Oh, the ups and downs of finance lawyers. Three months ago Linklaters’ banking group was filled with gloom after JPMorgan dumped it from every mandate you’ve ever heard of (revealed by The Lawyer, 23 June).
But this afternoon the group are the kings of the City, having captured the mandate to advise on the UK end of the administration of Lehman (see story).
On the US side – yes, you guessed it – bankruptcy mavens Weil Gotshal are involved on the Chapter 11 filing.
The fall of Lehman Brothers comes just six months after the bank extended its UK panel to include Simmons & Simmons. Other panel firms watching this closely include A&O, Lovells, Ashurst, Freshfields, Linklaters and Weil.
The news has caused major ripplies, with one restructuring partner saying it “changes the whole market,” Linklaters partner Charlie Jacobs saying that the scale of the crisis was such that professional relationships gave way to personal ones: “At times like this you think about your friends at Lehman’s on a personal level. Initially you just stay close to your friends and help them re-surface.”
Another City firm’s partner, meanwhile, commented breathlessly that “these are uncertain times we’re living in – I think you get certain seminal days in your career, like 9/11 or the Big Bang. Today in shock terms is huge, seeing a bank like Lehman go under.”
This is far, far from as grave as 9/11, but it is big news all the same. Which is why The Lawyer’s integrated London and New York teams will be bringing you all the latest news from Wall Street and what it means for the world’s top law firms as it happens in our Wall St woes blog on TheLawyer.com.
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