Late-night takeaways, $1,800-an-hour taxi fares and lawyers are racking up millions of dollars in fees for Limerick-based lessor Nordic Aviation Capital as it fights its way through the bankruptcy in the United States.
The lessor is also in the process of selling eight planes to American Airlines, according to court documents.
The sale of the four older Embraer aircraft and the four newer CRJ aircraft will generate a cash increase of $68 million (€62 million) 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 world’s largest regional aircraft lessor, with a fleet of 500 aircraft.
NAC began its bankruptcy proceedings in the United States on December 19 after reaching a consensual agreement with lenders who own more than 73% of the lessors’ $6.3 billion debt.
Legal and other firms working on the Chapter 11 process on behalf of NAC must file claims for the work performed in Virginia bankruptcy court.
US international law firm Kirkland & Ellis, the world’s largest law firm by revenue, filed a claim for just over $4 million, representing 80% of the $5 million in fees that, according to what he says, they accumulated with the signature between December 17 and January 31. .
The detailed court filing shows that Kirkland & Ellis charges $765 per hour for associates newly admitted to the firm and working on NAC’s restructuring.
Associates admitted a few years ago to billing up to $1,125 an hour.
Partners at the law firm bill up to $1,845 an hour.
Kirkland & Ellis is NAC’s restructuring adviser, while Clifford Chance and the Irish firm William Fry are serving as legal advisers. Ernst & Young is its restructuring adviser, while Rothschild acts as investment banker.
Kirkand & Ellis has billed for everything from photocopies (more for color copies) to takeout, in-flight wi-fi, taxi fares and phone calls.
They include amounts as small as 32c for scanning pictures, $20 for food from online delivery platform GrubHub, and $10.99 for a taxi home for someone who worked late.
Rothschild has just submitted a $1.5 million claim to the bankruptcy court for work done between December 17 and the end of January.
The four Embraer aircraft sold by NAC were leased to Aeroméxico until July 2020. The CRJ aircraft had been leased to Dublin-based CityJet.
The Embraers sell for $4 million each and the CRJs for $13 million each.