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Lawyers, advisers and other professionals working on the FTX bankruptcy have racked up $200mn in fees as they attempt to restructure the “smouldering heap of wreckage” left behind by the cryptocurrency exchange’s collapse in November, an independent auditor found.
In a 47-page filing on Tuesday, a court-appointed fee examiner said she believed the amounts invoiced by hundreds of lawyers from firms including Sullivan & Cromwell and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, alongside other financial and tax advisers, were not “wholly unreasonable”.
“FTX is hardly the first business organisation felled by a knave,” Katherine Stadler wrote, in an apparent reference to the company’s founder Sam Bankman-Fried, who was charged by federal prosecutors last December over his exchange’s spectacular implosion.
“What makes these cases extraordinary, however, is the largely unregulated financial system in which the debtors (and other similar financial technology companies) operate, combined with their global scope, the complete absence of corporate records, and the non-existence of even the most basic corporate governance,” she added.
Stadler’s report, which focused on the fees requested for the first 90