Trustee’s and Lawyers’ Fees Top $800 Million in Madoff Case – So Far

Trustee’s and Lawyers’ Fees Top $800 Million in Madoff Case – So Far

 The outsized breadth and scope of the Madoff Ponzi scheme has required an outsized effort to investigate it and to respond to it, and that has required attorneys – a lot of them, spending a lot of time, over the past five years.

The law firm of Baker & Hostetler LLP is primary counsel to the Madoff trustee, Irving H. Picard - a partner at the firm. The breadth of all of the work of all of the Baker lawyers can be seen from the 13 requests for payment of its legal fees that the firm has made to the court overseeing the Madoff case. The firm said that these requests reflect “[h]undreds of thousands of hours” of work on the case.

Before getting into the details, it is worth noting that all payments to the firm are from the Securities Investor Protection Corporation, not from monies recovered by the trustee.

With that said, let’s take a look at the law firm’s most recent request for fees: 

Request Number 13 is for a three month period, from May 1, 2013 through and including July 31, 2013, and a hearing is scheduled on the request for later this week.

During the three months covered in this fee application, the firm spent 82,039 hours on the Madoff case – about 900 hours a day. That’s a lot of lawyers at the firm working on Madoff every day, day in and day out.

The trustee himself spent 341.70 hours on the case during this period, and his lead counsel, David Sheehan, spent 469.10 hours.  Both are billing at a rate of $950.00 per hour. (The “blended” attorney rate for lawyers at the firm working on Madoff was $450.77 per hour.)

Paralegals, clerks, library staff, and other non-legal staff at the firm alone spent over 12,500 hours in the aggregate on Madoff during these three months.


By the way, the total fees for lawyers for the trustee and for Picard to date have exceeded $800 million for the Madoff case.

More discussion of Madoff developments will appear in upcoming posts on the Financial Fraud Law Blog.

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