24/7 work schedules not uncommon in corporate bankruptcies

Judge assures WaMu’s creditors that the hours they see on the bills are not, in fact, fraud

Creditors of Washington Mutual Bank’s (WaMu) parent company suspected fraud when Judge Mary Walrath approved the final fees in the bankruptcy case this week. The bills showed people working 24 hours a day, with no breaks for weeks. That couldn’t be right, they said.

Actually, it could. Walrath was nowhere near as surprised to see such strenuous work hours as the creditors were. She was a bankruptcy lawyer before she was a judge, and knows that a 24/7 work schedule is business as usual for large corporate bankruptcies.

“The day I started at my firm they filed a huge Chapter 11 case and I did not take a day off for six months,” Walrath said.

With that in mind, Walrath approved $80 million in bills for Weil, Gotshal & Manges, WaMu’s lead firm before regulatory seizure, and more than $70 million in fees for Alvarez & Marsal, which helped the company clean up its financial mess after regulatory action.

Read more at the Wall Street Journal.

For more InsideCounsel coverage of Washington Mutual, see below:

WaMu emerges from bankruptcy

WaMu reaches settlement with shareholders and creditors

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