million in cash in an account the receiver now controls and an estimated $300 million more in cash located in non-U.S. accounts that liquidators in Antigua, where Stanford's banking empire was headquartered, have claimed. Stanford has asked the court to unfreeze his assets so that he can spend about $10 million on his own legal defense. 

(Download Stanford fee applicatiion)

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