Madoff Trustee, Law Firm Submit $22.1 Million Bill


Bernard Madoff's bankruptcy trustee and the law firm employing him have asked a U.S. judge to be awarded $22.1 million in fees for five months of work, boosting their combined total bill to more than $37.5 million.

Bernard Madoff
AP Graphics

Baker & Hostetler LLP requested $21.28 million of fees plus $280,682 to cover expenses for acting as counsel to trustee Irving Picard for the five months ended Sept.

30, according to a filing Monday with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan.

The firm, where Picard is a partner, had previously been awarded $14.66 million of fees and $274,203 for expenses for the Dec. 15, 2008 to April 30, 2009 period, comprising more than 38,270 hours of work.

Picard is separately seeking $835,605 of fees for the May 1 to Sept. 30 period for acting as trustee for the Securities Investor Protection Corp, the federally chartered agency that supervises brokerage liquidations.

He was previously awarded $759,229 for the 4-1/2 months ended April 30.

Picard is supervising the liquidation of Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, home to Madoff's estimated $65 billion Ponzi scheme. He is trying to recover assets to repay victims, including through auctions of Madoff's personal effects.

Last month, he said he had recovered $1.4 billion of assets, just 7 percent of the $21.2 billion of investor losses he had found.

Picard is also responsible for determining which Madoff investors have valid claims and which benefited unwittingly from the fraud.

As of Nov. 19, Picard had allowed 1,626 claims totaling $4.67 billion, and denied 1,395 claims. Several other firms are seeking more than $2.6 million of fees for work over various periods, Monday's filing shows.

Nearly all fee applicants accepted a discount from their normal billing rates and most, including Picard and his law firm, agreed to defer some fees until the liquidation is over.

A court hearing on the fee requests is scheduled for Dec. 17. Objections are due by Dec. 14.

Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence in North Carolina.