CIT was allowed to officially add Sullivan & Cromwell to the laundry list of lawyers handling its bankruptcy, and it made sure the firm would be paid specific hourly rates.
S&C has been advising CIT Group’s board since August (when it was trying to avoid bankruptcy), but asked the court to approve the firm’s change from counsel to the board to special counsel to the company.
Three sources familiar with the case told The American Lawyer the change was made to make sure S&C and head partner Rodge Cohen would stay on the case by ensuring approval of payment to the firm by the debtor’s estate. Bankruptcy judges reject payments to the board’s counsel as separate from the actual company, the article notes.
And the hourly rates approved are, not surprisingly, high. S&C partners are approved from rates between $850 and $950, but Rodge got special approval for $965. (We wonder why the $15 makes any real difference – maybe it’s just a rule of sorts that Rodge, as firm chairman and all-around-revered attorney, will be paid the most.)
While no one denies that $965 is insanely high, we’ve never heard of anyone who says Rodge is not worth it. As the recent New York Times profile reported, people basically feel like it would take multiple regularly-paid attorneys to equal the mind of everyone’s favourite Subaru driver.
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