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Lehman Pays Bankruptcy Advisers $20 Million in January

Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. paid its managers and advisers $20.3 million in January, according to a regulatory filing. The bankrupt firm and its affiliates held $27.4 billion in cash as of Jan. 31.

Restructuring firm Alvarez & Marsal, whose co-founder Bryan Marsal runs the defunct investment bank, has charged $512 million in fees since 2008. Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP has been paid almost $383 million in 40 1/2 months for acting as lead bankruptcy law firm, according to the filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Lehman, which has spent almost $1.6 billion on fees since filing the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history in September 2008, paid $54.1 million to lawyers and managers in December. Creditors are due to receive their first payment this month, which may be $12 billion to $14.7 billion, Lehman has said.

Lehman’s bankruptcy became America’s most costly in April 2010, when it surpassed the $757 million cost of Enron Corp.’s three-year liquidation, according to data assembled by bankruptcy professor Lynn LoPucki at the University of California, Los Angeles. The failed energy trader’s investors were paid 53 cents on the dollar, while Lehman’s $65 billion liquidation plan would give the average creditor less than 18 cents, according to court documents.

Lehman’s creditors range from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and hedge funds to the New York Giants and Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, as well as individuals who hold Lehman bonds. Once the world’s fourth-biggest investment bank, Lehman filed for bankruptcy with assets of $639 billion.

The case is In re Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., 08-13555, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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