NEW YORK -- Cyrus R. Vance was confirmed Thursday as mediator in the R.H. Macy & Co. Chapter 11 case.

Bankruptcy Judge Burton R. Lifland approved Vance's appointment at a court hearing after no objections were raised.

Judge Lifland startled lawyers last month when he moved for the naming of a mediator to expedite Macy's reorganization. The retailer has been operating in Chapter 11 for over two years, and Lifland said he hoped the case will be concluded by the end of the year.

Under the court's direction, Vance will attempt to bring Macy's and its various creditors to form a consensual reorganization plan. It is expected that Macy's will be required to submit a plan outline to Vance by March 23.

Vance has the option of requesting similar outlines from creditors, including Federated Department Stores, which wants to merge with Macy's.

In other news, lawyers, accountants and investment bankers working in the R.H. Macy & Co. Chapter 11 case are seeking $4.9 million in fees and expenses for the three-month period ending Jan. 31.

The largest single bill -- $1.5 million -- was submitted by Macy's attorneys, Weil, Gotshal & Manges.

A hearing to consider the applications is set for March 17 before Bankruptcy Judge Burton R. Lifland.

Macy's has already paid out $35 million since filing its Chapter 11 petition on Jan. 27, 1992.

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