Detroit's bankruptcy tab tops $50 mln, likely to grow

WASHINGTON Wed Aug 6, 2014 10:55am EDT

WASHINGTON Aug 6 (Reuters) - The tab for the first nine months of Detroit's historic bankruptcy case is at least $51.19 million, according to a report on fees and expenses charged by the city's team of lawyers and consultants from July 2013 through March 2014.

Some of the numbers in the report, which was released late Tuesday night, will change and possibly send the total higher.

There were no March fees and expenses listed for Jones Day, indicating that the law firm's eventual charges will exceed the report's $17.35 million.

Meanwhile, the report only included fees and expenses from accountants Ernst & Young for January through March of this year, $3.69 million.

The firm has revised and redacted monthly invoices for July through December 2013, and the fee examiner will file supplements on those numbers in coming days, according to the report.

The city's emergency manager Kevyn Orr has said he hopes the final price tag for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history will not reach the hundreds of millions of dollars. Jefferson County, Alabama, which was the largest municipal bankruptcy before the Motor City filed for protection in July 2013, spent only about $25 million on its two-year case.

Alongside Jones Day, restructuring adviser Conway MacKenzie also charged a large sum - $8.34 million in fees and $26,351 in expenses over the nine months. Consultant firm Dentons has charged $7.41 million in fees and $365,526 in expenses.

Detroit will enter the final stretch of its case this month, with the confirmation hearing on its plan to adjust $18 billion in debt set to begin on Aug. 21. On Wednesday, Bankruptcy Court Judge Steven Rhodes held a preliminary hearing on the court-appointed expert witness, questions about the plan's feasibility, the status of exit financing, and other issues. (Reporting By Lisa Lambert; Editing by Nick Zieminski)

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