Tower Snow makes return to private practiceThe former Brobeck Phleger & Harrison chairman who masterminded Clifford Chance‘s ill-fated US West Coast venture has resurfaced in private practice.

Tower Snow will join San Francisco firm Howard Rice Nemerovski Canady Falk & Rabkin as a securities litigation partner after spending three years as an independent consultant.

Snow said: “I was obviously disappointed with how Clifford Chance had turned out and I didn’t want that to be the end of my legal career, but I also wanted to wait for the right time in my personal and professional world.

“This environment is tailormade for me because there’s a lot of securities and SEC [US Securities and Exchange Commission] work. The upheaval in the current market presents a lot of opportunities to certain firms.”

Snow was the leader of a team of 17 Brobeck partners who convinced Clifford Chance to set up its West Coast operation seven years ago (13 May 2002).

Five years ago Snow was ousted from Clifford Chance’s partnership as the firm gradually pulled the plug on its Los Angeles, Palo Alto, San Diego and San Francisco offices, leading to their ultimate closure (10 May 2004).

Snow continued working for Clifford Chance as a consultant from 2004 to 2006.

He commented: “Clifford Chance is one of the world’s great law firms and although our strategic vision didn’t work out, that didn’t in any way diminish my enormous respect for the law firm. I have an enormous respect for the people.

He added: “When we joined there was an alignment of strategic vision but when we executed the vision there was a diversion.

“It was a good faith honest disagreement about a business approach. Life has its ups and its down and in the world of business sometimes you make the right call, but this just didn’t work out.”

Since 2006 Snow has been working as an independent consultant to large financial services companies, but he made the decision last November to return to private practice.

He said he had chosen Howard Rice because, unlike larger firms, it was not downsizing and he believed it was well-placed to take advantage of the current market conditions.

Snow added that he will work on representing public companies, their investors, investment banks, venture capital companies and others that might be involved in the purchase and sale of securities.

Clifford Chance global managing partner David Childs said that the firm wishes Snow well in his new job.