Categories:Australasia

Herbert Smith prepares to vote on Freehills tie-up

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  • Herbert Smith may have 273 partners, but less than half ot those partners are equity partners. Freehills on the other hand has only equity partners. That's the real reason the two firms are not merging. Freehills would end up controlling the merged firm - something Scotty and Willis could never accept.

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  • Given how poorly Herbert Smith has been performing lately and how slow business is for them in London and elsewhere this should give lots of partners at Herbies a nice project to work on in order to justify their existence at the firm. Can you imagine how many vacation .. uh ... I mean business trips Willis, Mulley and others have made flitting off to Sydney, Melbourne, Singapore and Hong Kong in order to try to put this deal together. Once they sign on the dotted line then an army of Herbert Smith partners will no doubt start preparing internal "strategy" memos and planning more lengthy trips down under in order to make sure that "integration" goes smoothly, all the while sitting comfortably at the top of the Herbert Smith lockstep doing no real client work. And how will they pay for all this? With their savings from firing more associates and staff! Get ready for redundancy round 2!

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  • I wouldn't be surprised if they ending up voting against this merger, such has been the level of incompetence and incoherence on display at HS in recent years.

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  • @ Anonymous | 11-May-2012 1:13 pm - I have no respect for those at the top of Herbert Smith either, but that doesn't mean that this merger isn't a good move per se. Even a stopped watch is right once a day.

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  • The partnership will vote as they are told to vote. Big firms these days are not true partnerships where dissenting partners have a real say. Most of the Herbies partners probably couldn't find Sydney on a map. They will skim the papers they are sent and click the "approve" button because management told them that's what they need to do in order to compete in the new world order.

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  • Anon @2.49 - a stopped watch is right twice a day. Doh.

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  • Anon | 11-May-2012 2:49 pm I agree with you on all but one : Even a stopped watch is right TWICE a day.

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  • my digital watch stopped. screen just went blank. it's not right twice a day
    sometimes dem big law firm mergers just don't work you know what I'm sayin...
    specially when it's lonely over da hill firms lookin for a magic pill ... just sayin ...

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  • I don't get it. How is a stopped watch right twice a day? Or even once a day for that matter? Can someone please explain this to me?

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  • Willis! Stop worrying about your watch and get back to work!

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  • Oh please Freshfields. Can you make us a better offer? Please? Pretty please?

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  • Is that the same Willis, as Asia Head HS, that allegedly did the due diligence on Henry Uschinski in 1998 ish? What happended there?

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  • Same Willis. We all know how poorly things ended with Uschinski in Bangkok. Hard to believe Willis went on to become Managing Partner of the firm after that debacle. I guess once you're in the club...

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  • What you talkin bout Willis?

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  • Would that be the same Henry Uscinski that gets name-checked in a Rodney Stich book? The mind boggles!

    http://books.google.com/books?id=tftW9A5cUNsC&pg=PA401&lpg=PA401&dq=Henry+Uscinski+lawyer&source=bl&ots=sZDYfAtRsF&sig=gDAqty9f9L-1lxhe97GIjs-lRMc&hl=en&sa=X&ei=HdmwT6j_C5HitQag2JC2BA&ved=0CGIQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=Henry%20Uscinski%20lawyer&f=false

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  • Two mediocre firms who have been left behind by their competitors. What else are they going to do. This is a case of 1 + 1 = 1.

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