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.
Over the last month we have seen venerable Heller dissolve and predict Thacher Proffitt and Thelen are not far behind; relentless attorney hemorrhaging at these firms has already reached the top ranks with Thacher’s Vice Chairman joining Greenberg Traurig and Thelen’s Chairman reportedly in lateral discussions with Howrey.
As this economic tsusami shows no sign of slowing down, practitioners in counter-cyclical areas such as bankruptcy and white collar criminal law are once again in great demand, reminiscent of the last cataclysmic downturn at the turn of the millenium when the dot-com bubble burst and Enron collapsed. But when is the ideal time for bankruptcy and criminal defense attorneys to start exploring their options?