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Phalanx of FTX Lawyers and Accountants Bill Nearly $40M for One Month’s Work

2 mins
Updated by Kyle Baird
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In Brief

  • Legal firms for FTX have collectively billed over $38M for January.
  • Newly appointed CEO John Ray III billed more than $300,000.
  • Alameda has sued Grayscale to claw back funds.
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Bankruptcy lawyers for the embattled crypto exchange FTX have submitted a hefty invoice for their work. Meanwhile, creditors are seeking their BTC back from Grayscale.

The phalanx of lawyers working with FTX on its bankruptcy case billed a whopping $38 million for their expenses in January. The epic bill is for a team of hundreds of lawyers, consultants, paralegals, and accountants, according to court documents.

FTX administrators have retained law firm Sullivan & Cromwell as counsel. Furthermore, Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart & Sullivan were retained in addition to Landis Rath & Cobb. The firms were acting as special counsel for the proceedings.

Collectively, the three law firms have more than 180 attorneys assigned to the case and over 50 additional staff.

According to the court filings, Sullivan & Cromwell billed 14,569 hours of work in January for $16.8 million. Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan billed $1.4 million, and Landis Rath & Cobb invoiced $663,995.

In early February, Sullivan & Cromwell submitted a bill for $7.5 million. This was just for the first 19 days of work it carried out after FTX filed for bankruptcy in November.

Financial services firms Alvarez & Marsal and Perella Weinberg Partners were also retained. Their jobs are to wade through FTX accounts and determine which assets can be sold. Alvarez & Marsal billed $12.3 million for the month, the second highest after Sullivan & Cromwell.

Consultancy AlixPartners was also retained to conduct forensics on DeFi products and FTX token holdings. It submitted a bill for $2.1 million for 2,454 hours of work.

Furthermore, FTX CEO John Ray III, who took the helm in November 2022, submitted a bill for $305,565 for the month of February.

Alameda Sues Grayscale

In a related development, FTX affiliate Alameda Research sued crypto asset manager Grayscale on March 6. The goal is to claw back at least $250 million to repay creditors, according to reports.

Furthermore, CEO Ray said they were using “every tool” to try and maximize recovery, adding:

“Our goal is to unlock value that we believe is currently being suppressed by Grayscale’s self-dealing and improper redemption ban.”

FTX Debtors are seeking injunctive relief to unlock $9 billion or more in value for shareholders of Grayscale’s Bitcoin and Ethereum Trusts.

The suit claims that Grayscale has charged “exorbitant management fees” and prevented shareholders from redeeming their shares.

In late February, FTX’s former engineering director, Nishad Singh, pleaded guilty to fraud charges as Sam Bankman-Fried’s inner circle shrinks.

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Martin Young
Martin Young is a seasoned cryptocurrency journalist and editor with over 7 years of experience covering the latest news and trends in the digital asset space. He is passionate about making complex blockchain, fintech, and macroeconomics concepts understandable for mainstream audiences.   Martin has been featured in top finance, technology, and crypto publications including BeInCrypto, CoinTelegraph, NewsBTC, FX Empire, and Asia Times. His articles provide an in-depth analysis of...
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