Sears Holdings Corporation – Court Approves Appointment of Independent Fee Examiner as Professional Fees Soar Past $50mn Mark

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April 22, 2019 – The Court hearing the Sears Holdings Corporation case issued an order approving the appointment of Paul E. Harner as independent fee examiner [Docket No. 3307]. Fees to date in the Sears cases have now well eclipsed the $50.0mn mark (February 2019 M.O.R. notes $52.9mn, including the U.S. Trustee), with Lazard Freres and Weil Gotshal topping the list with $16.3mn and $12.3mn, respectively, paid from the commencement of the cases.

As previously cited from the U.S. Trustee’s requesting motion [Docket No. 1470], “Given the size and complexity of the chapter 11 cases, the United States Trustee requests that the Court authorize the appointment of an Independent Fee Examiner to review and report on as appropriate the monthly invoices submitted in accordance with the Compensation Order and all interim and final applications for allowance of compensation and reimbursement of expenses filed by professionals retained under sections 105, 327, or 1103 of the Bankruptcy Code or similar authority (the 'Retained Professionals'), in accordance with sections 328, 330, and 331 of the Bankruptcy Code and the Interim Compensation Order (collectively, the 'Applications'). The appointment of a fee examiner will promote consistency, predictability, and transparency when the Retained Professionals file their Applications. 

In addition, all parties will maintain their rights to review and contest any of the Applications. Because the Debtors’ business effects a large segment of the general consumer public, the appointment of a fee examiner will help ensure public confidence in the Bankruptcy system.”

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