A Texas law firm tied to a prominent bankruptcy judge’s alleged ethical misconduct is seeking to keep its status as a go-to firm in one of the country’s busiest bankruptcy courts.
The Justice Department’s bankruptcy watchdog has accused Jackson Walker of failing to disclose potential conflicts of interest after a onetime partner at the firm, Elizabeth Freeman, was alleged to be in a romantic relationship with bankruptcy Judge David R. Jones, who regularly oversaw the firm’s cases. The allegations have put Jackson Walker in an unusual position for a firm that’s known in bankruptcy circles for its role as the right hand of corporate restructuring powerhouse Kirkland & Ellis for its Houston-based cases.
The US Trustee late last week challenged at least $13 million in fees the firm earned while representing clients before Jones in the US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of Texas.
Jones presided in at least 26 cases where Jackson Walker was awarded compensation and expenses while Freeman worked at the firm and lived with Jones in an intimate relationship, the US Trustee said in court filings. The firm has said it made sure that Freeman wouldn’t work on or bill for any cases Jones was