Following two public comment periods and a public meeting, the United States Trustee Program (“USTP”) has issued new guidelines for attorney compensation in larger chapter 11 cases. These new Guidelines – formally titled “Appendix B–Guidelines for Reviewing Applications for Compensation and Reimbursement of Expenses Filed Under 11 U.S.C. § 330 for Attorneys in Larger Chapter 11 Cases” – are effective for cases filed on or after November 1, 2013. [See Important Note below.] They will be posted in the Federal Register and may be added to the Code of Federal Regulations at a later date.
For purposes of these Guidelines, a larger chapter 11 case is defined as a chapter 11 case with $50 million or more in assets and $50 million or more in liabilities, aggregated for jointly administered cases and excluding single asset real estate cases as defined in 11 U.S.C. § 101(51B).
These new Guidelines are a statement of the USTP’s policy governing its review of attorney fee applications in larger chapter 11 cases. They communicate to professionals and the general public the criteria used by United States Trustees in the review of fee applications, the USTP’s expectations of professionals, and possible bases for USTP objections to the payment of fees and reimbursement of expenses. These Guidelines do not supersede local rules, court orders, or other controlling authority.
The USTP will encourage bankruptcy courts to incorporate the Appendix B Guidelines in their local rules of bankruptcy procedure, as many courts have done with the guidelines that were issued in 1996. USTP attorneys in districts throughout the country will enforce the Guidelines and defend them in bankruptcy courts and through appeals as appropriate.
The USTP is in the process of developing fillable forms to assist in implementation of the Appendix B Guidelines. Those forms are expected to be available prior to November 1, 2013.
|June 11, 2013||Appendix B–Guidelines for Reviewing Applications for Compensation and Reimbursement of Expenses Filed Under 11 U.S.C. § 330 for Attorneys in Larger Chapter 11 Cases||[PDF - 393 KB]|
|June 11, 2013||Frequently Asked Questions||[PDF - 34 KB]|
|June 11, 2013||Statement of the Director Announcing the Appendix B Guidelines||[PDF - 32 KB]|
|November 8, 2012||Remarks of the Director at the 2012 Annual Meeting of the National Bankruptcy Conference||[PDF - 57 KB]|
|June 4, 2012||Transcript of Public Meeting on the United States Trustee Program’s Proposed Fee Guidelines for Attorney Compensation in Larger Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Cases||[PDF - 1.55 MB]|
|November 10, 2011||Remarks of the Director at the 2011 Annual Meeting of the National Bankruptcy Conference||[PDF - 68 KB]|
Because the Appendix B Guidelines constitute procedural guidelines, they were not subject to the formal notice and comment provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act. Nonetheless, to engage the bankruptcy community before finalizing the Appendix B Guidelines, the USTP did extensive outreach to various bankruptcy judges and the National Bankruptcy Conference, posted an initial and then second draft of the Appendix B Guidelines on its Web site for public comment, and conducted a public meeting. Copies of all comments received during the comment periods are available for review at the following link:
In 1996, in accordance with 28 U.S.C. § 586, the USTP promulgated Guidelines for Reviewing Applications for Compensation and Reimbursement of Expenses filed under 11 U.S.C. § 330 (“1996 guidelines”). 28 C.F.R. Part 58, Appendix A. The USTP is revising the 1996 guidelines in phases. The new Appendix B Guidelines, which are effective for cases filed on or after November 1, 2013, apply only to attorney compensation in larger chapter 11 cases. Until the USTP adopts other superseding guidelines, the 1996 guidelines will continue in effect for the review of applications filed under section 330 in (1) larger chapter 11 cases by those seeking compensation who are not attorneys, (2) all chapter 11 cases below the larger case threshold, and (3) cases under other chapters of the Bankruptcy Code.