The Los Angeles Dodgers have received a bill from former Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP bankruptcy attorney Bruce Bennett for the work the firm did on the team’s Chapter 11 filing. The bill was for close to $13 million. The bill includes a bonus of $500,000 that Bennett said is ‘modest’ compared to the result achieved, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The team was sold for $2 billion in Chapter 11, which covered the organization’s bills and left $1.4 billion to be paid “to or for the benefit of” former owner Frank McCourt. Bennett now works for the law firm of Jones Day LLP. The legal team for the Dodgers will have cost the franchise the same amount of money that pitcher Ted Lilly will make in 2013, $13 million, according to Sports Illustrated/CNN.
The legal bill was filed with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Wilmington, Delaware by Bennett as ‘special counsel’ for Dewey. The court documents said that the firm has yet to pay Bennett and his team for “remaining with their failing law firm to ensure that the Dodgers met the critical sale and closing deadlines.” The court papers said that Bennett and his team remained on the Dodgers case as Dewey spiraled towards bankruptcy.
“The restructuring attorneys from Dewey who represented the Dodgers remained with the firm until the very end–even after it became clear that they would not be paid for the exhaustive [and exhausting] services they were rendering,” court papers said.
As Dewey was collapsing, Bennett and his team were fighting Major League Baseball, “which had and has a reputation for hand-picking new owners based on considerations not always related to maximization of value,” the court papers said.
A large chunk of the $12.4 million bill was collected prior to May, which is when the Dodgers exited bankruptcy and the firm enter Chapter 11, according to the filing in court. Eighty-five percent of the $500,000 bonus requested by the firm will go to whomever Bennett picks. This was announced in documents filed in New York bankruptcy court that oversees the final affairs of Dewey.
The legal team for the Dodgers from Dewey included Bennett, James O. Johnston, Sidney Levenson and Joshua Mester. This team signed a settlement that was approved in October, according to court documents. McCourt, the only person with a financial stake, agreed to pay the bonus billed by Bennett. When the Dodgers left bankruptcy in the spring, as new owners took over the team, cash was stashed in the bankruptcy shell of the team. That cash was stashed to take care of professional fees.