NEW YORK (Reuters) - The bankruptcy trustee for Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc’s LEHMQ.PK brokerage arm is appealing a February decision awarding Barclays PLC (BARC.L) about $1.1 billion associated with Barclays’ purchase of Lehman’s North American unit at the height of the financial crisis.
Trustee James Giddens said in a court filing on Friday he would appeal to Manhattan federal court the ruling reached by Judge James Peck, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge presiding over Lehman’s Chapter 11 case.
The move comes a week after Barclays appealed other aspects of the same case, much of which went in the trustee’s favor.
The trustee’s appeal centers on $1.1 billion awarded in the same case to Barclays. The money consists of “clearance box” assets, held to facilitate the clearance of securities trading.
Giddens said he would have been content to let the matter rest, but filed an appeal because Barclays had already done so.
“The trustee had hoped to avoid protracted litigation,” Giddens said in a statement, but “since the appeal process is already underway, and with the trustee’s ... duty to maximize assets available for distribution to public customers and others, the trustee is also appealing the denial of his claim to the clearance box assets.”
Barclays filed its appeal July 15, saying it would seek review of Peck’s ruling entitling the Lehman estate to about $4 billion in so-called margin assets. It is also appealing Peck’s ruling that its entitlement to about $769 million in Lehman’s customer accounts is not unconditional.
A spokeswoman for Barclays did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Giddens also is appealing the five percent interest rate imposed by Peck on the money owed by Barclays, saying the figure is too low.
The trustee, and Lehman itself, have been embroiled in litigation with Barclays since it scrambled to acquire Lehman’s North American business in the days following its filing of the largest bankruptcy in U.S. history. Peck’s February ruling affirmed the overall validity of the sale.
Lehman listed $639 billion in assets when it declared bankruptcy, six times more than any other bankrupt U.S. company. Its downfall was a key factor in the financial crisis.
The company has reached what it says is a compromise with key creditors on an amended bankruptcy exit plan, and is scheduled to ask Peck on June 30 for authority to send that plan to creditors for a vote.
The case is In re Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, No. 08-13555.
Reporting by Nick Brown; editing by Carol Bishopric