Lehman to retain lawyers ‘for months,’ insiders say

Lehman to retain lawyers 'for months,' insiders sayIn-house lawyers at Lehman Brothers are set to remain at the collapsed bank for several months, according to insiders.

While scores of traders have walked out this week, the 70 lawyers employed by the London office have been asked to stay and help with the administration.

A source at Lehman told The Lawyer: “There is stacks of legal work. Many people will be here for a while. We are helping PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) with the administration process.”

It is understood the legal team will be asked to stay for several months, despite fears among the team that salaries may not be paid (as revealed on TheLawyer.com today), and although it is likely that most will eventually face the axe.

The source added that none of the in-house team has resigned despite the prospect of redundancy, although many are known to be searching for new jobs.

The only legal roles likely to emerge from Lehman’s collapse will be in parts of the business sold to other institutions. The Lehman insider said: “The administrators have been very clear. There will be very few jobs unless interests are sold.”

There are around 200 staff in Lehman’s UK legal, compliance and audit department. The two most senior lawyers in the group, European general counsel Elizabeth Lee and capital markets chief Piers La Marchant, are both thought to be working with PwC on the insolvency.

Recruiters have received dozens of CVs from Lehman lawyers during the last week (TheLawyer.com, September 16). Many are thought to be targeting a move back to private practice.