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On Lehman’s “results”

One of those filings that slipped through the cracks these past few days was this monthly report from Lehman Brothers. Oddly enough the 8K was filed the same day that former Chairman and CEO Richard Fuld’s resignation letter was filed, which, of course, was picked up by numerous media outlets.

But the numbers are far more interesting, especially since the schedule filed last week, which covers expenses through March, represents six months since Lehman filed for bankruptcy. Needless to say, the cost of unwinding Lehman hasn’t been cheap with the total bill running just over $132 million. Here’s a brief run-down on some of the expenses:

  • Alvarez & Marsal $61.8 million ($14.8 million in March)
  • Weil Gotshal $36.3 million ($20 million just in the month of March alone!)
  • Lazard Freres $5.98 million (all in the month of March)
  • Milbank Tweed $7.8 million

One of the things that quickly jumps out when looking at the list is the number of special counsels. There’s a special counsel for investment banking and one for IT contracts and another for conflicts. And there’s a derivatives consultant, although that firm, Natixis Capital Markets, didn’t appear to do any work for Lehman in March (or at least hasn’t submitted its invoice). There’s also an art consultant, though that only cost $19,000, which, given Lehman’s art collection seems like a bargain.

Last month, based on a schedule filed in bankruptcy court, the WSJ reported that the fees to various law firms involved in the Lehman case were approaching $100 million and that Weil Gotshal’s fees had already reached $55 million based on this document (pdf) filed as part of the bankruptcy case. What’s not clear to me is why the fees listed in the 8K — particularly for Weil Gotshal — differ so dramatically from those listed in the bankruptcy court filing. Anyone got any good ideas?