U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee James Giddens announced that Lehman Brothers Inc. and its European affiliate Lehman Brothers International have reached a deal that will settle $38 billion in bankruptcy claims and allow assets to be distributed to creditors once the measure is approved. The deal remains tentative as the details must be approved by both U.S. Bankruptcy Judge James Peck and the High Court in the United Kingdom.

"The agreement sets the stage for distributions that will provide for 100 percent recovery of customer property," Giddens said. "[It] will allow for customer and creditor distributions much sooner than if LBIE's claims involving hundreds of thousands of transactions were litigated."

Lehman also announced a separate agreement reached with its Swiss derivatives unit the previous day that resolves a $6 billion lawsuit. Under the terms, the $6 billion claim will be reduced by more than 90 percent to $550 million, according to Dow Jones Newswires. Of that amount, $190 million will be classified as higher priority customer status, while the remainder will be characterized as an unsecured claim, the news source explained.

Following the bank's petition for protection under bankruptcy law in 2008, more than 80 of its foreign affiliates filed claims. However, the process of settling lawsuits has been lengthy and slow, forcing both creditors and customers to wait for progress to be made between Lehman and its affiliates.

The company is expected to distribute $67.5 billion under its Chapter 11 bankruptcy plan and had paid out roughly $33 billion to creditors as of the end of September.