Professionals from 11 firms including four Salt Lake businesses are working lean these days in the absence of nearly $2 million in fees owed them by the Triad America estate.

Several Salt Lake appraisers, lawyers and accountants have been working to settle millions of dollars in claims against the Triad America estate. However, to date, the group has received little more for its efforts than the satisfaction of a job well done.Attorneys for Triad America asked Judge John H. Allen Wednesday to grant the 11 firms $1 million held in a bank account belonging to A. K. Florida Inc. The account has $2.4 million in cash in it, said Robert Merrill, legal counsel for Triad America Trustee R. Todd Neilson. The money would have been used to pay the fees of professionals administering the Triad America estate.

Four Salt Lake firms - VanCott, Bagley, Cornwall & McCarthy; Neilson, Elggren, Durkin and Co.; Appraisal Associates Inc.; and Coopers and Lybrand - are among those queuing up for the cash.

However, the request was denied.

Allen approved the payment of fees in excess of $1 illion in January. At the time, the firms were given $450,000 in partial payment, said Danny Kelly, legal counsel for Triad Trustee R. Todd Neilson.

The remainder of the approved fees was not given. In June, the 11 firms filed a request for an additional $1 million - bringing requested legal and accounting fees to more than $2 million to date.

Allen has not ruled on that request.

"The fees increase as long as the parties want to battle and nitpick," Merrill said.

Attorneys for FIMSA - a subsidiary of First International Bank - and Oasis Oil objected to request for the money. Oasis Oil has a claim against A. K. Florida for unpaid debts and FIMSA has a claim against Triad Properties Corp., a parent company of A. K. Florida. The two companies do not want any of A. K. Florida's money used to pay fees until their claims are resolved.