When is a 30% decrease in profits per partner a good thing?
When you still take home $1.88 million during the “worst financial crisis since the Great Depression.”
Christopher White, though, says the firm is now positioned for 2009 following a series of layoffs in its troubled structured finance practice.
“I’d like to think that we put most of our pain in 2008,” White says, adding that the $1.88 million profit number “is not too shabby.”
The drop, while severe, beat previously published rumors that profits per partner would fall 50 percent.
Should all those people CWT fired take comfort that making drastic cuts early in the year probably helped save 2008 for the firm at large? The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the not quite as many?
White says it’s wrong to put the focus on Cadwalader’s structured finance side, which, while still large, was shrunken through layoffs last year. “Our financial restructuring people are very busy, parts of our litigation department are very busy, and those are important engines in a downturn,” he says.
What’s next for Cadwalader after the jump.
We reported on management changes at Cadwalader in November. AmLaw reports that the new team could signal a de-emphasis on capital markets. But last week we also reported that bankruptcy bigwigs Bruce Zirinsky and John Bae were leaving CWT for Greenberg Traurig:
Nevertheless, White says Cadwalader will continue to recruit, specifically for its litigation and corporate practices.
“I view this as an opportunity to continue to grow and strengthen the firm,” White says. “I hope it’s somewhat evident that while Cadwalader has a very strong reputation in capital markets and structured finance, it’s becoming evident we have strength beyond that.”
Cadwalader has endured massive 2008 associate layoffs, a 30% drop in PPP, and major counter cyclical rainmakers leaving the firm. But the firm is trying to positively spin that pain as “positioning” itself for a strong 2009.
We’ll be sure to keep an eye on that.
THE AM LAW 100: Cadwalader Profits Fall 30 Percent [AmLaw Daily]