White & Case axes Bangkok office

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  • Next in Line

    Well seems like Almaty, Monterrey, Bratislava, Bucharest, and Helsinki are next in line. The three they already closed are still listed on their website.

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  • Incredibly Shrinking Firm

    There have always been tensions between Weerawong and the other partners, particularly on quality control, so this is not surprising. The mass layoffs in the US will soon be followed up in the remaining Asia offices.

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  • another sign of the demise of w&c

    I worked for White & Case for many years, and recently left (of my own accord). White & Case is a terribly managed firm. I should have left years ago, but inertia prevailed. It is based on the "old boys" network - where high maintenance partners with no book of business (but extremely large equity draws and other benefits) are supported by counsels and associates who actually do the work and maintain the client relationships (but are not supported for partnership or advancement).

    It is not surprising that - when things start to go wrong - the counsels, associates and support staff are the first ones to get axed to preserve the high flying lifestyles of the partners. W&C is also based on an "eat what you kill" structure - where the partners eat what the senior associates and counsels kill. The partners hate each other - and there is very little cooperation or support for each other amongst them. They turn on each other at the drop of a hat.

    Finally, its business model is almost exclusively based on commercial work outside the US - their US offices are not very good and they have little to no litigation practice to cover them during downturns in commercial work. I am not surprised to see the developments at W&C recently - the layoffs, the closure of the Bangkok, Milan and Dresden offices. Look what happened in Hong Kong. Look what happened in Singapore where almost half the office left and took many of the largest clients with them.

    It is an extremely poorly managed firm. Unfortunately, the poor people caught in the middle - the counsels, associates and support staff - are the ones that suffer.

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  • Well, well, well. Let's see how the above predictions turned out? None of the offices mentioned above are closed. The firm has grown in size and profitability. The Milan office has reopened. Looks like the McBitters above were too blinded by their personal failures to see the reality that W&C has adapted well to the post-financial crisis world and is thriving once again.

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