A partner at Dublin-based law firm William Fry has amassed €49,000 in fees in just over a month while working on the US bankruptcy of Limerick-based aircraft rental company Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC), court filings show.
Detailed cost breakdowns from the US case provide an exceptional insight into the financial realities of restructuring NAC’s multi-billion euro debt through the formal but swift legal process.
Solicitor David Maughan is a Partner in the firm’s Banking and Financial Advisory Group and Head of Aviation and Asset Finance.
His fees make up most of the €204,000 total collected by William Fry in fees for his work on the December 17 bankruptcy through the end of January.
NAC, of which Norman Liu is President and CEO, will complete its bankruptcy process next month.
The company is the world’s largest regional airline lessor and has been hit by the impact of the Covid pandemic on its airline customers.
The restructuring of a US$6.3 billion (€5.8 billion) mountain of debt will result in the deal being taken over by lenders.
Last week, a US court approved NAC’s restructuring plan immediately after the US Internal Revenue Service overturned an alleged last-minute appeal.
The restructuring plan calls for an infusion of nearly US$540 million (€500 million) of new capital through a US$337 million (€312 million) capital contribution and US$200 million (€185 million) in the form of a new revolving Credit facility – a type of flexible loan.
Law firms involved in bankruptcy proceedings are required to submit their detailed fee statements to the bankruptcy court for approval.
William Fry’s file shows his partners charge €660 an hour for their services. Senior Associates charge €490 per hour, Associates €420. Trainees in the company calculate 250 euros per hour.
Nine partners of the law firm invoiced a total of almost 149,000 euros for the period from December to January. Partner Craig Sowman billed €35,178 while Fergus Doorly billed €28,446.
William Fry has claimed 80% of the €204,082 due for services rendered, in line with the rebate granted by other law firms involved in the bankruptcy.
The fees are modest compared to the millions of dollars being charged by a number of US law firms working on the bankruptcy.
The Irish law firm’s work on the case covered various aspects of the bankruptcy, including attending board meetings, emailing to appoint a new chairman at NAC and dealing with liquidators of certain NAC entities.
William Fry also held discussions with HR clients to discuss recovering “overpayments made to laid-off employees”.
NAC’s head office is in Gardens International’s landmark development in Limerick.
William Fry’s files show his lawyers discussed the “Limerick lease” in January this year and exchanged emails with the agent.
Discussions have been held regarding a possible rejection of the headquarters lease by Chapter 11 or due to possible review.
The €23 million office project is owned by a company controlled by Limerick City and County Council.
https://www.independent.ie/business/nordic-aviation-capitals-debt-deal-legal-fees-cost-up-to-660-an-hour-41583465.html Attorney fees for debt transactions from Nordic Aviation Capital are up to €660 per hour