As we at Hanover Legal enter this new year and look back on BigLaw in 2008, we are reminded of the bibical tale of Lot’s wife glancing towards Sodom and turning to salt. So in the hope of avoiding a similar fate, we’ll keep our retrospective analysis brief.
As Marc Dreier, the sole equity partner of Dreier LLP, faces federal charges of transferring $113 million in bogus securities to two hedge funds, an impersonation charge filed against him in Toronto as well as a lawsuit filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission to recover the $113 million, the firm he created, namely Dreier LLP, sits in receivership pursuant to the order of United States District Court Judge for the Southern District of New York Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum and faces an additional civil suit filed in the Southern District by Wachovia Bank alleging that the firm and Dreier himself defaulted on a $9 million revolving credit note made in connection with a $14.5 million credit agreement and a term note in the amount of $5.5 million.
At Big NY Law, as in our society at large, we are indeed expressing great confidence in our 45 to 50 year old males. On about the same day that 47 year old Barack Obama steps into the Oval Office as the 44th President of the United States and 47 year old Tim Geithner assumes the helm of the Treasury, 48 year old Brad Karp, Litigation Partner at Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison, will assume the duties of Chairman of the Firm. As such, while relinquishing none of his responsibilties as a practicing litigation partner, he will take control of a business which, according to the AmLaw Global 100 survey of the World’s Highest-Grossing Law Firms of 2008 survey, employs a total of 663 lawyers in six offices across the planet (about 500 in New York and the rest in Washington, D.C., London, Tokyo, Beijing and Hong Kong) and earns gross revenue of $651 million (Global rank 45).
Last night, as America overwhelmingly expressed its desire for change, New York erupted in celebrations reminiscent of that glorious day when the Mets defeated Baltimore for the World Series title in 1969. All the euphoria aside, though, we are now in the midst of a political tsunami which rivals its economic counterpart in intensity, and the combined impact of these storms only remains to be seen.
In the midst of all this dissolution hoopla, we would be remiss not to mention Brown Raysman, the once thriving New York start up that was swallowed up by soon-to-be former Thelen management in the latter’s last ditch effort to salvage their Titanic. So at least we know what Thelen was thinking. But what about Brown Raysman? No one ever placed them in the desperate category pre the ill-fated merger.