AmLaw Daily spent the morning digging into some of the filings already crowding the Chrysler bankruptcy docket, but it’s going to be a while before we find one more interesting than Jones Day’s application to be Chrysler’s lead counsel.
The firm already has billed Chrysler a smidgen more than $18.5 million since Chrysler paid the firm $1 million in late November to establish a retainer, according to the Jones Day filing, which you can download below. About $5.8 million remains in the retainer, meaning Jones Day has drawn down just over $13 million so far, the filing says.
Also of interest: the firm is staying below the magic $1,000 per hour mark that a few firms have jumped over in bankruptcies this year. Corrine Ball, the lead bankruptcy partner in the Chrysler case, is billing at $900 per hour. She’s actually not the top-billing partner, though. That distinction goes to John Cornell, who will be advising Chrysler on employee benefits and executive compensation to the tune of $950 per hour.
One other nugget from the filing: According to the firm’s engagement letter from November, Jones Day was advising General Motors in its talks with Cerberus Capital Management on a possible GM-Chrysler mega-merger. Should those talks reopen–an unlikely happening now, we realize–Jones Day would still advise GM and build a wall between its GM and Chrysler teams, the letter says.
The only other firm application so far is that of Togut, Segal & Segal, which will serve as conflicts counsel for Chrysler and advise on any matters that present a conflict for Jones Day. Togut partners will bill between $760 and $890 per hour; associate and counsel rates will range from $295 to $680.
Togut is familiar with this role, and their recent conflicts representations read like a list of tombstones in the U.S. auto industry graveyard. Since 2005, Togut has served as bankruptcy conflicts counsel for several leading auto suppliers, including Tower Automotive, Dura Corporation and Delphi, according to their application.