The ongoing FTX bankruptcy saga has resulted in a staggering cost of legal fees, as revealed by recent court filings. In January alone, the total bill for legal work and expenses reached $38 million.Among the firms involved in the case, Sullivan & Cromwell has emerged as the biggest beneficiary. As the counsel responsible for discovery, asset disposition, and asset analysis/recovery, the firm submitted an invoice for $16.8 million to cover the 14,569 hours of legal work performed in January.This is a significant improvement for Sullivan & Cromwell, as they had faced the risk of being removed from the case in December.The Department of Justice objected to FTX hiring the firm claiming a conflict of interest in the proceedings. Sam Bankman-Fried further posted objections, claiming that law firm staff pressured him into declaring bankruptcy in November 2022.However, Sullivan & Cromwell received a vote of confidence when in Late January, a Delaware Court ruled they could continue to work on the case.Other legal firms were able to scoop smaller mouthfuls out of the pot.Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sullivan billed $1.4m as the Special Counsel responsible for asset analysis and recovery, alongside avoidance actions.Meanwhile, Landis Rath & Cobb came away from January with the smallest take, charging only $663,995 for handling hearings, litigation, and asset disposition.All in all, legal expenses accounted for just shy of $19m (around 50%).On the financial side, industry services firm Alvarez & Marsal submitted the largest charge, billing $12.3m for a combined 5,644 hours working on avoidance action, financial analysis, and accounting.This was followed by AlixPartners, a firm retained on the case to conduct forensic analysis on DeFi products and tokens. They billed $2.1m for 2,454 hours of work.Finally, investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners continued to charge their monthly fee of $450,000. Responsible for devising a restructuring strategy, so far, the firm has focused on the sale of LedgerX and FTX to create liquidity for creditors.Collectively the firms billed an additional $325,000 in expenses with almost $20,000 spent on food in January alone.Alvarez and Marsal were among the biggest spenders and they're rising to become one of the most expensive components of the case. Representing 68% of the expenses costs for the case, this firm spent $12,347 on meals in January alone.Overall, Alvarez and Marsal also charged the highest hourly rate of any firm.As the costs continue to stack up, creditors remain at a loss, and as is all too often in bankruptcy proceedings, the real winners are the representatives, at least for the time being.
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