Herbies chief delays management exit to oversee Freehills integration

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  • Is this a sly move by Herbies management intended to appease the Freehills naysayers? The merger isn't the most popular of moves. Too little too late is the phrase that springs to mind.

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  • As more details emerge, it's more apparent that it is definitely an OZ reverse merger!

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  • Herbies management essentially sold the firm to the Aussies for cheap! Even managed to bust the sacred Herbies lockstep in the process - something David Gold tried to do for years without success. Will be fun to watch a handful of full time managers at the top of Herbies reap the rewards when they pay themselves nice big bonuses under the new "modified" lockstep. Too bad for the rank and file who actually work for a living.

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  • Willis is staying on to do what he does best... fire people! The only way this merger will be successful is if the new firm can do more with less.

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  • This article makes no sense. We all know Willis retired years ago. He's just been hanging around annoying the rest of us since then.

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  • Herbert Smith has a "pure lockstep"? Not for the 50+% of the partnership comprised of non-equity partners!

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  • Ironic. Willis was made managing partner in 2008 to stop David Gold from destroying the firm's culture and to prevent a coup by unhappy partners. Then Willis ends up being the mastermind of a deal that sees the firm's culture radically altered by a reverse takeover and the loss of the firm's sacred lockstep. Does anyone at Herbies miss David Gold now? Guess he wasn't so bad afterall.

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  • Kudos Freehills! How did they manage to pull off the biggest reverse merger of the legal world?

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  • The most striking aspect of this merger as the full details come to light, is that in terms of management, and hence control and strategic direction, Herbies will soon in effect become the obeisant London branch of a large Australian law firm. Quite incredible, considering Herbies was once a challenger to the Magic Circle.
    If one adds Slater & Gordon's takeover of RJW, then we have two Aussie firms taking over UK firms, albeit in different parts of the market. Quite a shocker.

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  • DW,
    Best of luck - nice game plan. Henry

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  • Can you tell what it is yet?

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  • It's a mess. What more do you need to know. Seventy partners are threatening to leave.

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