I found out from an aquaintance today that his law firm was shutting down. He was surprised I didn't know already.
But, in my defense, it happened quite suddenly.
This Article talks about how the firm fell. It was apparently a very respected company.
I called my boyfriend to tell him about it. "Remember our attorney friend?"
"What about him?"
"His company went Enron."
Of course, Enron's scandal was far bigger than this law firm. Lawyers (the irony) are still threshing that one out. The executives running away with all the loot, the stock losses for thousands of people saving for their retirement. The blatant dishonesty.
I know very little about Brobeck, but reading between the lines of this article, there are some interesting facts.
"Partners...are personally liable for a percentage of the debt, though it's not clear how much. "
That's a little different from the Arthur Andersen/Enron menage a deux. Personal responsibility is refreshing. But why did they get so far in debt?
Maybe lawyers aren't so good at acounting.
But it seemed to be something else. They apparently would have been okay, but there was dissention in the ranks. Some coalition of lawyers drew sides and some of their best talent left.
That's also ironic, now that I think about it. Lawyers are supposed to be involved in creating agreements between parties. But they couldn't agree with themselves.
"the firm's downward spiral began in earnest in November 2001 when former Chairman Tower Snow Jr., facing opposition from a group of partners unhappy with his management style, said he would not seek re-election to a third term."
Snow left, and took a huge number of attorneys with him.
"another group of 11 intellectual property partners, led by rainmaker James Elacqua, defected to Dewey Ballantine.
Elacqua said the demise of Brobeck is "a real tragedy." "
It sounds like he didn't really expect the whole place to shut down after he left.
For every action, there is a reaction. AKA consequence. No one really thought it would come to this.