Lateral Conflict Waiver Request = Kiss of Death??

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acctname
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Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:21 am

Lateral Conflict Waiver Request = Kiss of Death??

Postby acctname » Tue Jun 20, 2017 8:42 am

Has anyone heard of a potential lateral asking for a conflict waiver while still at their current firm and having it work out?

Biglaw lit associate working through conflicts after accepting a lateral offer. New firm reps another party on a current matter and wants a prospective waiver, doesn't think a screen is enough (a 180 from what they told me when I brought this up in our first meeting). I do not have direct client contact and the client would talk to current firm if I went around the firm to ask for the waiver.

Seems like a disaster in the making because current firm has no incentive to make this happen and lots of incentive to jam it up. I'm one of the few remaining in a now-small group (lots of associate departures, voluntary and involuntary) and my departure will be disruptive. And if they get the client to say no, the lateral job is dead and I can only count on the current job for as long as it takes them to hire my replacement.

Lateral firm is pushing hard for me to ask and minimizing the possibility that the client will say no, but the downside is obviously 100% on me.

My instincts are screaming that this is a deal killer but it's otherwise a great opportunity that I would not pass up. Anyone ever dealt with this successfully?

Anonymous User
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Re: Lateral Conflict Waiver Request = Kiss of Death??

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 20, 2017 9:32 am

Used to work in conflicts - the short answer is yes - it happens way more often than you'd think and is usually approved.

New firm may be able to help facilitate the process. At my firm, we would draw up a letter and sometimes the hiring partner would correspond with old client directly. That may be firm-by-firm. I also don't think it would be inappropriate to ask old client for discretion. That would go into the form letter as well.

Anonymous User
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Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Lateral Conflict Waiver Request = Kiss of Death??

Postby Anonymous User » Tue Jun 20, 2017 4:02 pm

this can 100% eliminate a candidate. i was a hair away from having my offer reneged based on a client not wanting to sign a waiver, and a friend of mine was straight eliminated from consideration by a firm because the client would not sign. hopefully that's as rare as the person above me said, but my anecdotal experience indicates you should at least make a contingency plan/be prepared if the news is bad, just because that's a possibility----i had not been prepared for it at all.




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