Texas law firm Andrews Kurth has agreed to pay $18.5 million to Enron to settle potential malpractice claims, according to published accounts.
The law firm was never sued by Enron, noted the Houston Chronicle, but it was the subject of criticism by court-appointed bankruptcy examiner Neal Batson. According to the newspaper, Batson cited Andrews Kurth for approving 28 deals and writing opinion letters hiding the fact that they involved asset transactions allegedly disguised as sales so Enron could boost its cash flow.
“We have continuously denied wrongdoing and culpability with respect to our work for Enron,” the law firm’s managing partner, Howard Ayres, reportedly said in a statement. “We felt, though, after the passage of five years, that it was expedient to enter into the settlement to put this matter behind us.”
The agreement is subject to the approval of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.
Last summer, Enron’s better-known legal advisor, Vinson & Elkins, reached a similar deal in which it agreed to pay $30 million to the company.