Arizona residents might be startled to learn that the Lehman bankruptcy is reportedly the largest one in history. Five years after the date of filing, the attorney fees for the case have reached an astonishing $2.2 billion. Numerous lawyers, consultants, accountants and other professionals have assisted in the bankruptcy since September 2008.


According to a law professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, the Lehman bankruptcy was a very complicated case. Adding to the complexity of the business bankruptcy was the fact that it was not planned. Not only was the bankruptcy a big one, but it had distinct issues as well.


The firm was originally protected under Chapter 11 bankruptcy, but that expired in March 2012. The firm is still working on paying creditors and selling off assets to do so. At current, the firm is a liquidating trust that has distributed almost $48 billion to creditors so far. According to a recent estimate, creditors will be paid around $80 billion against their almost $309 billion claims. The process of the firm paying off creditors will likely take several more years, sources report.


According to the bankruptcy judge presiding over the case, the amount of legal fees associated with the case is not so astounding when one takes into account the size of the case. Rather, it was appropriate given the scale and complexity of the bankruptcy. At one point, one law firm alone had approximately 160 people working on the case. That firm also managed to increase the value of the Lehman estate by approximately $50 billion.


Any business or individual needing to file bankruptcy may benefit from the aid of a bankruptcy attorney. This individual may be able to determine what kind of bankruptcy is best for someone’s unique situation. They may also ensure that the consumer files their paperwork appropriately and accurately the first time.


Source: CNN, “Five years later, Lehman bankruptcy fees hit $2.2 billion“, James O’Toole, September 13, 2013