Voyager creditors pay $16.4 million in legal fees

abdelaziz Fathi

A New York-based law firm representing Voyager’s committee of unsecured creditors has filed a compensation claim amounting to $5.1 million for the legal services it provided between March 1 and May 13, 2023.

According to a court filing, McDermott Will & Emery billed an hourly rate of $1,026.76 for the legal assistance rendered during the specified period. With the recent bill, the total fees charged to the group reached $16.4 million, surpassing the originally budgeted sum of $11.2 million that was allocated as part of the restructuring process.

Of this billed compensation, creditors have paid out $8.9 million thus far. The debtor in this case also paid a separate bill of $1.1 million to the law firm Kirkland & Ellis for the legal representation it rendered on behalf of Voyager.

Examining the breakdown of billings from McDermott attorneys, one notable point includes a bill of $1 million, accounting for 970.9 hours devoted to plan and disclosure settlement activities. These efforts entail discussions with the debtors about potential sale options, engaging with potential buyers, and examining objections raised by other stakeholders.

The company also provided a range of legal services to Voyager Digital, as outlined in their listing. This involves advising the committee on their powers and responsibilities under the bankruptcy rules.

Furthermore, McDermott attorneys attended meetings and engaged in negotiations with representatives of the debtors and other relevant parties. This encompassed drafting motions, applications, answers, orders, reports, replies, responses, and other pertinent papers required throughout the bankruptcy proceedings.

In previous fee periods, McDermott Will & Emery claims it dedicated considerable effort to explore a potential sale of Voyager Digital’s assets to FTX, a deal that ultimately fell through due to the bankruptcy of SBF’s crypto empire.

Voyager is gearing up to allow its customers to withdraw their funds, almost a year after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. According to the bankruptcy plan administrator, Paul Hage, the customers were granted the opportunity to complete necessary forms and get a glimpse of the initial withdrawal amount they can expect.

Having received court approval on May 17, the bankruptcy plan will allow customers to initially recover 35.72% of their claims. The ruling allows the company to proceed with returning approximately $1.33 billion worth of crypto assets to its customers.

Voyager plans to reimburse its customers by returning the same type of cryptocurrency that was held in their accounts, dismissing speculation that it would consider an alternative payment method. Specifically, major coins, including Aave (AAVE), Ethereum (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and 65 others, will not be liquidated but rather returned to customers in digital form.

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