Plan of Bankrupt Law Firm Goes to PBGC

July 12, 2007 ( - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) announced it has assumed responsibility for the underfunded pension plan covering about 460 employees and retirees of Coudert Brothers LLP, New York.

Coudert Brothers, which is now liquidating, missed $2.2 million in required pension contributions and the pension plan will be abandoned as a result of the firm’s dissolution, the announcement said. PBGC estimates the Coudert Brothers LLP Employees Pension Plan, which terminated on December 31, 2006, is about 66% funded, with some $17 million in assets to cover about $26 million in liabilities.

The agency expects to be liable for $8.5 million of the $9 million shortfall, and said assumption of the plan’s unfunded liabilities will have no material effect on its financial statements, according to generally accepted accounting principles.

Coudert Brothers, which once featured an international practice with 28 offices in 15 countries, filed for Chapter 11 protection on September 22, 2006 – a year after the firm lost two lawsuits, including a $2.5 million malpractice suit filed by a former client, Portfolio Media. The firm voted to dissolve its partnership and discontinue its practice in August 2005, after a planned merger with global law firm Baker & McKenzie fell through.

Within the next several weeks, the PBGC will send notification letters to all plan participants. Under federal pension law, the maximum guaranteed pension at age 65 for participants in plans that terminate in 2006 is $47,659.08 per year, the announcement said.

Workers and retirees with questions may visit or call 800-400-7242. Further
information may be found at .