Lehman Brothers

Lehman Brothers was the fourth largest investment bank, and its collapse was one of the defining moments of the 2008 financial crisis. PwC were appointed as administrators over the UK operations.

In excess of £36bn realised and many estates have returned greater than 100p in the £1

The largest, most complex and successful insolvency in history. Has involved litigation in the High Court, ten cases before the Court of Appeal, and six hearings before the Supreme Court.

A myriad of new legislation and new powers of intervention for financial institutions has been built directly from the lessons learned as a result of the Lehman administration. Our partners, staff, legacy Lehman people and specialist advisors have made a significant global impact on subsequent insolvency matters, regulators, central banks and governments.

Significant Achievements

Creditors repaid in full in a number of the insolvent estates

  • c.£23bn returns to clients of custodied securities, investments and associated cash
  • c.£13bn payments to unsecured creditors on agreed claims

Estimated c.£7bn surplus, of which:

  • c.£7bn post-administration interest
  • Including c.£1bn of withholding tax

Resulting in return of 100p/£ to creditors and estimated total returns to counterparties of c.£43bn

  • 2,400 jobs transferred
  • First multi-billion pound surplus in a UK insolvency


Complex Landscape

  • 6,200 counterparties with live positions
  • 820 bank accounts
  • 750 stock depots
  • 13 overseas branches
  • 17,600 master agreements
  • 60,000 sq feet of infrastructure

Data Haystacks

  • 7,000 servers
  • 500 terabytes of data
  • 100,000 email accounts
  • 50 million user files
  • 75,000 hard copy boxes
  • 2,000 complex financial systems
  • 800,000 pending and failed trades

2,000 PwC partners and staff from 17 business areas, with 500 mobilised in the first week, responding to investigations, discovery motions, litigations, HR matters and regulatory requests.




Implementation Solution lens

PwC provides industry-focused services. Much of the success of the Lehman Administration was due to our ability to immediately bring in specialists we have previously worked with in Assurance, Consulting, Deals, Forensic Services, Legal, People, Risk and Tax. Our experienced staff, combined with our global network, allow us to provide the support you need.

Lehman companies formerly in administration or liquidation

A number of PwC appointed administrations and liquidations have now come to an end. You can access the archived information on these entities.

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