Tribune, the Chicago-based newspaper publisher, filed for bankruptcy on December 8th.
The company sought court approval 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, professor of bankruptcy law at the University of California Los Angeles.
Weil Gotshal partners charge $650 to $950 an hour on Lehman, which filed the biggest bankruptcy in history September 15th with $613 billion in debt.
In the year before its bankruptcy, Tribune paid Sidley almost $3 million in fees, plus $52,000 in expenses for restructuring work and preparation of filings. Those sums were taken out of advance retainers of $4.5 million.