Wall St woes: Foul-weather friends

Wall St woes: Foul-weather friendsSullivan & Cromwell chairman Rodgin Cohen has deservedly garnered headline after headline in recent weeks.

With almost four decades of experience, Cohen has won roles on deals that have kept him – and his firm – firmly at the centre of dealing with the US financial turbulence.

But it’s not all about Cohen. The main man is surrounded by a crack team of Sullivan lawyers.

New York partner John Mead is one. The firm’s Goldman relationship partner, Mead grabbed the spotlight yesterday by winning the mandate to advise Goldman Sachs on Berkshire Hathaway’s $5bn cash injection (See story).

The value of a long-lasting relationship was also demonstrated on the other side of the deal, with tycoon Warren Buffet’s fund turning to longstanding adviser Bob Denham at Munger Tolles & Olson.

The Buffet/Denham relationship goes back a long way. As former chairman and chief executive of investment bank Salomon, Denham knows Buffet well, the pair having worked together when Buffet invested heavily in the bank two decades ago.

In these difficult times, turning to the old and familiar.

As London-based Sullivan partner Tim Emmerson puts it: “In these situations you have to turn to people you know don’t need to look things up. They have the experience and knowledge to get the job done.”

See TheLawyer.com on Monday for an exclusive interview with Rodgin Cohen.

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PS: International insolvencies require new thinking, says David Agay.
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Latest Wall St news

26-Sep-2008 Sullivan’s Cohen grabs role on WaMu’s demise
26-Sep-2008 Freshfields joins Nomura deal
25-Sep-2008 Linklaters expands PwC team stateside
25-Sep-2008 Linklaters, Cleary Gottlieb get fourth Wall St mandates
24-Sep-2008 Sullivan and Munger Tolles step up for Buffett Goldman deal
24-Sep-2008 Simmons scores first Lehman hedge fund claim
23-Sep-2008 Cleary, Ropes & Gray on latest Lehman sale
23-Sep-2008 Ashurst advises CarVal on Lehman’s £100m salary lifeline
23-Sep-2008 Skadden Arps gets Nomura mandate in Lehman Asia buyout
22-Sep-2008 The bigger bang: who’s got what in the Lehman, HBOS sagas
22-Sep-2008 After Lehman: the winners, the losers, the opportunities
18-Sep-2008 Milbank grabs Lehman creditor role
18-Sep-2008 PwC: Lehman lawyers will be paid
17-Sep-2008 Weil secures lead role for AIG on government fund
17-Sep-2008 3-4 South Square bags role on Lehman
17-Sep-2008 Clifford Chance completes Barclays’ £1bn Lehman purchase
17-Sep-2008 Allen & Overy, Links in HBOS-Lloyds merger talks
17-Sep-2008 Lehman to ask lawyers to stay ‘for months,’ insiders say
17-Sep-2008 Lehman’s UK lawyers ‘may not be paid’
16-Sep-2008 Sullivan & Cromwell gets AIG rescue mandate
16-Sep-2008 Firms scour for conflicts ahead of Wall St fall-out work
16-Sep-2008 200+ legal jobs under threat at Lehman Bros
16-Sep-2008 Sullivan & Cromwell gets AIG rescue mandate
15-Sep-2008 Shearman, Wachtell in Merrill Lynch takeover
15-Sep-2008 Cravath acts on $70bn cash lifeline
15-Sep-2008 Links advises PwC in Lehman administration
15-Sep-2008 Wachtell guides US Treasury on Fannie/Freddie

Previous Wall St woes

19-Sep-2008: The Queen’s City
There may be a financial crisis on Wall St, but there are new opportunities aplenty in North Carolina. In Charlotte, America’s second biggest financial centre and the home of both Bank of America and Wachovia, a whole bunch of firms are unnervingly upbeat while Wall Street collapses….

18-Sep-2008: The heat and the cool
It isn’t just financial institutions that are feeling the heat on Wall Street this week. The collapse of Lehman, the acquisition of Merrill Lynch and the effective nationalisation of AIG has left dozens of lawyers facing life without their once lucrative client relationships…

17-Sep-2008: A&O emerges
Day three of the Wall Street crisis, and the major legal players are emerging. As my colleague Julia Berris in New York noted yesterday, Wachtell and Weil Gotshal have snagged some of the biggest roles on the US end…

16-Sep-2008: Weil at heart
In a week of uncertainty, the only sure thing was that Weil Gotshal & Manges bankruptcy star Harvey Miller would get a call from longstanding client Lehman Brothers…

15-Sep-2008: The Lehman fallout
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…