Nearly $3 Million Still Sought in Rogers Bancshares Bankruptcy

As you know, Simmons First National Corp. of Pine Bluff recently closed on its $53.6 million acquisition of Metropolitan National Bank of Little Rock.

But the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Metropolitan’s former parent company, Rogers Bancshares Inc., is still open, and the bills have been flowing into U.S. Bankruptcy Court.

The total amount sought?

Nearly $3 million.

A hearing is set for Dec. 19 in front of U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James Mixon, at which time U.S. Trustee Nancy Gargula will challenge parts of the bills that three firms have submitted for work done between the filing date, July 5, and Oct. 31.

• Bracewell & Guiliani LLP, an international law firm based in Houston, submitted a bill of $458,739;

• Fenimore Kay Harrison & Ford LLP of Austin, Texas, which provides legal services to financial institutions, $105,188; and

• Little Rock law firm Williams & Anderson PLC, $66,896.

Gargula said in filings that some line items in the invoices submitted by those firms need more information.

For example, Bracewell has billed travel time at the full hourly rate of the professionals, which in some cases reached $750 an hour.

“The entries make no distinction as to whether or not the travel time is productive or non-productive,” Gargula wrote in her filing. She said that other professionals have billed unproductive travel time at half their usual rate.

She wants more details about some of the billed entries in the case.

The other firms and their bills include:

• Carl Marks Advisory Group LLC of New York, which was the financial adviser to the Official Committee of Unsecured Creditors of Rogers Bancshares, $1.996 million;

• The law firm of Hunton & Williams LLP of Richmond, Va., $296,853 for work done between July 16 and Oct. 31; and

• The Little Rock law firm of James F. Dowden PA, $27,304 for work done through Oct. 15.