Best creditor-side restructuring shops Forum

(On Campus Interviews, Summer Associate positions, Firm Reviews, Tips, ...)
Forum rules
Anonymous Posting

Anonymous posting is only appropriate when you are revealing sensitive employment related information about a firm, job, etc. You may anonymously respond on topic to these threads. Unacceptable uses include: harassing another user, joking around, testing the feature, or other things that are more appropriate in the lounge.

Failure to follow these rules will get you outed, warned, or banned.
Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 13, 2021 10:48 am

I am a second year associate and I have been doing some restructuring work as well as m&a. Now I am looking to lateral into a firm speciliazing in creditor-side restructuring.

I understand that DPW/PW/Milbank are the top dogs in this area, but can somebody please explain how they are different in terms of the nature of work/culture? Also, which firm has the best chance of moving to an investment role in a distressed debt fund/pe?

Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 13, 2021 1:04 pm

My info is both second-hand and a bit outdated, but I'll weigh in until somebody who actually knows what they're talking about comes around.

My understanding is that DPW and PW have similar reps: predominantly creditor-side, with a (growing?) amount of debtor work as the groups expand headcount. DPW may lean a bit more towards the bank side of things; PW leans more towards sponsor/PE. Akin and Milbank are both known for their UCC work, though I'm sure their practices are diversified.

At least w/r/t partners, the PW group seems more lateral-heavy (Basta from KE, few others from KE, LW, WLRK, etc.), whereas the DPW group is more home-grown. based on the current websites, DPW RX is now substantially larger than PW RX (38 associates vs. 16) — I'm not sure that was always the case. At one point in time, I think they were roughly equal in size.

This is probably the best RX thread in recent memory, with plenty of detailed comparisons among the top RX shops: viewtopic.php?f=23&t=307760

TLS1234321

New
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Mar 18, 2020 10:28 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by TLS1234321 » Sat Nov 13, 2021 2:37 pm

Bit of a pivot. Does anyone know anything about S&C's restructuring practice?

Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 13, 2021 3:35 pm

TLS1234321 wrote:
Sat Nov 13, 2021 2:37 pm
Bit of a pivot. Does anyone know anything about S&C's restructuring practice?
Also interested.

Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Nov 13, 2021 3:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Sat Nov 13, 2021 3:35 pm
TLS1234321 wrote:
Sat Nov 13, 2021 2:37 pm
Bit of a pivot. Does anyone know anything about S&C's restructuring practice?
Also interested.
When I interviewed and “second looked” there a few years ago as an restructuring-interested candidate, I got major ‘Potemkin village’ vibes, like they were creating the facade of some established practice that didn’t actually exist. That may have changed since; they’ve made a few lateral hires there in the last couple years. Even so, they’re not in the same ballpark as the top firms (I think Chambers would confirm that).

FWIW, some of that applies to CSM, too. I’m sure they do good work, but it seems restructuring there is really a pet project of 1-2 partners, rather than a dedicated practice group.

Want to continue reading?

Register now to search topics and post comments!

Absolutely FREE!


Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Sun Nov 14, 2021 4:24 pm

Neither S&C nor CSM is particularly relevant in the restructuring space. If you want toptier M&A work, they're both great options but you should only choose them for restructuring if you're mildly interested in restructuring but otherwise happy to 100% pick pubco M&A.

Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:17 am

I work at White and Case in the financial insolvency and restructuring group. It's incredible and small, very tight-knitted with some genuinely kind, non-toxic people. I lateral'd from Weil/Kirkland, everyone told me I was making a big mistake but I couldn't take the lifestyle to be perfectly honest. White and Case has been worlds better. They are also actively looking for people. If you want to connect further to talk, leave a contact in reply and I would be happy to discuss the market generally/rx, my experiences, and my jobs. Good luck all!

Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:20 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:17 am
I work at White and Case in the financial insolvency and restructuring group. It's incredible and small, very tight-knitted with some genuinely kind, non-toxic people. I lateral'd from Weil/Kirkland, everyone told me I was making a big mistake but I couldn't take the lifestyle to be perfectly honest. White and Case has been worlds better. They are also actively looking for people. If you want to connect further to talk, leave a contact in reply and I would be happy to discuss the market generally/rx, my experiences, and my jobs. Good luck all!
Except that you all are working for Tom Lauria…who is basically a real world Sauron that just naturally inspires fear around him

Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:33 pm

3L here trying to weigh different practice area options. I'd be grateful to hear from some of the experienced RX ppl that clearly lurk around here.

Based on skimming different TLS threads, if you start at a top bankruptcy group, it sounds like the potential career paths are:
  1. Stay and make partner in top RX group
  2. Lateral to a smaller BL firm, or a bankruptcy 'boutique', and try to make partner there
  3. Move to RX investment banking or to RX buy side
  4. Move to RX-adjacent practice/consulting, e.g., A&M or FTI
  5. Pivot to a more gen corp role and try to move in-house with that
Is this basically the lay of the land -- am I missing anything important? Among those options, what are relatively speaking the most common and realistic exits? (1) and (3) are the sexiest/most glamorous options (and thus probably the rarest?); it seems like (2), and perhaps (4) & (5), are the more realistic goals. Am I right about that?

Want to continue reading?

Register for access!

Did I mention it was FREE ?


Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:46 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:20 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:17 am
I work at White and Case in the financial insolvency and restructuring group. It's incredible and small, very tight-knitted with some genuinely kind, non-toxic people. I lateral'd from Weil/Kirkland, everyone told me I was making a big mistake but I couldn't take the lifestyle to be perfectly honest. White and Case has been worlds better. They are also actively looking for people. If you want to connect further to talk, leave a contact in reply and I would be happy to discuss the market generally/rx, my experiences, and my jobs. Good luck all!
Except that you all are working for Tom Lauria…who is basically a real world Sauron that just naturally inspires fear around him
It's also not small. Like, at all. Their website counts 130+ US-based lawyers in their RX group, and even discounting the false positives from people who are just RX-adjacent, that is absolutely not a small group by RX standards, and I have never thought of them as a small group.

No idea what it's like to work there, but my perception as someone in RX, but not at White & Case:

- The group has been doing really well over the past few years, has picked up some up and coming lateral partners, and has made headways in picking up big debtor mandates (Hertz is one of the most successful chapter 11s ever, even accounting for the absurd market turnaround that buoyed it)

-There are significant costs (and in edge cases, benefits) to being associated with the Tom Lauria Show when it comes to your long term rep in the RX world. Most people are likely to approach you with at least some trepidation. Others will (perhaps unfairly) regard you as an unhirable persona non grata. Still others might find it appealing, if they are at similar shops (i.e., known bomb throwers).That rep may change over time, but it's worth considering if you want to maximize exit opps.

Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 1:36 pm

Another pivot, but does anyone have intel on the creditor-side rx practice at Proskauer? I know they represent a lot of private credit lenders so would imagine there is a lot of credit bidding, etc., there.

Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Dec 08, 2021 3:58 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:46 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:20 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:17 am
I work at White and Case in the financial insolvency and restructuring group. It's incredible and small, very tight-knitted with some genuinely kind, non-toxic people. I lateral'd from Weil/Kirkland, everyone told me I was making a big mistake but I couldn't take the lifestyle to be perfectly honest. White and Case has been worlds better. They are also actively looking for people. If you want to connect further to talk, leave a contact in reply and I would be happy to discuss the market generally/rx, my experiences, and my jobs. Good luck all!
Except that you all are working for Tom Lauria…who is basically a real world Sauron that just naturally inspires fear around him
It's also not small. Like, at all. Their website counts 130+ US-based lawyers in their RX group, and even discounting the false positives from people who are just RX-adjacent, that is absolutely not a small group by RX standards, and I have never thought of them as a small group.

No idea what it's like to work there, but my perception as someone in RX, but not at White & Case:

- The group has been doing really well over the past few years, has picked up some up and coming lateral partners, and has made headways in picking up big debtor mandates (Hertz is one of the most successful chapter 11s ever, even accounting for the absurd market turnaround that buoyed it)

-There are significant costs (and in edge cases, benefits) to being associated with the Tom Lauria Show when it comes to your long term rep in the RX world. Most people are likely to approach you with at least some trepidation. Others will (perhaps unfairly) regard you as an unhirable persona non grata. Still others might find it appealing, if they are at similar shops (i.e., known bomb throwers).That rep may change over time, but it's worth considering if you want to maximize exit opps.
Hi OP from W&C here.
(1) the ENTIRE group is not small, but the groups in each office are substantially smaller than you would find at a massive debtor shop like Weil/KE. I believe that 45 associates were hired for 2021's class in KE (but check me if I'm wrong). That's a much more substantial number than 130 total across 4 US offices. Additionally, the Miami office is actively seeking additional attorneys in RX, which is a much better gig than working in NYC. One thing to think about is that the Restructuring group at W&C does not usually pull from summer associates but from the first year general corporate pool which means there will be fewer people clamoring for jobs there overtime. It's kind of like a well-kept secret in some ways.

(2) Working with Tom Lauria -- to be honest, he's been very kind to me so far and I've got nothing negative to say about him. To the extent that he has a reputation in the industry, so does everyone who attains status as he has. At my previous firm, there were a number of individuals who were extremely toxic and very powerful. Working around TL has been far and away less stressful, in my opinion.

Do I know a ton about him? No, but do keep in mind that it's entirely possible to work at W&C RX and not work directly beneath Tom Lauria on one of his deals, especially if you really sought to avoid it. Plus, he splits his time between NY-Miami, you would almost never see him if you went to L.A. or Chicago. There are tons of other people to work with and for. He's the head of the group, he's not popping into your office every day to "yell at you" -- again, he has actually been nothing but extremely respectful and cool to me and the other associates who've worked with him that I've met so far. I left my other job because of poor treatment and serious cultural issues; I would be the absolute first person to call him out as a trashbag if that's how he had treated me. But, again, you really shouldn't take gossip other people have about an individual in terms of his/her professional career and believe that that stands for, or is an accurate representation of, how the person as a will treat you as a boss or as an individual. The culture in the group, especially in my office, is EXTREMELY collegial and kind. Much more so than my last firm.

(3) not everyone working in RX and/or at a big law firm intends to stay and make their way toward partner. Anecdotally, people have been much more forthcoming (mid-levels and other juniors) in discussing their post-big law plans in my group, which I appreciate. It's refreshing to work with so many people who do not view their job as the be all end all of their existence and who understand that partnership in big law is always, at best, an aspiration, even for more senior associates. It's great to be able to discuss this because, if you are not sure you want to be a partner, being able to plumb your fellow classmates and associates for job advice/connections to other work/their experience, once you're ready to move on from big law (should you choose to), is actually what you want to be doing (especially if you're looking to make a career switch after big law to government work -- whether DOJ Trustee offices or different types of government work, public interest, teaching, etc.). Not everyone needs to go into the job thinking that restructuring in big law will always be their top choice. If it is, that's amazing! W&C has tons of opportunities for that. If not, awesome, you'll still be a valuable player.

That's just my 2cents. Like I said if you're interested in talking more privately about RX and/or my experiences I'd be happy to share. Just drop an email in the comments and I'll reach out. Happy non-denominational holiday season everyone! :)

forthelols

New
Posts: 7
Joined: Mon Jun 03, 2019 3:06 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by forthelols » Thu Dec 09, 2021 12:24 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:17 am
I work at White and Case in the financial insolvency and restructuring group. It's incredible and small, very tight-knitted with some genuinely kind, non-toxic people. I lateral'd from Weil/Kirkland, everyone told me I was making a big mistake but I couldn't take the lifestyle to be perfectly honest. White and Case has been worlds better. They are also actively looking for people. If you want to connect further to talk, leave a contact in reply and I would be happy to discuss the market generally/rx, my experiences, and my jobs. Good luck all!
Can you PM me? Would be interested in discussing.

Register now!

Resources to assist law school applicants, students & graduates.

It's still FREE!


User avatar
njdevils2626

Silver
Posts: 513
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 9:53 pm

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by njdevils2626 » Thu Dec 09, 2021 8:56 am

forthelols wrote:
Thu Dec 09, 2021 12:24 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:17 am
I work at White and Case in the financial insolvency and restructuring group. It's incredible and small, very tight-knitted with some genuinely kind, non-toxic people. I lateral'd from Weil/Kirkland, everyone told me I was making a big mistake but I couldn't take the lifestyle to be perfectly honest. White and Case has been worlds better. They are also actively looking for people. If you want to connect further to talk, leave a contact in reply and I would be happy to discuss the market generally/rx, my experiences, and my jobs. Good luck all!
Can you PM me? Would be interested in discussing.
Same

Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Dec 09, 2021 10:13 am

Former Rx lawyer at two of the predominant creditor-side firms and now on the buyside.

Now that I'm on the client side, the hiring decisions are more about specific partners than the firm. Paul Weiss and Davis Polk are in their own tier in that we're confident that any of their senior partners have the experience and skills to do a good job and tend to represent the slices of the capital structure most relevant to us (i.e., 1L down to unsecured bonds but not really equity or UCC). After that, it becomes more granular but there are partners at other firms that are in the same tier, e.g., Dennis Dunne @ Milbank, Mike Stamer @ Akin, Bruce Bennett @ Jones Day.

W&C is definitely on the rise. Combination of hiring well plus heavy visibility in cases like Hertz. They're making a big bus dev push right now. Ropes is also one to keep an eye on. Hansen's team at Stroock is also good.

I wouldn't let Tom Lauria be the reason you write off W&C.

Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Dec 09, 2021 10:19 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 3:58 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:46 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:20 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:17 am
I work at White and Case in the financial insolvency and restructuring group. It's incredible and small, very tight-knitted with some genuinely kind, non-toxic people. I lateral'd from Weil/Kirkland, everyone told me I was making a big mistake but I couldn't take the lifestyle to be perfectly honest. White and Case has been worlds better. They are also actively looking for people. If you want to connect further to talk, leave a contact in reply and I would be happy to discuss the market generally/rx, my experiences, and my jobs. Good luck all!
Except that you all are working for Tom Lauria…who is basically a real world Sauron that just naturally inspires fear around him
It's also not small. Like, at all. Their website counts 130+ US-based lawyers in their RX group, and even discounting the false positives from people who are just RX-adjacent, that is absolutely not a small group by RX standards, and I have never thought of them as a small group.

No idea what it's like to work there, but my perception as someone in RX, but not at White & Case:

- The group has been doing really well over the past few years, has picked up some up and coming lateral partners, and has made headways in picking up big debtor mandates (Hertz is one of the most successful chapter 11s ever, even accounting for the absurd market turnaround that buoyed it)

-There are significant costs (and in edge cases, benefits) to being associated with the Tom Lauria Show when it comes to your long term rep in the RX world. Most people are likely to approach you with at least some trepidation. Others will (perhaps unfairly) regard you as an unhirable persona non grata. Still others might find it appealing, if they are at similar shops (i.e., known bomb throwers).That rep may change over time, but it's worth considering if you want to maximize exit opps.
(2) Working with Tom Lauria -- to be honest, he's been very kind to me so far and I've got nothing negative to say about him. To the extent that he has a reputation in the industry, so does everyone who attains status as he has. At my previous firm, there were a number of individuals who were extremely toxic and very powerful. Working around TL has been far and away less stressful, in my opinion.

Do I know a ton about him? No, but do keep in mind that it's entirely possible to work at W&C RX and not work directly beneath Tom Lauria on one of his deals, especially if you really sought to avoid it. Plus, he splits his time between NY-Miami, you would almost never see him if you went to L.A. or Chicago. There are tons of other people to work with and for. He's the head of the group, he's not popping into your office every day to "yell at you" -- again, he has actually been nothing but extremely respectful and cool to me and the other associates who've worked with him that I've met so far. I left my other job because of poor treatment and serious cultural issues; I would be the absolute first person to call him out as a trashbag if that's how he had treated me. But, again, you really shouldn't take gossip other people have about an individual in terms of his/her professional career and believe that that stands for, or is an accurate representation of, how the person as a will treat you as a boss or as an individual. The culture in the group, especially in my office, is EXTREMELY collegial and kind. Much more so than my last firm.
I wasn't talking about what it's like to work for him, for all I know he's a total saint behind thescenes. I was talking about how he (and people associated with him) are perceived in the RX world generally. I'm personally agnostic towards him, and even if I weren't, I wouldn't begrudge anyone for working with him.

But that's just me. There are many people out in the world of RX that absolutely will hold it against you, even if you never work with the guy. I'm not saying you should fixate on it; it's just one thing to think about.

ETA: as for the notion that everyone of a similar stature "has a reputation" - no. It's not the same. Tom Lauria is a notorious-probably the most notorious-bomb thrower in RX, as well as just being extremely unpleasant to deal with. It's not just a matter of being well known.

Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Dec 09, 2021 12:27 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Dec 09, 2021 10:13 am
Former Rx lawyer at two of the predominant creditor-side firms and now on the buyside.

Now that I'm on the client side, the hiring decisions are more about specific partners than the firm. Paul Weiss and Davis Polk are in their own tier in that we're confident that any of their senior partners have the experience and skills to do a good job and tend to represent the slices of the capital structure most relevant to us (i.e., 1L down to unsecured bonds but not really equity or UCC). After that, it becomes more granular but there are partners at other firms that are in the same tier, e.g., Dennis Dunne @ Milbank, Mike Stamer @ Akin, Bruce Bennett @ Jones Day.

W&C is definitely on the rise. Combination of hiring well plus heavy visibility in cases like Hertz. They're making a big bus dev push right now. Ropes is also one to keep an eye on. Hansen's team at Stroock is also good.

I wouldn't let Tom Lauria be the reason you write off W&C.
Are you in an investment role? If so, could you tell me how you made the transition?

Get unlimited access to all forums and topics

Register now!

I'm pretty sure I told you it's FREE...


Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Dec 09, 2021 12:47 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Dec 09, 2021 10:19 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 3:58 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:46 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:20 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:17 am
I work at White and Case in the financial insolvency and restructuring group. It's incredible and small, very tight-knitted with some genuinely kind, non-toxic people. I lateral'd from Weil/Kirkland, everyone told me I was making a big mistake but I couldn't take the lifestyle to be perfectly honest. White and Case has been worlds better. They are also actively looking for people. If you want to connect further to talk, leave a contact in reply and I would be happy to discuss the market generally/rx, my experiences, and my jobs. Good luck all!
Except that you all are working for Tom Lauria…who is basically a real world Sauron that just naturally inspires fear around him
It's also not small. Like, at all. Their website counts 130+ US-based lawyers in their RX group, and even discounting the false positives from people who are just RX-adjacent, that is absolutely not a small group by RX standards, and I have never thought of them as a small group.

No idea what it's like to work there, but my perception as someone in RX, but not at White & Case:

- The group has been doing really well over the past few years, has picked up some up and coming lateral partners, and has made headways in picking up big debtor mandates (Hertz is one of the most successful chapter 11s ever, even accounting for the absurd market turnaround that buoyed it)

-There are significant costs (and in edge cases, benefits) to being associated with the Tom Lauria Show when it comes to your long term rep in the RX world. Most people are likely to approach you with at least some trepidation. Others will (perhaps unfairly) regard you as an unhirable persona non grata. Still others might find it appealing, if they are at similar shops (i.e., known bomb throwers).That rep may change over time, but it's worth considering if you want to maximize exit opps.
(2) Working with Tom Lauria -- to be honest, he's been very kind to me so far and I've got nothing negative to say about him. To the extent that he has a reputation in the industry, so does everyone who attains status as he has. At my previous firm, there were a number of individuals who were extremely toxic and very powerful. Working around TL has been far and away less stressful, in my opinion.

Do I know a ton about him? No, but do keep in mind that it's entirely possible to work at W&C RX and not work directly beneath Tom Lauria on one of his deals, especially if you really sought to avoid it. Plus, he splits his time between NY-Miami, you would almost never see him if you went to L.A. or Chicago. There are tons of other people to work with and for. He's the head of the group, he's not popping into your office every day to "yell at you" -- again, he has actually been nothing but extremely respectful and cool to me and the other associates who've worked with him that I've met so far. I left my other job because of poor treatment and serious cultural issues; I would be the absolute first person to call him out as a trashbag if that's how he had treated me. But, again, you really shouldn't take gossip other people have about an individual in terms of his/her professional career and believe that that stands for, or is an accurate representation of, how the person as a will treat you as a boss or as an individual. The culture in the group, especially in my office, is EXTREMELY collegial and kind. Much more so than my last firm.
I wasn't talking about what it's like to work for him, for all I know he's a total saint behind thescenes. I was talking about how he (and people associated with him) are perceived in the RX world generally. I'm personally agnostic towards him, and even if I weren't, I wouldn't begrudge anyone for working with him.

But that's just me. There are many people out in the world of RX that absolutely will hold it against you, even if you never work with the guy. I'm not saying you should fixate on it; it's just one thing to think about.

ETA: as for the notion that everyone of a similar stature "has a reputation" - no. It's not the same. Tom Lauria is a notorious-probably the most notorious-bomb thrower in RX, as well as just being extremely unpleasant to deal with. It's not just a matter of being well known.
OP from the quoted. Just want to clarify re: his particular reputation -- the reason I stay that it doesn't matter is that while I was at my last firm, I witnessed people with stellar reputations in the industry basically create such a toxic work environment that literally not a single person was genuinely happy (or so it seemed to me). I've also worked for people who are supposedly "difficult" and they were the easiest kindest people to work for.

That's what I mean by taking it with a grain of salt. You can say he's a notorious bomb-thrower, but I'd rather work beneath a kind boss who throws legal bombs at his opposing counsel than work for a toxic megalomaniac who treats his or her own associates like they're constantly competing in a popularity contest for his or her attention in order to keep their jobs.

Many of the debtor side people I worked for who were the draw to the group that I was in previously were simply exhausting and toxic. The best people to work for were often told to find somewhere else to go. In a thread about employment in creditor-side and restructuring jobs generally, I just think it's important to discuss the reality that someone can have a difficult reputation as an opposing counsel or generally as an attorney and not be a living hell-breathing satanist to work for in real life. Sure, he can be intimidating, and I bet he can also be mean (like every human being on Earth). He's attained a lot of status in his life and not for nothing. Many people have attributed those characteristics to him. I am saying from personal lived experience that has not been something that I have seen in my time at W&C. So, to the extent that people are considering the job, I would just prefer to leave a refutation of the reputation that precedes him based on my own experience, rather than go along with what's being said.

Hope you're doing well! have a happy holiday season all.

MJSLMF

New
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Aug 08, 2019 1:59 pm

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by MJSLMF » Thu Dec 09, 2021 2:59 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 3:58 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:46 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:20 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:17 am
I work at White and Case in the financial insolvency and restructuring group. It's incredible and small, very tight-knitted with some genuinely kind, non-toxic people. I lateral'd from Weil/Kirkland, everyone told me I was making a big mistake but I couldn't take the lifestyle to be perfectly honest. White and Case has been worlds better. They are also actively looking for people. If you want to connect further to talk, leave a contact in reply and I would be happy to discuss the market generally/rx, my experiences, and my jobs. Good luck all!
Except that you all are working for Tom Lauria…who is basically a real world Sauron that just naturally inspires fear around him
It's also not small. Like, at all. Their website counts 130+ US-based lawyers in their RX group, and even discounting the false positives from people who are just RX-adjacent, that is absolutely not a small group by RX standards, and I have never thought of them as a small group.

No idea what it's like to work there, but my perception as someone in RX, but not at White & Case:

- The group has been doing really well over the past few years, has picked up some up and coming lateral partners, and has made headways in picking up big debtor mandates (Hertz is one of the most successful chapter 11s ever, even accounting for the absurd market turnaround that buoyed it)

-There are significant costs (and in edge cases, benefits) to being associated with the Tom Lauria Show when it comes to your long term rep in the RX world. Most people are likely to approach you with at least some trepidation. Others will (perhaps unfairly) regard you as an unhirable persona non grata. Still others might find it appealing, if they are at similar shops (i.e., known bomb throwers).That rep may change over time, but it's worth considering if you want to maximize exit opps.
Hi OP from W&C here.
(1) the ENTIRE group is not small, but the groups in each office are substantially smaller than you would find at a massive debtor shop like Weil/KE. I believe that 45 associates were hired for 2021's class in KE (but check me if I'm wrong). That's a much more substantial number than 130 total across 4 US offices. Additionally, the Miami office is actively seeking additional attorneys in RX, which is a much better gig than working in NYC. One thing to think about is that the Restructuring group at W&C does not usually pull from summer associates but from the first year general corporate pool which means there will be fewer people clamoring for jobs there overtime. It's kind of like a well-kept secret in some ways.

(2) Working with Tom Lauria -- to be honest, he's been very kind to me so far and I've got nothing negative to say about him. To the extent that he has a reputation in the industry, so does everyone who attains status as he has. At my previous firm, there were a number of individuals who were extremely toxic and very powerful. Working around TL has been far and away less stressful, in my opinion.

Do I know a ton about him? No, but do keep in mind that it's entirely possible to work at W&C RX and not work directly beneath Tom Lauria on one of his deals, especially if you really sought to avoid it. Plus, he splits his time between NY-Miami, you would almost never see him if you went to L.A. or Chicago. There are tons of other people to work with and for. He's the head of the group, he's not popping into your office every day to "yell at you" -- again, he has actually been nothing but extremely respectful and cool to me and the other associates who've worked with him that I've met so far. I left my other job because of poor treatment and serious cultural issues; I would be the absolute first person to call him out as a trashbag if that's how he had treated me. But, again, you really shouldn't take gossip other people have about an individual in terms of his/her professional career and believe that that stands for, or is an accurate representation of, how the person as a will treat you as a boss or as an individual. The culture in the group, especially in my office, is EXTREMELY collegial and kind. Much more so than my last firm.

(3) not everyone working in RX and/or at a big law firm intends to stay and make their way toward partner. Anecdotally, people have been much more forthcoming (mid-levels and other juniors) in discussing their post-big law plans in my group, which I appreciate. It's refreshing to work with so many people who do not view their job as the be all end all of their existence and who understand that partnership in big law is always, at best, an aspiration, even for more senior associates. It's great to be able to discuss this because, if you are not sure you want to be a partner, being able to plumb your fellow classmates and associates for job advice/connections to other work/their experience, once you're ready to move on from big law (should you choose to), is actually what you want to be doing (especially if you're looking to make a career switch after big law to government work -- whether DOJ Trustee offices or different types of government work, public interest, teaching, etc.). Not everyone needs to go into the job thinking that restructuring in big law will always be their top choice. If it is, that's amazing! W&C has tons of opportunities for that. If not, awesome, you'll still be a valuable player.

That's just my 2cents. Like I said if you're interested in talking more privately about RX and/or my experiences I'd be happy to share. Just drop an email in the comments and I'll reach out. Happy non-denominational holiday season everyone! :)
Mind PMing me, W&C OP? Would be interested to speak further.

Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Mon Dec 13, 2021 11:48 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Dec 09, 2021 12:27 pm
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Dec 09, 2021 10:13 am
Former Rx lawyer at two of the predominant creditor-side firms and now on the buyside.

Now that I'm on the client side, the hiring decisions are more about specific partners than the firm. Paul Weiss and Davis Polk are in their own tier in that we're confident that any of their senior partners have the experience and skills to do a good job and tend to represent the slices of the capital structure most relevant to us (i.e., 1L down to unsecured bonds but not really equity or UCC). After that, it becomes more granular but there are partners at other firms that are in the same tier, e.g., Dennis Dunne @ Milbank, Mike Stamer @ Akin, Bruce Bennett @ Jones Day.

W&C is definitely on the rise. Combination of hiring well plus heavy visibility in cases like Hertz. They're making a big bus dev push right now. Ropes is also one to keep an eye on. Hansen's team at Stroock is also good.

I wouldn't let Tom Lauria be the reason you write off W&C.
Are you in an investment role? If so, could you tell me how you made the transition?
Also very interested in this. Would also be interested in hearing (i) whether associates can go buyside from the big debtor shops (Weil/KE) and (ii) whether you like being on the buyside more than big law, and if so why.

Anonymous User
Posts: 389491
Joined: Tue Aug 11, 2009 9:32 am

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Dec 14, 2021 11:59 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Dec 09, 2021 12:27 pm
Are you in an investment role? If so, could you tell me how you made the transition?
Yes and no. I'm a desk lawyer embedded with the investment team (i.e., not part of Legal & Compliance) so i don't handle things like NDAs, engagement letters, conflicts, or MNPI decisions. But I'm not managing my own P&L or making models for the PMs. But note that our only real mandate is "do whatever we can to make money" so the lines between roles naturally drift and blur because we're all working together to originate/locate deals, which can come through various channels including law firms, and negotiate favorable terms.

Anonymous User wrote:
Mon Dec 13, 2021 11:48 pm
Also very interested in this. Would also be interested in hearing (i) whether associates can go buyside from the big debtor shops (Weil/KE) and (ii) whether you like being on the buyside more than big law, and if so why.

1. Whether you come from a debtor or creditor shop, you must be able to navigate basic debt docs like credit agreements and indentures. After that, it depends on the market. Coming from a pure bankruptcy background (i.e., debtor shop) is more valuable when there's a lot of distressed activity. A lot of the strategic decisions in that environment require having a good handle on bankruptcy procedure, substantive law, and litigation tactics. Right now, it's a lot easier to make the jump if you have "regular" finance skills because there's so much more activity in traditional high yield and private credit. That's partly why it's generally easier to make this kind of jump from a creditor-focused platform: the lawyers can straddle both finance and bankruptcy so they can be useful across the credit spectrum.

2. I go back and forth tbh but i suspect I'd like the buyside a lot more if credit markets weren't so meh right now (high yield is like 4%). However the clear positives include the hours and being able to focus on issues and decisions.

NCTX

New
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:53 pm

Re: Best creditor-side restructuring shops

Post by NCTX » Wed Dec 15, 2021 12:07 pm

njdevils2626 wrote:
Thu Dec 09, 2021 8:56 am
forthelols wrote:
Thu Dec 09, 2021 12:24 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Wed Dec 08, 2021 12:17 am
I work at White and Case in the financial insolvency and restructuring group. It's incredible and small, very tight-knitted with some genuinely kind, non-toxic people. I lateral'd from Weil/Kirkland, everyone told me I was making a big mistake but I couldn't take the lifestyle to be perfectly honest. White and Case has been worlds better. They are also actively looking for people. If you want to connect further to talk, leave a contact in reply and I would be happy to discuss the market generally/rx, my experiences, and my jobs. Good luck all!
Can you PM me? Would be interested in discussing.
Same
Same please

Communicate now with those who not only know what a legal education is, but can offer you worthy advice and commentary as you complete the three most educational, yet challenging years of your law related post graduate life.

Register now, it's still FREE!


Post Reply Post Anonymous Reply  

Return to “Legal Employment”