The path into and out of Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection is strewn with thousand-dollar bills it seems. At least it is if you are Barclay Knapp, co-founder and former chief executive of NTL Group, the Anglo-American cable operator he led to the verge of insolvency.

Knapp, who departed NTL in August after the group emerged from US Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, [WAMN: 13-Aug-03], not only received a $2.01 million (€1.72m; £1.2m) payoff but is also the beneficiary of a $6,000 daily consultancy sinecure payable until the year end.

Knapp's daily handout would cover the salaries of thirty-eight nurses on top UK pay scales. In addition, until November he will continue to enjoy his present free use of a company-owned apartment in Kensington, one of London's swankiest areas.

Despite this corporate munificence, Knapp is not expected to engage in anything as unsavoury as work for more than two days monthly. He may also receive a bonus for this 'consultancy' period, which would be in addition to a $435,000 bonus already paid for the first half of the year.

These revelations emerged after NTL's latest filing with US regulators. Group chairman James Mooney emphasised the importance of keeping Knapp close at hand during the group's management transition – which raises the interesting question: exactly what (or who) does Knapp know that's worth $6K daily plus candy allowance?

• Separately – but almost certainly not coincidentally – Jeffrey Benjamin, an NTL director and head of its compensation committee, has insisted that the group undertakes a study of executive pay levels in the UK before agreeing an employment contract with recently appointed chief executive Simon Duffy.

The latter currently receives a base salary of £385,000 annually under the terms of a contract agreed when he was hired as NTL's chief operating officer.

Data sourced from: Times Online (UK) and; additional content by WARC staff