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SEATTLE LAW FIRM AGREES TO SETTLE IN BANKRUPTCY

A Seattle law firm, Perkins Coie, has joined the growing list of defendants who've settled with the Bonneville Pacific Corp. bankruptcy trustee, agreeing to pay $12.75 million.

Trustee Roger G. Segal said Perkins Coie will pay the settlement by July 1 if the agreement wins the approval of U.S. District and Bankruptcy Court judges.To date, the trustee has reached settlement agreements and made other recoveries totaling about $128 million. According to court documents, it would take about $500 million to fully repay all of Bonneville Pacific's creditors.

However, as with several of the other large settlements, one third of the $12.75 million to be collected from Perkins Coie will go to the law firm of Beus, Gilbert & Morrill of Phoenix, which has handled the litigation for the trustee.

Last week, a Chicago law firm, Mayer, Brown & Platt, agreed to pay $30 million. And in the largest recovery so far, the accounting firm of Deloitte & Touche agreed to settle for $65 million.

In all of the major settlements, the defendants have cited as their motive a desire to avoid the protracted and expensive litigation that is expected to get under way later this year.