Boies Schiller

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ChairmanKaga

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Boies Schiller

Post by ChairmanKaga » Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:15 pm

The stream of bad news has been noteworthy. Earlier in the year the MPs appeared to suggest (though not in as many words) that the departures were partners who had been asked to leave. That seems fairly unlikely at this point given the overall number and profile of the departees.

Does anybody have theories or predictions? Are there any insiders on TLS with more intel?

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Re: Boies Schiller

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:44 pm

ChairmanKaga wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 12:15 pm
The stream of bad news has been noteworthy. Earlier in the year the MPs appeared to suggest (though not in as many words) that the departures were partners who had been asked to leave. That seems fairly unlikely at this point given the overall number and profile of the departees.

Does anybody have theories or predictions? Are there any insiders on TLS with more intel?

BSF is an interesting case study of law firm life cycles. There was a power struggle between two groups of partners within BSF for who would take over leadership once Boies and Schiller stepped back and transitioned into retirement. The group that lost is now leaving in waves, including the Dunn/Isaacson departures to PW and the Marshall/Michaelson departures to K&S. Because they're all professionals, in public they've mostly not aired any dirty laundry (of course, that's also due to their own self-interest. Better for everyone to make it seem amicable in public).

Collectively, the departing partners' clients include some of BSF's biggest, including Apple, Uber, Oracle, Barclays, DraftKings, Nike, and HSBC. BSF's revenue (not to mention prestige) will take a huge hit, and it's struggling to get work even apart from the Covid problems the entire industry is facing. Boies himself can't generate the business he used to be able to, and the partners who could have stepped in have been halved, pretty much. (It's noteworthy that BSF defenders who would occasionally come by TLS and say that new partners are now bringing in the bulk of the business have disappeared. We can verify now how big the losses were from the Theranos and Weinstein scandals, and how nothing the firm has done was able to replace that reputational/business-generating hit.)

In terms of predictions, the firm will drop out of the "elite" level (think Susman, Kellogg, etc.) lit boutiques it used to be in. Also, the big end-of-year bonuses for associates are a thing of the past. I would not recommend graduating law students or clerks go to BSF unless you are pretty risk-tolerant and don't care about constant instability and uncertainty about the firm's ability to give you work long-term (or your own office to work in, for that matter). If you care about prestige, top-end work, and above-market pay, BSF's no longer the place for that. Add to that the fact that the firm still refuses to give associates the perks that are standard at "peer" firms like Cravath or PW or S&C (e.g., cell phones/data, WFH budget), and it's hard to see what it's attraction would be for top-level students/clerks. Right now the firm is trying to bring in new partners that can bring in business and it says things will be just fine, but the proof is in the pudding.

It's a fascinating story of decline, but also sort of predictable (as TLS has called out for a while now).

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Sackboy

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Re: Boies Schiller

Post by Sackboy » Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:57 pm

Yeah, BSF looks pretty donezo. One article I read said that the pair of partners who left from the executive committee to PW made up $100 million of BSF's $400 million revenue. If that's true, that alone changes the economics and stability of the firm. This is aside from the losses to K&S today, the loss of the 15 partners in LA earlier this year, and the random partner poaching this is part of the ordinary course of business.

Ultramar vistas

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Re: Boies Schiller

Post by Ultramar vistas » Fri Jun 19, 2020 4:49 pm

Agreed; crazy how quickly these things can happen but when I was in school it was up there with the most prestigious lit boutiques and now I wouldn’t touch it with a 10 foot pole.

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