Barclays to get $1.1B from Lehman brokerage trustee

Still arguing over more than $1B in so-called margin assets

May 9, 2011 @ 3:33 pm

Barclays Plc, which bought Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.'s North American business, will get $1.1 billion in trading assets from the trustee liquidating the remnants of Lehman's brokerage, the trustee's lawyer said.

The two sides continue to dispute more than $1 billion in so-called margin assets, lawyer William Maguire told a judge today after he approved the partial agreement. The assets Barclays will get were held in so-called clearance boxes to clear trades and should have been transferred to the London- based bank in September 2008, according to court papers.

“Could you reach agreement over more matters if I gave you more time?” U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James Peck asked Maguire today at a hearing in Manhattan. He agreed to hear arguments from the lawyers after Maguire said negotiations over the dispute had reached “the end of the road.”

The agreement followed a trial last year that involved a three-way fight, with lawyer David Boies representing Barclays the U.K.'s third-biggest bank. Barclays said it was owed $3 billion on the brokerage purchase, and the trustee demanded about $7 billion from Barclays. The New York-based Lehman parent company sought an alleged $11 billion “windfall” it said Barclays made on the purchase.

Peck denied the Lehman brokerage's claim and reduced the trustee's right to assets. A February ruling left Barclays disputing as much as $3.5 billion in assets.

Lehman wrote a letter to the judge on April 29, saying it was claiming $500 million from Barclays for allegedly failing to pay all of the bonuses the U.K. bank agreed to when it bought the defunct investment firm's business. Barclays has said it paid all the promised bonuses and other compensation.

--Bloomberg News--

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