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According to The American Lawyer, as Tucson, Ariz.-based mining company Asarco nears the end of its four-year bankruptcy odyssey, lead debtors counsel Baker Botts submitted its 12th application for fees on Friday.

The filing put the firm past the $100 million mark in billable hours since Asarco filed for bankruptcy in August 2005 after getting hit with a series of asbestos and environmental pollution suits.

It pales in comparison to the $100 million in fees that Weil, Gotshal & Manges has racked up in just a year's worth of bankruptcy work for Lehman Brothers, but Baker Botts may have more work ahead.

"This is probably the middle of the end, and the end should certainly be in sight," Baker Botts bankruptcy and insolvency Chair Jack Kinzie says. "The final closing argument on the confirmation hearing was today and we expect a ruling from the judge on Monday."

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