April 10, 2012 7:20 PM

Debevoise, Clifford Chance, and Paul Weiss Energized by Fees from Federal Recovery Act

Posted by Brian Baxter

Since government spending is sure to be an issue in the presidential race, The Am Law Daily decided to take a look at which law firms have profited the most from one of the most important federal programs of the Obama administration: the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

Debevoise Plimpton has had the biggest haul, earning almost $2 million in fees from contracts with the U.S. Department of Energy. Clifford Chance follows with $1.5 million and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton Garrison with $1.2 million (both firms also earned their fees with Energy Department contracts).

We were prompted to take a look at Recovery Act legal fees after our reporting on the effort by Fisker Automotive, a manufacturer of environmentally friendly vehicles, to access funds linked to a Energy Department loan it initially obtained in 2009.

Through the Recovery Act’s “Track the Moneyâ€� database, we found several Am Law 200 and Global 100 firms handling various assignments for government agencies. The monetary values for those firms listed below are for the total value of each firm’s contracts, not all of which have yet reached completion.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen Hamilton â€” $1,017,848 â€” click here for a synopsis of the firm’s contract with the Energy Department to advise on aspects of its Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing (ATVM) program, the same one under which Fisker obtained its government loan.

Clifford Chance â€” $1,500,000 â€” click here for an outline of the Magic Circle firm’s Energy Department contract for counsel on renewable energy initiatives, such as hydrogen fuel cells, efficient electrical generation systems, and certain biofuel projects.

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt Mosle â€” $1,012,900 â€” click herehere, and here for summaries of the firm’s three contracts with the Energy Department’s office of chief counsel to advise on the structuring and documenting of the agency’s loan guarantee program.

Debevoise Plimpton  â€” $1,969,240 â€” click here for a breakdown of the firm’s work under the Energy Department’s ATVM program, which included advising on loan applications by Fisker and the Ford Motor Company.

Haynes and Boone â€” $934 â€” click here for the firm’s reimbursement of travel costs to Denver related to its counsel on evaluating applications related to the Energy Department’s renewable energy deployment program.

Holland Knight â€” $120,507 â€” click here and here for fees the firm received for its work as counsel on a real estate transaction in Florida and to a medical clinic in Dorchester, Massachusetts.

Kutak Rock â€” $811,875 â€” click here for an award summary of the firm’s ongoing work providing legal advice and services to a regional power administration in Lakewood, Colorado.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton Garrison — $1,281,658 â€” click here for a rundown on the firm’s role as legal counsel to the Energy Department in connection with ATVM loans involving Tesla Motors, Nissan North America, and Magna E-Car Systems.

Saul Ewing â€” $150,000 â€” click here and here for summaries of the firm’s legal services contracts to provide ERISA counsel to the Energy Department’s general counsel.

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