Late-night takeout, taxi fares and $1,800-an-hour lawyers rack up millions in fees for Limerick-based lessor Nordic Aviation Capital as it winds its way through bankruptcy in the United States.
The lessor is also in the process of selling eight jets to American Airlines, according to court documents.
The sale of the four aging Embraers and four newer CRJ jets will result in a $68 million (€62 million) cash increase for the lessor.
Nordic Aviation Capital (NAC) is being taken over by its lenders after being hit by the impact of the Covid pandemic on the global airline industry.
NAC is the largest regional aircraft lessor in the world, with a fleet of 500 people.
NAC began bankruptcy proceedings in the United States on December 19 after reaching a consensual agreement with lenders who hold more than 73% of the $6.3 billion in debt of the lessors.
Law firms and others working on the Chapter 11 process on behalf of the NAC must submit claims for work undertaken in Virginia bankruptcy court.
US international law firm Kirkland & Ellis – the world’s largest law firm by revenue – submitted a claim for just over $4 million, representing 80% of the $5 million fee which, according to him, were accumulated with the cabinet between December 17 and January 31. .
The detailed court submission shows that Kirkland & Ellis charges $765 an hour for associates newly brought into the firm and working on NAC’s restructuring.
Associates admitted a few years ago to charging up to $1,125 an hour.
Law firm associates charge up to $1,845 per hour.
Kirkland & Ellis is NAC’s restructuring adviser, while Clifford Chance and Irish firm William Fry act as legal advisers. Ernst & Young is its restructuring adviser, while Rothschild acts as its investment banker.
Kirkand & Ellis billed for everything from photocopies – extra for color copies – to takeout, in-flight Wi-Fi, taxi fares and phone calls.
They include amounts as low as 32c for image scanning, $20 for food from online delivery platform GrubHub and $10.99 for a taxi home for someone who worked late.
Rothschild has just filed a $1.5 million claim with the bankruptcy court for work undertaken between December 17 and the end of January.
The four Embraer jets sold by NAC were leased from Aeromexico until July 2020. The CRJ jets had been leased from Dublin-based CityJet.
The Embraers are sold for $4 million each and the CRJs for $13 million each.