The Work

October 15, 2010 11:52 AM

TARP Panel Details Law Firm Earnings from Government Contracts

Posted by Brian Baxter

In a 159-page report released Thursday, the Congressional Oversight Panel detailed how much the U.S. Treasury Department has paid to 18 law firms under contracts awarded in late 2008 in connection with the Troubled Asset Relief Program.

While the purpose of the COP report was to examine the use of private contractors under TARP and to probe possible conflicts of interest, sibling publication The National Law Journal notes that the report also reveals that in most cases the firms hired under the program have so far collected less than their contracts call for.

The biggest potential TARP winner: Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, which caused a bit of a stir last month by declining to testify at a COP hearing on the use of private contractors. The NLJ reports that the total value of Cadwalader's government contracts--which also includes a contract to advise federal regulators on a bailout of the auto industry--is $147 million.

Cadwalader has so far only collected about $19 million under its TARP contracts, and is owed about $3 million more for work it has already performed, according to The NLJ. Most firms named in the report have been paid only a small slice of the overall contract value.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett is the second-highest earning firm identified in the COP report, standing to receive $11 million from its contracts, while Squire, Sanders & Dempsey is poised to receive $7 million. (The Am Law Daily has previously reported on possible conflicts of interest issues facing both firms, which have been denied by the firms themselves and by the Treasury.)

Other TARP recipients include Bingham McCutchen, Debevoise & Plimpton, Hughes Hubbard & Reed, Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell, Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal (now SNR Denton), Venable, and Chicago boutique Fox, Hefter, Swibel, Levin & Carroll. The NLJ and the COP report have details on payments to all firms.

Firms that are not yet owed money but have been lined up to do TARP work under a $100 million omnibus legal services contract include Alston & Bird, Newark's Love & Long, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, Perkins Coie, and Washington, D.C., area firm Shulman Rogers Gandal Pordy & Ecker, according to The NLJ.

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