Wall Street

Meltdown Fees Trickle In, But Do They Trickle Down?

wall street bull backside.jpgAm Law Daily reports that H. Rodgin Cohen of S&C is making serious money as the markets collapse.

Cohen has been the man in demand by companies struggling to ride out the latest subprime-related rollercoaster roiling the capital markets. His work this past week alone includes advising Lehman Brothers on its limited options prior to filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Monday and counseling AIG in its $85 billion bailout by the Federal Reserve on Tuesday. The longtime S&C partner was on a roll even before these events unraveled last weekend–Cohen advised Fannie Mae on its seizure by the federal government on September 7.

Does that “H” stand for “hurricane?” We’ll see if Cohen brings rain to associates come bonus time.

We’ve covered a lot of the law firms that are dancing in the ashes of Wall Street. But new winners are emerging everyday. Simpson Thacher advised the AIG board of directors. Millbank, Paul Hastings, Cravath, and Kelley Drye are just some of the firms that are in on the party known as “creditor actions.” And Clifford Chance handled part of Barclay’s acquisition along with Cleary.

Even government lawyers will get in on the fun, now that Andrew Cuomo doesn’t know the difference between New York State and the power of God.

It looks like there is going to be a lot of work floating around this fourth quarter as people try to make their hours.

But it’s not all candy and coke for big firms these days.

Read about the downside after the jump.


Just like many law firms, American Lawyer is trying to capitalize on all of this economic uncertainty. They are hosting a “Law Firm Human Capital Forum.” As one tipster put it:

A lot of people have been speculating about how the financial crisis will affect firms and staffing needs in the short term and long term future. The forum seems to indicate that law firms may be banding together to figure out how to collectively “save face” when they decide to lay off lawyers, decrease summer programs, decrease bonuses, etc.

Hey, trickle down doesn’t work if all the money actually trickles down.

But listen to how ALM sells the need for this conference:

Turmoil on Wall Street is causing great unease among the big law firms. There can be no doubt the economy is struggling and it will impact your staffing abilities and needs.

Join your peers and colleagues to discuss options in staffing at the timely and necessary Law Firm Human Capital Forum. You will come away with new ideas on how to manage your staffing needs, requirements and restrictions.

Time is running out to register! Sign up now and prepare a staffing plan that works in today’s frightening economy.

We thought ATL had cornered the market on breathless hyperbole about the imminently falling sky.

Do you really think that firms will use the market crisis as cover for laying off attorneys and support staff? Can the firms that are being touted as “winners” still cry poverty?

Or is this the year that we see industry wide bonus matching done away with? Firms that are getting clients and fees thanks to the collapse will have one bonus structure, firms that are getting killed as their clients fold will have another?

We could be headed for a wild bonus season. We’ll keep you posted.

Dealmaker of the Week: S&C’s H. Rodgin Cohen [Am Law Daily]

Lawyers on Major Transactions [NY Law Journal] (subscription)

Earlier: The Meltdown Awards: Law Firm Winners and Losers

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