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May 25, 2011 5:56 PM

Former Weil Bankruptcy 'Star' Leaves for Claims Trading Business

Posted by Brian Baxter

Lawyers and other outside advisers working on the ongoing bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers billed for another $27.1 million in April. As The Am Law Daily combed through the latest filings, we noticed that one top legal biller from lead counsel Weil, Gotshal & Manges was no longer at the firm.

Shai Waisman--a former business finance and restructuring partner at Weil who has been identified by more than one media outlet in recent years as one of the New York bankruptcy bar's bright young stars--left the firm last month, a Weil spokeswoman confirmed.

Waisman, 39, was one of the top partners at Weil assigned to the Lehman case. According to a recent interim fee application filed by the firm for the period between February 1 and May 31 of last year, Waisman received more compensation for billable time on the case than even Weil bankruptcy honcho Harvey Miller. (Only five Weil partners were due more in total compensation than Waisman during that period.)

Waisman's last filings in the Lehman case came in early April. It was around that time that he left Weil and joined Claims Recovery Group LLC (CRG), a claims trading operation based in Cresskill, N.J., according to several sources familiar with his move.

An e-mail sent to Waisman at CRG, which buys and sells distressed claims against bankrupt entities, was not immediately returned by the time of this post. A message left at a Manhattan phone number listed under Waisman's name was not returned, nor was a message left for him at CRG.

Waisman, who made partner at Weil at 32 and has handled several major bankruptcy assignments in addition to Lehman, isn't the first Am Law 100 partner to make a move to the business side. In March, we reported that Nick Saggese, a recently retired partner from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, had joined boutique investment bank Moelis & Company as a senior adviser.

Just this week, New York-based private equity firm Blue Wolf Capital Partners announced that it had hired Patton Boggs deputy managing partner and management committee member Charles Miller as a partner. Miller will serve as chief compliance officer for Blue Wolf, which has been a client of Miller's for several years.

Waisman's move to CRG comes at a time when the pace of business bankruptcy filings in the U.S. has slowed down after a busy period that coincided with the country's econcomic downturn. Still, the Lehman bankruptcy churns on.

According to a monthly operating report filed this week with the SEC, Weil took home another $7.9 million in April, bringing its total tab in the Lehman case to $293.8 million. Weil saw gross revenue drop almost 4 percent to roughly $1.2 billion in 2010, while profits per partner fell 2.4 percent to $2.26 million last year, according to the firm's most recent Am Law 100 financial data.

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