September 17, 2018 / 3:04 PM / a month ago

Lehman brokerage wind-down could end in 2019: trustee

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The liquidation of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc’s brokerage unit could end in 2019, 11 years after its parent’s bankruptcy became a primary cause of the global financial crisis.

James Giddens, the trustee overseeing the liquidation, on Monday said just 381 of the roughly 140,000 claims against the brokerage remain unresolved.

Customers and secured creditors have been repaid in full. Unsecured creditors have received about $9 billion, or 39.75 cents on the dollar, roughly double what was once expected.

In a filing with the U.S. bankruptcy court in Manhattan, Giddens said the wind-down is in its final phase, and that resolving all claims and making a final payout “could occur in the next year” if the court’s schedule permits.

Giddens said the bankruptcy estate still has $543 million of assets.

Lehman had been Wall Street’s fourth-largest investment bank before filing the largest U.S. bankruptcy on Sept. 15, 2008.

Its collapse remains controversial, with much debate over whether and when companies should be allowed to fail, and how to prevent another crisis.

“Ten years later the key lesson of Lehman remains that such a failure should be avoided altogether, for the benefit of all stakeholders,” said Giddens, senior counsel at the law firm Hughes, Hubbard & Reed.

Reporting by Jonathan Stempel in New York; Editing by Susan Thomas

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