The United States Department of Justice issued the United States Trustee Program’s new guidelines governing the review of attorney’s fees and expenses in larger chapter 11 cases earlier this week. The new guidelines will apply to all applications for reimbursement of fees and expenses of attorneys in “chapter 11 cases with $50 million or more in assets and $50 million or more in liabilities aggregated for jointly administrated cases.” The new guidelines will go into effect on November 1, 2013 and apply to all cases filed on or after that date that exceed the $50 million threshold. The old guidelines, originally promulgated by the United States Trustee Program in 1996, will remain in effect for all chapter 11 cases with assets and liabilities below $50 million. Additionally, the old guidelines will remain in effect for all currently pending chapter 11 cases.
The United States Trustee Program provided a list of frequently-asked-questions in connection with the new guidelines. Attorneys that regularly represent larger chapter 11 debtors would be well advised to familiarize themselves with the new guidelines.