Wednesday, January 20, 1999

Liberty House
$1 mil adviser
fee OK’d

By Peter Wagner


U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Lloyd King has approved $1,013,193 in professional fees for New York consulting firm Zolfo Cooper, which has been working to reorganize Liberty House in its Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Liberty House The bill, for services between Liberty House's March bankruptcy filing and Sept. 30, was the largest among 12 billings by law, accounting, and consulting firms in the case.

King last month approved the other interim fee requests, totaling about $3.2 million, but held judgement on Zolfo pending further review of its billing. Court-appointed fee administrator John Candon, who earlier questioned the size of Zolfo's bill, yesterday said he is satisfied the company is earning its keep.

Candon said he received an affidavit from Liberty House president John Monahan asking that the Zolfo fees be approved and that attorneys representing unsecured creditors in the case have no problems with the billing.

In other action yesterday, Judge King approved a request by Liberty House to extend its deadline to renew or reject property leases. The deadline was extended from Jan. 31 to May 31.

Under bankruptcy law, a debtor may decide whether to keep or reject any lease it holds before confirmation of a reorganization plan.

According to documents filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Liberty House is still assessing the profitability of some of its stores.

"As the case has unfolded, Liberty House has identified certain stores that were under-performing and closed them," the filing say. "However, management has not yet completed its review of the remaining stores."

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