Sidley Austin Charging $1100/Hour For Tribune Bankruptcy Work

01/30/2009 04:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011
  • Linda Sandler and Lindsay Fortado Bloomberg

Dec. 30 (Bloomberg) -- Sidley Austin lawyers are asking as much as $1,100 an hour for bankruptcy work on Tribune Co., surpassing the rates charged by Weil, Gotshal & Manges in the Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. case, the largest in history.

Tribune, the Chicago-based newspaper publisher taken private by real-estate billionaire Sam Zell, filed bankruptcy Dec. 8. The company sought court approval in a Dec. 26 filing to pay Sidley's bankruptcy group $575 to $1,100 an hour for partners, $400 to $875 an hour for counsel and senior counsel, $240 to $650 an hour for associates, and $95 to $385 an hour for paraprofessionals.

"That's the highest hourly rate I have seen or heard of for a bankruptcy lawyer," said Lynn LoPucki, who teaches bankruptcy law at the University of California at Los Angeles. "For the past 11 years the fees of bankruptcy professionals have been steadily rising -- through good times and bad."

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