Restructuring - worst practice area?

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Restructuring - worst practice area?

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Jun 04, 2020 7:07 pm

For various reasons I cannot go into, I am likely to be moved as a baby junior to our restructuring group which has a focus on hedge funds and creditors.

I appreciate the RS has a rep as being a bad practice area.
Constant fire-drills. No work/life balance. Highly stressful. Unpredictable.

My girlfriend does regulatory. She has pretty calm hours writing memos. I am so humiliated.

Anyone have a silver lining? Fantastic hidden exits? Way I see it is at least there is demand. At least they need me. I like and am good at litigation, much more so than corporate or finance which unfortunately is heavy in RS :(
Offshore opportunities. Probably less for regulatory for her. Then I could come back and work for a distressed fund. I have no idea what that involves, but it sounds well-paid and less stressy than RS in biglaw.

2013

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Re: Restructuring - worst practice area?

Post by 2013 » Thu Jun 04, 2020 11:37 pm

Did I miss something. Why are you humiliated?

jarofsoup

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Re: Restructuring - worst practice area?

Post by jarofsoup » Fri Jun 05, 2020 6:35 am

it ain’t that bad. You learn basically every aspect of a companies operations and work on a wide variety of issues. It is a generalist practice in a way.

There are also some tasks that are more analytical. Like how to structure investments to protect the investor from insolvency.

Debtor work though involves a lot of paper pushing and can be a bit tiring.

westvillage

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Re: Restructuring - worst practice area?

Post by westvillage » Fri Jun 05, 2020 8:12 am

Echoing jarofsoup's comment: Restructuring is a highly generalist practice, where even as a very junior associate you may be asked to look at a very wide variety of documents (credit agreements + ancillary documents, merger agreements + ancillary documents, legal precedents at the bankruptcy court, appellate court, and supreme court level, code provisions, employment agreements, corporate governance agreements, D&O insurance, restructuring support agreements (whether for in-court or out of court restructurings), IP agreements, etc.). Depending on the matter, you may also be drafting and commenting on briefs, reading and summarizing court opinions, and going to court.

It's true that there can be fire drills, stress, and unpredictability, and work-life balance can definitely be challenging. There are things you can do to manage the above, including communicating with your team and understanding the status of your matters to the best of your ability. At the same time, Restructuring can be exciting, substantive, and thrilling.

FedFan123

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Re: Restructuring - worst practice area?

Post by FedFan123 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:07 am

My experience is that on average a firm’s restructuring attorneys are its best and most intelligent (emphasis on my caveat in there before people get up in arms)

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Anonymous User
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Re: Restructuring - worst practice area?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:14 am

Are you going creditor side or debtor, because those are very different experiences (based on your post, sounds like creditor).

I'm on the debtor side and agree with other folks--I love the variety, the pace, doing different things. Of course the hours can be rough, but they're more predictable that M&A.

Happy to discuss specifics if you want--RX gets a bad rap, but it definitely isn't as niche as some people make it seem.

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Re: Restructuring - worst practice area?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:49 pm

Thank you all!

Will it be creditor or debtor? I can't say for sure, but I expect mostly creditor. Clients are hedge funds and SWFs.

On the plus side, there's variety and it is challenging. On the downside, I'm not so sure I want to be challenged. I want to lie down with a beer. I want to save for a couple of years, go offshore to Cayman and relax drinking fancy cocktails on the beach. I want to then go home in-house earning good money in a 9-7 job with some occasional longer hours and weekends.

I don't want to be trapped with no life, no family, no girlfriend, doing fire drills every night, 20lbs overweight and be this dull, grey restructuring lawyer, completely trapped with limited exit options (which still involve crappy hours).

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Re: Restructuring - worst practice area?

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:51 pm

OP again - I should caveat lest anyone get the wrong end of the stick, I've been billing around 2400 the last (nearly) two years. I'm not that workshy.

westvillage

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Re: Restructuring - worst practice area?

Post by westvillage » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:31 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:49 pm
Thank you all!

Will it be creditor or debtor? I can't say for sure, but I expect mostly creditor. Clients are hedge funds and SWFs.

On the plus side, there's variety and it is challenging. On the downside, I'm not so sure I want to be challenged. I want to lie down with a beer. I want to save for a couple of years, go offshore to Cayman and relax drinking fancy cocktails on the beach. I want to then go home in-house earning good money in a 9-7 job with some occasional longer hours and weekends.

I don't want to be trapped with no life, no family, no girlfriend, doing fire drills every night, 20lbs overweight and be this dull, grey restructuring lawyer, completely trapped with limited exit options (which still involve crappy hours).
Restructuring is definitely challenging for work-life balance, and you are likely to be very busy, especially in this climate. That said, it's not impossible to go in-house, even as a second or third year in Restructuring, as many banks are interested in having people who are cross-functional and experienced in the financial restructuring. It's also possible as a second year to lateral to another firm to, for example, Credit/Finance-type practices or even a more general corporate practice, depending, of course, on the market. Creditor-side work is, generally speaking, not as grueling as debtor-side work and more intellectually stimulating on average.

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LBJ's Hair

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Re: Restructuring - worst practice area?

Post by LBJ's Hair » Fri Jun 05, 2020 1:49 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 12:49 pm
Thank you all!

Will it be creditor or debtor? I can't say for sure, but I expect mostly creditor. Clients are hedge funds and SWFs.

On the plus side, there's variety and it is challenging. On the downside, I'm not so sure I want to be challenged. I want to lie down with a beer. I want to save for a couple of years, go offshore to Cayman and relax drinking fancy cocktails on the beach. I want to then go home in-house earning good money in a 9-7 job with some occasional longer hours and weekends.

I don't want to be trapped with no life, no family, no girlfriend, doing fire drills every night, 20lbs overweight and be this dull, grey restructuring lawyer, completely trapped with limited exit options (which still involve crappy hours).
If you want to go in-house, this is a blessing. Easier doing it from restructuring than litigation, which it sounds like you were doing before.

jarofsoup

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Re: Restructuring - worst practice area?

Post by jarofsoup » Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:24 pm

60% of junior litigator I have worked with seem unable to write a complete sentence....some of the partners also seen to struggle. I have seen so much verbal diarrhea drafted by lit.

I would try to learn all the finance you can as well.

I don’t think you have to wait years to go work at a Cayman firm....

sms18

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Re: Restructuring - worst practice area?

Post by sms18 » Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:58 pm

FedFan123 wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:07 am
My experience is that on average a firm’s restructuring attorneys are its best and most intelligent (emphasis on my caveat in there before people get up in arms)
Given how vague your "best and most intelligent" is worded, it's hard for anyone to rebut what you said. I wouldn't exactly call the rx attorneys the "best and most intelligent," but agree that restructuring involves a lot more strategic thinking from the lawyers than in many other transaction contexts (such as M&A, where the actual strategy mainly comes from the client side or the bankers/financial advisors).

LBJ's Hair

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Re: Restructuring - worst practice area?

Post by LBJ's Hair » Fri Jun 05, 2020 4:20 pm

sms18 wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:58 pm
FedFan123 wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:07 am
My experience is that on average a firm’s restructuring attorneys are its best and most intelligent (emphasis on my caveat in there before people get up in arms)
Given how vague your "best and most intelligent" is worded, it's hard for anyone to rebut what you said. I wouldn't exactly call the rx attorneys the "best and most intelligent," but agree that restructuring involves a lot more strategic thinking from the lawyers than in many other transaction contexts (such as M&A, where the actual strategy mainly comes from the client side or the bankers/financial advisors).
Funnily enough, in my experience BigLaw bankruptcy attorneys usually have the shittiest paper credentials at their firm. (Skim through the Chambers-ranked NY bankruptcy lawyers and you'll see what I mean -- not resumes a David Lat would salivate over.)

Not sure why, and it doesn't really matter, but I've noticed it and think it's a little odd. Restructuring is a fascinating corporate-litigation hybrid, and bankruptcy/distressed attracts plenty of gold star types in the finance world. But for whatever reason, apparently less interesting to careerist T14 grads.

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Re: Restructuring - worst practice area?

Post by FedFan123 » Sat Jun 06, 2020 12:20 am

sms18 wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 3:58 pm
FedFan123 wrote:
Fri Jun 05, 2020 10:07 am
My experience is that on average a firm’s restructuring attorneys are its best and most intelligent (emphasis on my caveat in there before people get up in arms)
Given how vague your "best and most intelligent" is worded, it's hard for anyone to rebut what you said. I wouldn't exactly call the rx attorneys the "best and most intelligent," but agree that restructuring involves a lot more strategic thinking from the lawyers than in many other transaction contexts (such as M&A, where the actual strategy mainly comes from the client side or the bankers/financial advisors).
It was intended to be a general comment

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