Curtain comes down on NY mudges

HIGH-PROFILE New York firm Mudge Rose Guthrie Alexander & Ferdon is liquidating after a partnership vote agreed it should dissolve.

The decision, made on 2 October, closes the doors on one of the city's oldest firms and the former stable of President Richard Nixon.

The executive committee has been dismantled and a liquidation committee has been formed comprising former chair Donald Zoeller, Arthur McMahon Jr and Malcolm Schade. The three have been charged with winding up Mudge Rose's affairs by 31 December.

Schade said: “The decision to dissolve followed a series of developments including both the collapse of merger negotiations and withdrawals from the firm of large numbers of partners and clients to an extent which convinced the remaining partners that it was not feasible to continue an operation beyond the end of the year.”

Earlier this year the firm was involved in talks with Coudert Brothers, Kelley Drye & Warren and the New York office of Graham & James. As recently as two weeks ago it was hoping for a lifeline from Squire Sanders & Dempsey.

John Kirby, who was executive committee chair for five years until the September appointment of Zoeller, has already quit for Latham & Watkins, taking12 partners and 19 associates with him. Several smaller groups have also left.

“People are taking steps to relocate themselves and their practices to firms as expeditiously as possible,” said Schade.