Emory Bankruptcy Developments Journal


John W. Edson


While unfinished business claims have played a role in nearly every major law firm bankruptcy in the past ten years, the law remains unsettled. As major law firm bankruptcies become more prevalent, scholarly debate has centered on whether pending hourly fee arrangements should be included in a law firm's bankruptcy estate. This Comment will advocate for the abolishment of unfinished business claims in the bankruptcy setting because these claims yield unworkable results under Sections 541, 363, and 362 of the Bankruptcy Code. Alternatively, this Comment will argue that including unfinished business in a law firm's bankruptcy estate violates public policy by interfering with a client's right to counsel. Finally, this Comment will provide practical guidance for firms wishing to contract around unfinished business claims.