In case you were worried that the AIG bailout was just another wealth-transfer from ordinary taxpayers to the people who needed it the least, we are pleased to report that some of the AIG beneficiaries are now giving back.
New York law firm Davis Polk has made advising on the AIG break-up a sort of pro-bono affair. Its partners are giving taxpayers a 10% discount on their normal fees–which means they’re only charging us $950 an hour.
This “is not a common practice,” says Marshall Huebner, Davis Polk’s lead attorney on the matter.** (WSJ)
Thanks, Marshall. We feel so grateful now.
* UPDATE: Actually, we apparently should be grateful. The lead counsel for AIG, a reader says, is Sullivan & Cromwell, which is charging full rates.
** We don’t happen to have been attorneys in our past life, but does this sound like b.s. to anyone else? The big law firms we’ve worked with usually give huge discounts, as long as you’re sending a lot of business their way (which the taxpayer sure as heck is in this case) and as long as you scream loudly enough.
So who’s in charge of screaming at Davis Polk? And who’s in charge of threatening Davis Polk that if they don’t keep the fees to a reasonable level, they’re going to be replaced with Skadden or Sullivan & Cromwell?
Someone, we hope.
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