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$500/hr is enough!

The Associated Press reports that bankruptcy lawyers for Northwest Airlines, who had requested $4 million in bonuses over and above the (on average) $500 per hour they had contractually agreed to receive to handle the airline's bankruptcy, have been rebuffed by the court.

U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Allan Gropper ruled their agreed-upon wages provided adequate compensation. The judge added that for attorneys to deserve a "fee enhancement," their work should have a remarkable result that couldn't be expected from lawyers paid their regular fees. Those objecting to the bonus (a flight attendants union as well as the U.S. Trustee and a creditor-turned-shareholder) noted that NWA's share price has dropped 22 percent since the company emerged from court protection on May 31, 2007. I'm not sure that stock fluctuations are as probative as the objectors claim, but I am nonetheless refreshed that the court has held attorneys to their contract.



Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.