Costs of Detroit’s bankruptcy reach about $178M

Maglan Capital David Tawil on the importance of Detroit exiting bankruptcy.


Legions of lawyers, consultants and other advisers have been paid nearly $178 million for their work on Detroit’s historic bankruptcy, a number that comes in under budget but still makes it the most expensive municipal restructuring in U.S. history.

The city of Detroit detailed the fees and expenses paid to dozens of advisers in a filing made Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Detroit. The city recently exited bankruptcy protection after cutting about $7 billion of $18 billion in long-term obligations and promising to reinvest more than $1.4 billion in essential city services.

As the bankruptcy advisers and a court-appointed emergency financial manager leave the city, a new set of overseers will soon enter the scene. As part of its restructuring, a financial oversight commission will have direct control over the city's budget for at least three years and indirect oversight for at least 10 years after that.

The law firm Jones Day led the way in the fees disclosed Tuesday with a $57.9 million bill. Detroit hired the firm in the months leading up to its July 2013 bankruptcy filing and chose one of its former partners, Kevyn Orr, to be emergency manager. Orr resigned in mid-December after almost 21 months in office.

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