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Everything Must Go: Legal Bills Mount Over Sears Assets

Creditors and former workers struggle while Big Law firms see the softer side of the Sears bankruptcy.

Over at The Wall Street Journal last week, journalist Soma Biswas illuminated the “tug of war” between former professionals, vendors, and the teams of Big Law firms vying for a piece of the shrinking pie of Sears assets in bankruptcy.

Some of the biggest firms with the biggest price tags have charged more than $200 million in legal bills since Sears went under in late 2018. Sears’ main bankruptcy firm, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, maxes out their billing at $1,695 an hour according to the article, and their total payout has been more than $65 million.

In October, a $50 million estate fund was set up to pay creditors. Akin Gump, who represents unsecured creditors, has so far billed for more than half the funds of that pot, while vendors and creditors were paid $21 million in December.

Meanwhile, more than $3 million in severance to former Sears employees remains unpaid.

While these numbers might sound shocking, it’s a trend we’ve seen growing in the legal industry over the last decade. Last summer, WSJ wrote a groundbreaking piece, based largely on data we provided, that examined the changing nature of law firm partnerships and their interactions with clients. In the span of a few decades, white-shoe law firms have transitioned from a relationship-based model to a system where “data and money rule.”

Bodhala can’t keep you out of the headlines but we can keep the headlines from covering your legal spend. 

We unlock the power of the data you already own to help your corporate legal department make decisions to keep your company’s legal billing under control – and out of the news! Our machine learning algorithms immediately identify patterns in your legal spend to give you the best three-dimensional view of your billing, giving you the confidence to negotiate from a position of strength in every interaction and enhance your relationship with your trusted outside counsel.



Our platform gives you instant snapshots of every facet in your legal matter, from the number of timekeepers to surfacing the true rate per hour, and staffing diversity.

Bodhala is the leading tech platform enabling corporate legal teams to analyze and optimize their spend. We’re dedicated to helping firms get a handle on their legal spend, regardless of the size and scope of their enterprise, or the matters at hand. 

Using the power of big data and machine learning algorithms, our proprietary system helps corporate legal departments find the right talent, at the right value. We’ve saved our clients millions in negotiation and procurement every year, and we’re eager to get to work for you.

Contact us TODAY to find out how we can help you realize more value in your spend: http://bit.ly/37zaM7X

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