NY judge OKs law firm's fees in Madoff liquidation

A judge on Thursday approved the payment of $14.6 million in fees charged by a Manhattan law firm working with a court-appointed trustee to unravel Bernard Madoff's massive fraud. In a written order, US Bankruptcy Judge Burton Lifland also signed off on a separate $760,000 bill from trustee Irving Picard for work starting in mid-December to locate and liquidate Madoff's assets. Picard and the Baker & Hostetler law firm have repeatedly emphasized that a securities industry group that compensates victims of fraud - not Madoff's burned clients - will foot the bill. Baker & Hostetler, which will also receive $274,000 for expenses, has said it applied a 10 percent "public interest discount" from its standard rates - a reduction of about $1.6 million.