Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Chrysler Bankruptcy :: Trends in Corporate Bankruptcy up or down?

If you listened to the news several weeks ago, you probably heard that General Motors had paid off all that had been loaned to them by the federal government. Unfortunately for Chrysler, they have not share the same fortunate fate... not that it's all rainbows and unicorns at GM, by any means.

According to the Wall Street Journal's August 13 article about the Chrysler bankruptcy, what Chrysler owes just to the bankruptcy attorneys are in the neighborhood of $85 million... quite a sum for Chapter 11 bankruptcy help.

With regard to the primary bankruptcy law firm handling the Chrysler case, Eric Morath of the WSJ writes, "Jones Day charged an average of $500 per hour for the work done during the first four months of this year."

But Jones Day was not the only firm working on the Chrysler chapter 11 bankruptcy -- as one can imagine, a bankruptcy of this magnitude requires droved of law teams and their respective staff members.

Morath adds, "Nortel Networks, a company about a quarter the size of Chrysler when it filed for Chapter 11 in January 2009, has paid its attorneys and advisers $76 million in fees through the first 18 months of the case, according to Am Law Daily."

So it seems that while Chrysler tries to get out of the woods with their bankruptcy, the proceedings may be more than just a minor financial blow.

So the question remains: with some larger companies trudging up the bankruptcy hill with some level of success, others have larger mountains to climb. No one can really say with any level of accuracy what the real trends in corporate bankruptcy will look like over the next 12 to 24 months... at least.

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