Lateral from Bankruptcy to M&A/Corp

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Lateral from Bankruptcy to M&A/Corp

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:22 pm

I am a mid-level associate practicing in bankruptcy and I’m almost out of patience with it. The practice is nothing but fire drills, hours all over the place, I can’t take a vacation and not have people calling and emailing me, partners needing every menial task done ASAP, etc.

On top of that, we brought in a first year who really isn’t interested in contributing and this person believes s/he should already be partner. S/he has no interest in helping other associates.

I have an opportunity to lateral to another firm and focus exclusively on corporate/M&A work. I hate the litigation aspect of bankruptcy, so that’s a plus.

My question is: will moving to corp/M&A really be better than what I have now? It’s going to take a lot of time and effort to move firms, so I don’t want to move for no benefit. I would like something that has a more consistent flow.

Thanks.

jarofsoup

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Re: Lateral from Bankruptcy to M&A/Corp

Post by jarofsoup » Thu Dec 27, 2018 1:50 pm

Can you PM me. I am in a similar position and would love advice on how you changed practice groups.

jarofsoup

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Re: Lateral from Bankruptcy to M&A/Corp

Post by jarofsoup » Thu Dec 27, 2018 3:14 pm

But I don't think MA or corp is easier. I think there is still a lot of fire drills. But the work is probably more paper pushing and the exit options are a lot better.

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Re: Lateral from Bankruptcy to M&A/Corp

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Dec 27, 2018 8:06 pm

I’m a bankruptcy midlevel, can’t say for sure that the work will be more enjoyable (I personally enjoy bankruptcy) but hours will likely be better in corporate. Seems like the right decision to switch here if you don’t like the work and hate the hours.

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Re: Lateral from Bankruptcy to M&A/Corp

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Dec 28, 2018 9:21 am

I worked in leveraged finance before switching over to M&A/corporate, but we did plenty of work with our bankruptcy group when there were emergency DIP lending facilities that were needed. Honestly, the people that did a lot of work with the bankruptcy group seemed miserable because of the nature of the work. I can't say it will be the same everywhere, since I switched markets to change groups, but I find M&A work to be much more enjoyable than finance work and the little work I did with the bankruptcy group.

M&A work does have its ups and downs, hard charging clients, and fire drills, but the work is much more business oriented and way less technical. Your clients are also generally in a much better place emotionally since their business isn't collapsing, so the added stress of the situation you are helping with is not there. Obviously its different with every firm/partner, but I am very glad I changed groups and your prior bankruptcy work would be considered pretty interesting as most corporate associates don't have that skill set at all. I know when we need stuff done that touches on finance work it is pretty nice to get thrown extra work I used to be good at, but have no real responsibilities for other than helping with financing reps and diligence on credit agreements.

To each his own, but as someone that enjoys the business side more, the switch was necessary.

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jarofsoup

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Re: Lateral from Bankruptcy to M&A/Corp

Post by jarofsoup » Fri Dec 28, 2018 11:11 am

What other practice switch group switches are possible for those who are bankruptcy attorneys?

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Re: Lateral from Bankruptcy to M&A/Corp

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Dec 28, 2018 3:52 pm

A lot of this is going to depend on the specific firm and practice group, bankruptcy in particular can vary a fairly large amount in terms of the types of representations you’re doing. OP appears to be at a smaller shop, probably representing specific non-company side constituencies (basing this only on the point about hiring one bad junior, debtor side places have larger class sizes, so I could be totally off base). OP have you considered looking for a new firm within the bankruptcy space focusing on out of court workouts, creditor side reps, something else you aren’t doing now?

As for how difficult it is to switch to a new group, it’s easier to do it within your firm and probably not that hard if you’re set on switching and your firm likes you. In my time at my firm I’ve seen people switch to corporate and litigation, so I don’t you’re going to be pigeonholed. That said, I think this is very much ymmv.

carsondalywashere

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Re: Lateral from Bankruptcy to M&A/Corp

Post by carsondalywashere » Fri Dec 28, 2018 5:41 pm

jarofsoup wrote:What other practice switch group switches are possible for those who are bankruptcy attorneys?
Also interested

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Re: Lateral from Bankruptcy to M&A/Corp

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Dec 28, 2018 6:32 pm

OP here. Thanks for the advice so far. I am at a smaller shop. We do debtor work, just not to the extent of K&E and Weil. My concern with moving to another bankruptcy group is that I will not escape the litigation.

I am not opposed to long hours because that is what I signed up for. However, I am hoping for something a little more predictable than bankruptcy work, because right now I get the expedited litigation deadlines plus the extra headache of ASAP insolvency issues.

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Anonymous User
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Re: Lateral from Bankruptcy to M&A/Corp

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:13 pm

OP I think there are ways to minimize the amount of lit work you do in bankruptcy, but you’re right that you probably can’t avoid it completely. If you do hate it then I think you should take the M&A opportunity and run with it. No sense in continuing to do something you aren’t enjoying.

For others that don’t have a position lined up that are interested in switching, I would look internally first if you like the firm and they like you. Other than that, I would look at places like Weil or KE that do a lot of distressed M&A work and sell your bankruptcy experience. The fact of the matter is, at my Weil/KE firm, corporate HATES working with us in bankruptcy. Turnaround time can be brutal (I’m working with our PE group on a matter now with a particularly absurd timeline and I know they hate it) and everything else that goes with it makes it more difficult. We spin off a ton of work though and need people, so I think this could be a pretty decent route to try.

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LaLiLuLeLo

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Re: Lateral from Bankruptcy to M&A/Corp

Post by LaLiLuLeLo » Fri Dec 28, 2018 8:18 pm

Can confirm we corporate folks hate working on the BK stuff...

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