When it filed bankruptcy, PG&E committed to pay its army of bankruptcy lawyers on a monthly basis many millions of dollars in fees. Some of that money might better be directed to PG&E victims who have been homeless for years now, especially since PG&E swears in court that it filed it bankruptcy to serve the best interests of its victims.
Just how much will the bankruptcy lawyers take from the pot? Hard to say exactly, but certainly more than $1 million per day. Before all is said and done, fees are likely to total more than $750 million, perhaps a billion dollars. Nice haul.
The last large utility to file bankruptcy was the Texas utility called Energy Future Holdings in 2104. That bankruptcy yielded professional fees of more than $600 million.
But the Texas utility hadn’t hired PG&E’s New York lawyers, Weil Gotshal, who are among the world’s priciest. Weil Gotshal’s partners — and there is an army of them — charge bankrupt companies over $1500 per hour. Weil Gotshal’s paralegals bill out at more than $400 per hour – more than the partners in many San Francisco law firms. Heck, one of Weil Gotshal’s paralegals billed the Sears bankruptcy estate more than $170,000. In one month.
Seems that PG&E has plenty of money for its lawyers. If PG&E really cared about its victims, its hard to see why it couldn’t see its way clear to honor its promise a few weeks ago to throw a few dollars towards the victims of the 2015 Butte fire. After all, they lost everything and have been waiting more than three years to be paid.