White & Case exodus continues as Latham snares eight more partners

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  • Oh dear...

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  • Hostile takeover... effective control over the assets of the target, which will, hopefully, remain intact as a going concern...
    Oh, deers.

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  • I am happy for Hugh who always knows how to select right people to get destructing things done!

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  • This is an unmitigated disaster for White & Case and will surely mark the beginning of the end of their "joined at the hip" relationship with Saudi Aramco.

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  • Interesting that the two other Projects partners who were in the circle of trust and part of the negotiations to leave are still at WC. Can we expect another announcement shortly?

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  • What's interesting about this is that the latest departures come from the project finance side rather than the banking/capmarkets group. The relationship of the banking/capmarkets group with Verrier has been at the core of much of the troubles in recent years (most of the departures to date have been totally predictable) whereas the projects group has been very much part of the inner circle, due to a large degree to the historical bias towards projects within the finance practice globally. The Middle East was a key personal priority for Stopford for example. So this is no longer about silos and personalities and is instead something much more fundamental, which can only mean that there's much more of this to come.

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  • After having a partners' conference in Paris over the weekend? Wished I was a fly on the wall. Can't have happened to a nicer firm!!

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  • Comes about a year after the Cadwalader London debacle...this lot saw the writing on the wall aswell and jumped before a fall (quite likely there own!)

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  • W&C have nearly 400 lawyers in London so there is no comparison. Cadwalader did property securitision which was a dead market.

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  • Yes I do think the comparison with Cads is dubious. For one thing, and though you certainly can't say this of a number of US names, there isn't a great deal of room for rejects at a firm like Latham & Watkins.

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  • Once again, this is fantastic news!
    Note to Hugh Verrier: What goes around, comes around! How does it feel to be at the helm of the Titantic and it (too) slowly sinks into the abyss?
    But seriously, can White & Case call itself an "international" law firm anymore? It started in Asia when, in 2008, W&C lost all of its key attorneys with substantial Asian experience and its Bangkok office and Singapore affiliate broke away. The Asian operations have never recovered and are currently decimated. Then, the mass exodus from London began in 2009 and has continued until today. Now it is the Middle East operation's turn to lose its key attorneys. What is left at W&C now? Nothing significant but the New York office - and partners have been fleeing that sorry office as well. I find it hard to believe W&C can truly be called an "international" law firm anymore. It has certainly fallen as a "white shoe" law firm. Hugh Verrier will be remembered as the W&C Chairman who destroyed what used to be (many years ago) a fine institution. I am sure whatever partners are left at W&C are on the phone to recruitment agents, scrambling to find out what other opportunities (if any) there are. Like I said, this is fantastic news!

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  • Hmmm... Given the lack of objectivity and apparent personal bitterness that comes through in one or two of these comments, is it possible that they are from individuals who've been asked to leave the firm in the past...? I wonder....

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  • 2 Anonymous | 3-Feb-2010 9:48 am. I guess you work in W&C marketing or something, right? I wonder...

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  • It might be time for some facts:
    1. Almost every partner who left the London office of W&C in 2009 was asked to go. The firm did the honourable thing and decided not to announce - even internally - that they had been asked to leave, to give them every opportunity of finding a new and good home. Which most managed to do.
    2. Hugh received a standing ovation from the partenrship in Paris who were delighted to be told that even after a crummy year, the firm's profitability levels were maintained (particularly as most of the partners were expecting a 15% drop).
    3. The firm is in a good shape around the world and with budgeted profits for this year showing a significant increase.
    4. Because the more sensible members of the legal community actually understand their business, do not be surprised if you hear about laterals joining the firm in key financial centres.

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  • Is anyone seriously suggesting that any of these eight Middle East partners was asked to leave .....oh please

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  • He said 2009, dummy !

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  • The exodus of partners from the projects group to Lathams has been on the cards since the start of 2008. The question was not "will they go" but "how many will go". There was a clear division in the partnership which trickled down to a division between associates who were either protected by one camp or the other.
    Now the esteemed leader of one camp has left maybe projects can move on from the politics and get down to the business of doing deals.
    At the end of the day, there are some great junior partners in projects and some very bright senior associates (who will one day make great partners). They are the future of W&C projects and the departures are only good news for them..less people at the top.

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  • Come on, the reputation of W&C is so shaky presently that they simply will not be able to hire top notch people. Talk to the market, and that will become quite apparent. And if some people are bitter, they obviously feel they were not treated fairly - and if many people believe they were not treated fairly that will also colour the market. BTW, perhaps the W&C flak should proof his/her work - how do you spell 'partnership' - so much for quality.

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  • To the W&C flak: 'very bright senior associates (who will one day make great partners' - and then get shoved out the door). Wish you had completed the sentence in line with previous actual experience.

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  • Who was in charge of management of these guys - please nominate them for The Lawyer HR. Awards. At least two of these guys were newly made up senior associates - they do have great prospects you are right !!!!

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  • oh how the mighty have fallen...hee hee!

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  • Let's face it ~ Latham are a class act. Brilliantly managed and led. Rarely suspect to a negative word One can see them being the first truly effective Global Law Firm ~ sorry Clifford C, Linklaters, and all, but that is true. On the other hand W&C ~ it is all in the initials ..........

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  • The other co-head of the Mining Group has also resigned to join Faskens. She was also the managing partner of their African office! Speaking of facts: There is no mining team.

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  • I can only assume that Anonymous 9th Feb must work for Latham to be that blinkered. Latham "Rarely suspect to a negative word"? The fact that 'Lathamed' even exists as a term amongst US lawyers is all you need to know.

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  • i still consider Norton Rose is the best law firms globally. :)

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  • And now the Associates are leaving - 6 recently resigned from the London Banking Group and were immediately put on three months gardening leave. No doubt it will be the Projects Group next.

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  • How many associates were Lathamed so Latham could bring on these W & C parnters?

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  • Latham & Watkins is the manic depressive of the large firm world.

    Latham raids a firm, fires hundreds of associates. Just another day in the life.

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