BCG News - 11/18/08
Cadwalader partners revolt as profits fall
Conflict between partners Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, Wall Street's fifth most profitable firm, has reached a critical juncture. The Lawyer.com reports that managing partner Bob Link could be ousted this week following a calamitous year that has seen the firm's core markets collapse. Link will be removed from the management committee meeting at a meeting on Wednesday, November 19. The prospect has caused bitter infighting between the firms' senior partners. Link's strategy to bolster Cadwalader's dependence on capital markets and real estate finance proved unwise when these markets declined and Lehman Brothers failed; there was no hedge to support them.
Orrick Announces Cuts
Forty associates from Orrick Herrington & Suttcliffe's real estate, structured finance and corporate practice groups will lose their jobs, according to reporting from Lawyer.com. Thirty-five business services firms are also expected to go. These cuts do not affect the recently hired 15 associates and 30 partners from now defunct Heller Ehrman, as they are employed in practice areas less affected by the downturn.
Upside to Down Economy: More Lateral Partners Available
Many highly-skilled firm partners are suddenly in need of employment after the dissolution of several prestigious law firms. Other partners who are uncertain about their firms' financial futures have taken a proactive approach and are considering their options elsewhere. The expanded talent pool has significantly altered firms' hiring practices: in general they are now much more cautious about who they bring on board and are taking much longer to make their decisions. Firms remain especially interested in lateral partners with large books of business.
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