The law firms, investment banks and consultancies that worked with FTX on the bankruptcy case jointly invoiced the crypto exchange $34.18 million in January, court documents show.
FTX’s chief restructuring officer and new CEO, John J. Ray III, also received a hefty pay package, according to a March 6 filing.
Separate court filings on March 6 show that U.S. law firms Sullivan & Cromwell, Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, and Landis Rath & Cobb were billed $16.9 million, $1.44 million, and $684,000, respectively, for their services and expenses in January .
Lawyers and associates of Sullivan & Cromwell billed a total of 14,569 hours for their work, which equates to more than 600 days. Some partners were paid up to $2,165 an hour, while the firm’s paralegals and legal analysts settled for between $425 and $595 an hour.
The most expensive bills were discovery ($3.5 million), asset sales ($2.2 million), and general investigative work ($2 million).
It filed another hefty $7.5 million bill with FTX for the first 19 days of February.
Ray played a vital role in keeping Sullivan & Cromwell on board as legal counsel, after filing a court motion on Jan. 17 arguing that Sullivan & Cromwell had been integral to taking control of the “container fire which was handed to him.
His filing came in response to an objection to retaining the law firm on Jan. 14 by U.S. trustee Andrew Vara, who alleged that Sullivan & Cromwell had failed to adequately disclose its connections and previous work for FTX.
FTX’s special counsel, Landis Rath & Cobb, spent much of his working hours attending court hearings and trial proceedings. For its efforts, the company charged the FTX administrators $684,000 including expenses.
Between the three law firms, more than 180 attorneys and more than 50 non-lawyers worked on the case, most of whom were from Sullivan & Cromwell.
Forensic consulting firm AlixPartners billed $2.1 million for January. Nearly half of the company’s hours were spent on forensic analysis of decentralized finance (DeFi) products and tokens held by FTX.
Consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal billed $12.5 million for more than 17,100 hours it devoted to avoidance actions, financial analysis and accounting procedures.
Related: Breaking FTX’s bankruptcy: how it differs from other Chapter 11 cases
Investment bank Perella Weinberg Partners billed a monthly service fee of $450,000 plus more than $50,000 in expenses for planning a restructuring strategy and conducting third-party correspondence.
With FTX’s trial set for October, there are at least six months of legal work left for the law firms involved. Recent reports estimate that fees could run into the hundreds of millions by the time the case is over, potentially rivaling the $440 million in fees New York-based law firm Weil Gotshal earned after Lehman Brothers’ infamous bankruptcy in 2008.