Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

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Desert Fox
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Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Jan 28, 2015 2:50 pm

What exactly are they good at? BK? Please this is boomtown baby.

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Ron Don Volante
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby Ron Don Volante » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:09 pm

They put on a "Weil Weil West" recruiting party for UT a few days ago. Bastards.

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Desert Fox
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:11 pm

Ron Don Volante wrote:They put on a "Weil Weil West" recruiting party for UT a few days ago. Bastards.


lol.

V10 BABY (only major firm to lay people off this past year).

Anonymous User
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby Anonymous User » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:55 pm

Cap Markets I was told. Bankruptcy as well.

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utahraptor
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby utahraptor » Wed Jan 28, 2015 3:56 pm

Desert Fox wrote:
Ron Don Volante wrote:They put on a "Weil Weil West" recruiting party for UT a few days ago. Bastards.


lol.

V10 BABY (only major firm to lay people off this past year).

wait, what?

I thought Weil was having a good year? (They were hiring 3Ls, iirc)

911 crisis actor
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby 911 crisis actor » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:05 pm

DF if you were given a chance to lateral to Weil would you take it?

911 crisis actor
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby 911 crisis actor » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:08 pm

The firm's 2014 performance "exceeded our expectations of what would occur after a year of repositioning," Wolf says. "It's a strong rebound year."

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Desert Fox
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:09 pm

911 crisis actor wrote:DF if you were given a chance to lateral to Weil would you take it?


No way I reroll the dice on getting a sociopath partner. I wouldn't lateral anywhere.

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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby 911 crisis actor » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:11 pm

If your current partner lateraled do you think he would take you with him?

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Desert Fox
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby Desert Fox » Wed Jan 28, 2015 4:13 pm

911 crisis actor wrote:If your current partner lateraled do you think he would take you with him?


Yea definitely. My group came from another firm before I got here. I don't think they'll jump shit again, but they have did it at least twice already.

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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:08 am

No layoffs at all recently. They had a really good year in M&A actually, per the Bloomberg tables. Plus they resigned a huge lease in the most expensive office tower in the country, despite condensing square footage. I think they're doing just fine.

PepeSilvia
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby PepeSilvia » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:09 am

If you can't even spell the name of the firm correctly, you're definitely off to a good start.

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minnbills
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby minnbills » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:Plus they resigned a huge lease in the most expensive office tower in the country, despite condensing square footage. I think they're doing just fine.


Because appearance = reality

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BaberhamLincoln
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby BaberhamLincoln » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:24 am

Desert Fox wrote:
911 crisis actor wrote:If your current partner lateraled do you think he would take you with him?


Yea definitely. My group came from another firm before I got here. I don't think they'll jump shit again, but they have did it at least twice already.


DF really liked your wording here

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rpupkin
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby rpupkin » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:30 am

Anonymous User wrote:No layoffs at all recently. They had a really good year in M&A actually, per the Bloomberg tables. Plus they resigned a huge lease in the most expensive office tower in the country, despite condensing square footage. I think they're doing just fine.

I have no dog in this fight, but wouldn't "condensing square footage" be a bad sign? Successful firms are usually fighting to get more space.

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JohannDeMann
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby JohannDeMann » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:36 am

They got a good tax group to go along with that M&A.

Cogburn87
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby Cogburn87 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:38 am

Anonymous User wrote:No layoffs at all recently. They had a really good year in M&A actually, per the Bloomberg tables. Plus they resigned a huge lease in the most expensive office tower in the country, despite condensing square footage. I think they're doing just fine.

Oh, what a lease!

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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby Anonymous User » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:41 am

Anonymous User wrote:No layoffs at all recently. They had a really good year in M&A actually, per the Bloomberg tables. Plus they resigned a huge lease in the most expensive office tower in the country, despite condensing square footage. I think they're doing just fine.

This is the kind of bs Weil attorneys tried to tell our 1Ls during their reception last year (in 2014). They spent their whole reception telling everyone how intelligently they ran their firm through the recession. Immediately after the reception, someone posted something like this in the class's facebook group about the Weil layoffs in 2013: http://www.businessinsider.com/weil-got ... aff-2013-6

Lots of lols followed.

Edit: Original link was behind a pay-wall and they might have picked their words more carefully than anon, but the idea was the same.
Last edited by Anonymous User on Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:50 am, edited 3 times in total.

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ymmv
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby ymmv » Thu Jan 29, 2015 12:43 am

PepeSilvia wrote:If you can't even spell the name of the firm correctly, you're definitely off to a good start.


The day somebody creates a new account for the sole apparent purpose of anonymously bashing DF's spelling is a good day.

mvp99
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby mvp99 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:11 am

ymmv wrote:
PepeSilvia wrote:If you can't even spell the name of the firm correctly, you're definitely off to a good start.


The day somebody creates a new account for the sole apparent purpose of anonymously bashing DF's spelling is a good day.


I confess. it was me.

smallfirmassociate
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby smallfirmassociate » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:16 am

I just want to say that you can't condense square footage. You can condense offices. You can condense supplies. You can reduce square footage, a.k.a. shrink, a.k.a. become smaller, a.k.a. lease a smaller office a.k.a. not say strange euphemistic crap.

"Well, Amanda, this room is ten-by-ten. Last year, it was 100 square feet. This year, it's still 10x10, but it's now 127.5 square feet. You see, we did some square footage condenserating when we revamperated our footprintage last year upon the advice of an environmentlogist. Staying green; it's all the rage these days."

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fats provolone
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby fats provolone » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:26 am

maybe they turned their square footage from a gas to a liquid

igo2northwestern
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby igo2northwestern » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:34 am

User outed for anon abuse

i mean, what does Reuters know anyways...
http://www.abfjournal.com/dailynews/wei ... ue-tables/

DF salty about not getting offered?

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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby smallfirmassociate » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:36 am

fats provolone wrote:maybe they turned their square footage from a gas to a liquid


Weil Gotshal liquidating? Huge if true.

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cookiejar1
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Re: Weil Gotshall, lets bash this TTT

Postby cookiejar1 » Thu Jan 29, 2015 1:38 am

Some bathroom reading for anyone interested.

Here's some American Lawyer about Weil's TTT-ness written in August 2014:

Yvette Ostolaza thought she was going to spend her entire career at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, the 1,200-lawyer firm long known for its New York roots, hard-driving culture and marquee bankruptcy practice. After starting as a summer associate in 1992, she rose to become cohead of the firm's complex commercial litigation practice, based in its Dallas office, with clients such as MGM Resorts International, Chuck E. Cheese and McAfee Inc. "I never planned on changing firms," she says.

But that's exactly what she, eight other partners and 20 associates and counsel did last September, decamping from Weil's Dallas office to Sidley Austin's Dallas outpost, where she is now local managing partner. And in leaving Weil, they have plenty of company. Since last year, the firm has seen more than 40 partners exit. Among the departures were Scott Sontag, former head of the tax group; Jason Kipnis, former head of the firm's Silicon Valley intellectual property group; Joseph Basile, managing partner of the Boston office; corporate partner Mark Soundy and fund formation partner Nicholas Benson in London; and senior leveraged finance partner John Cobb and former Securities and Exchange Commission senior litigator Christian Bartholomew, both in New York.

Add to those losses Weil's well-publicized associate and staff layoffs last June and its faltering financial results for 2013-a 7.4 percent drop each in gross revenue and profits per partner, to $1.137 billion and $2.07 million, respectively-and it's clear that the firm is in the midst of a trying transition. (Managing partner Barry Wolf and other firm leaders declined to comment for this article, but Wolf spoke to sibling publication The Am Law Daily in March about the firm's financial results and its cutbacks; his comments are taken from that interview.) Weil management points to a strong finish to 2013 and a promising first quarter in 2014, with headline deals like Facebook Inc.'s $19 billion Whats­App Inc. acquisition and Oracle Corporation's $1.5 billion acquisition of Responsys Inc. The declines in revenues and profits, while disappointing, were in line with what the firm had budgeted, says Wolf. "It's a repositioning year," he says.

Still, the firm will be hard-pressed to find work as lucrative as the bonanza that fueled it through the recession, its $500 million assignment as bankruptcy counsel for Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. Weil announced a new strategy last June-the same time as the layoffs-to handle what it called "the new normal" of slackening demand for high-end legal services. Yet the steady trickle of partner departures since then shows that not everyone has signed on.

The Lehman Jackpot

When the recession was roiling, few Weil lawyers were complaining; they were too busy. While the collapse of Lehman was devastating for the global economy, it turned out to be very, very good for Weil. Harvey Miller, a towering figure in the legal field and the father of the firm's restructuring practice, led the Lehman representation, conscripting scores of Weil partners and legions of associates to work on the biggest bankruptcy in U.S. history. (The firm's billings on the General Motors Corporation bankruptcy during the recession seem tiny in comparison with the $500 million Lehman tab, but they still generated around $46 million.)

During the dark days of the financial meltdown, when many law firms watched revenues fall and laid off associates, Weil avoided any cuts. Though its revenues fluctuated during the years when the Lehman bankruptcy was most active, from 2008 until March 2012, they remained close to $1.2 billion. While Am Law 100 firms saw gross revenue drop by 3.4 percent and picked up only 0.3 percent in PPP in 2009, Weil saw a 0.2 percent pickup in revenue and a 1.8 percent increase in PPP. In fiscal year 2011, Weil's profits per partner hit $2,440,000, an all-time high and an 8 percent uptick from the year before. (Since 2007, Weil's PPP has been in excess of $2 million.)

Like most big firms, Weil operated on a cash basis, distributing profits annually, and did not set money aside in a reserve. However, it did invest at least some of its Lehman windfall in acquiring new talent. Since 2011, Weil has hired at least three dozen partners for its various offices, particularly in New York, London, Silicon Valley and Washington, D.C. (In 2012 its partnership count went up to 307 from 295 the previous year.) Among the prominent laterals that Weil acquired: M&A partners Richard Climan and Keith Flaum from Dewey & LeBoeuf in Silicon Valley and banking partner Stephen Lucas from Linklaters in London. (Some laterals, including Cobb, Bartholomew and Benson, have since left the firm.)

Weil also hired the consulting firm McKinsey & Co. Inc. to assess how the firm should plan its future. The result: a PowerPoint presentation that flagged New York, London and Palo Alto as centers for the firm's growth. The goal was to aim more of the firm's resources toward higher-margin practice areas: corporate, private equity, restructuring and IP. (New York stands as the firm's largest office, with more than 500 lawyers in all major practice areas; London is second, with about 116 lawyers, primarily in restructuring, private equity and corporate; and Silicon Valley has about 57 lawyers, primarily in IP.) According to one partner, the McKinsey presentation did not include a mention of Weil's Texas offices.

By the first half of 2013, the firm was feeling the loss of the Lehman work-the company had emerged from bankruptcy the year before-and was seeing a slowdown in some other practice areas. Transactional work had not returned to its precrisis levels, while the litigation group had seen a number of major cases wind down, according to one former partner. Among them: major American Airlines anti-trust litigation; a fraudulent conveyance trial against client Anadarko Petroleum Corporation and Kerr-McGee Corporation over the spinoff of Tronox Inc.; some of the major litigation spawned by the Lehman bankruptcy; and the wind-down of the Exxon Mobil Corporation MTBE contamination litigation.

"The challenge that [Weil has] is filling that pipeline," this former partner told sibling publication The Am Law Daily. Although the firm's revenues for 2012 remained steady, PPP for 2012 had dropped 8.6 percent. In early June, Wolf asked practice group heads as part of the annual compensation-setting process to report to him about how they expected each partner to perform for the rest of the year.

Cutting Back

On June 24 Wolf announced that the firm would lay off 60 associates and 110 staffers, and would trim the compensation of about 10 percent of its partnership. (Some partners would see their pay cut by 20 percent.) Wolf also said that Weil would scale back its complex commercial litigation practice, with the Houston and Boston offices seeing the biggest cuts.

In public statements, Wolf tried to frame the cutbacks in a broader context. He told The Am Law Daily that the firm began to seriously consider a restructuring after hearing a presentation earlier in 2013 by Dan DiPietro, chair of Citi Private Bank's law firm group. DiPietro cited Citi findings showing that average annual partner hours billed at the country's 15 most profitable firms had declined by about 10 percent since 2008.

The downsizing affected offices and practices across the board, but Texas partners seem to take it especially personally. Many use the term "New York-centric" to describe Weil's new priorities. "Texas was doing well. Houston and Dallas are among Weil's most profitable offices," says John Strasburger, the former managing partner of Weil's Houston office, where large numbers of associates were laid off.

Though the cuts spared Dallas-in fact, Dallas would have likely picked up the bulk of commercial litigation work previously done in Houston-the partners there were shaken. Many saw the Houston cuts as a sign that Weil was not invested in Texas. Ostolaza says that some of her clients were also puzzled: "They asked me what was going on. They were worried and asked why we were contracting in Texas." Those concerns, she says, made her nervous about whether clients "might be hesitant to send new work."

As soon as Weil announced the cuts, headhunters descended, Ostolaza says. "They went crazy. And some people felt they wanted to return the [recruiters'] calls." The younger partners in particular, she says, felt vulnerable and were eager to explore other options.

In a firm that has a reputation for sharp elbows, the Dallas group proved unusually cohesive, opting to move as a unit. After they narrowed their choices to a handful of law firms, the courtship with Sidley was fast and furious, lasting about three weeks. On September 17 the Dallas group-including Ostolaza, Angela Fontana, Vance Beagles, Kelly Dybala, Yolanda Garcia, Michelle Hartmann, Penny Reid and Angela Zambrano-announced its departure. (Scott Parel joined a few weeks later.) Around the same time, other partners from Weil's Dallas and Houston offices also jumped to competing firms: Michael Saslaw to Vinson & Elkins; R. Jay Tabor to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher; Nicholas Barzoukas to Baker Botts; and Strasburger, Melanie Gray, Lydia Protopapas and Jason Billeck to Winston & Strawn.

Weil management had expected that the cutbacks would spur some partner attrition. In his June 24 memo, Wolf wrote that as a result of the reduction in partner compensation, "it may well be that some of these partners will decide to pursue other opportunities."

However, the mass exodus in Dallas, which went from about 80 to about 50 lawyers, didn't seem part of the grand plan. "Dallas was always the favorite child," says a former Weil partner in Texas. Besides coheading commercial litigation, Ostolaza served on the firm's 17-member management committee; Fontana, another Dallas partner who moved to Sidley, was the cohead of Weil's banking and finance practice. Many of those who left, says Saslaw, "were the young and up-and-coming partners."

Weil's senior management "went into shock," says a former Weil partner in Texas. At the eleventh hour, Weil dispatched management team members from New York to Dallas. "Weil was supportive if we wanted to stay," Ostolaza says.

When it became apparent that it could not stop the Dallas partners from leaving, Weil offered partnership to senior associates Sara Duran and Paige Montgomery and counsel Christopher Gleason in the Dallas office. "They were promised partnership," says Ostolaza about the three. "They came to me and asked what I would do, and I said it was a hard one, because I can't promise that you'll make partner at Sidley. But they came [to Sidley] anyway."

As Gleason tells it, Weil had been dragging its heels about elevating him from counsel to partner for several years. "Then, all of a sudden, Weil told me I would become partner," says Gleason, who was elected to partnership at Sidley in January.

Despite Weil's ordeals in Texas, the firm is hanging on there, saying that it has no plans to shut down Houston or downsize Dallas. (Houston currently has 15 lawyers, primarily in restructuring and IP litigation; Dallas, with 46 lawyers, is focused on corporate, litigation and restructuring work.) According to former partners, Weil is even talking about hiring partners in oil and gas, a practice area where the firm had not previously had many lawyers.

Meanwhile, in Silicon Valley-one of the three offices McKinsey identified as key to the firm's growth-some of Weil's investments are paying off. The past six months have seen Flaum and Climan enjoy a dealmaking hot streak. In addition to advising Facebook in its WhatsApp purchase, one of the year's biggest tech deals, they also represented Lenovo Group Limited in its $3 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility assets and Applied Materials, Inc. in its $9 billion merger with Tokyo Electron Limited in late 2013. After a chastening year, Weil can make a serious claim that it's back in the game with these high-profile deals.

Patent litigation is "booming," Wolf says. Still, the practice area has not entirely recovered from the loss of Matthew Power, who left Weil's Silicon Valley office in 2011 to launch Tensegrity Law Group. Among more recent departures in intellectual property are Barzoukas in Texas; Mark Davis, now at Greenberg Traurig; and Kipnis, who left for Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr. "The nature of the IP practice has changed from a high-margin to a less high-margin practice," Wolf says. "Matt was a great lawyer. Our practice is smaller than it was, but it's very, very busy."Weil's London outpost, according to several recruiters and lawyers at competing American law firms in that city, is well regarded. Representing companies like American International Group Inc. and MF Global UK Limited, it has a solid reputation in restructuring and private equity. Weil has also been on a hiring spree in London-the latest splashy hire being Andrew Wilkinson, formerly the European head of restructuring at Goldman Sachs & Co.

And bankruptcy, arguably Weil's best-known practice area? "It's been a real hedge, as we've seen, when the economy goes bad," says Wolf, who notes that bankruptcy work has been part of Weil's history for 30 years. "We know this is a cycle. We're preparing for the next down cycle." Yet Weil is facing increasing competition, especially as restructuring becomes more international. Firms such as Latham & Watkins; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind & Garrison; Jones Day; Kirkland & Ellis; and Davis Polk & Wardwell are giving Weil a run for the money, led in some cases by Weil alumni such as Corinne Ball at Jones Day, Paul Basta at Kirkland and Jan Baker at Latham. At Weil, bankruptcy practice head Marcia Goldstein, Lori Fife, Stephen Karotkin and Joseph Smolinsky are heavy hitters in the field, but none of them has reached the stature of the 81-year-old Miller. Despite the number of partners who have voted with their feet since last summer, Wolf says that he's pleased with how the new strategy is playing out.

"We were rightsizing various practices. ... We deemphasized some practices outside of New York," he says. "These decisions were very, very painful on a personal level. But I'm more and more convinced that they were the right ones."


And an update published last week: http://www.americanlawyer.com/id=120271 ... bound-Year




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