Skadden logo.JPGLost in yesterday’s Quinn kerfuffle was the fact that Skadden has officially deferred its class of 2010 associates to 2011. That move will help stem the influx of fresh talent into Skadden,
But what about the all of the talent leaving Skadden? Friday, we learned that David Fox and Daniel Wolf were leaving Skadden for Kirkland & Ellis. Today, the word is that restructuring partner D.J. (Jan) Baker is leaving Skadden for Latham & Watkins. AmLaw reports:

The lateral move comes on the heels of two lateral departures from Skadden’s M&A practice reported on Friday — partners David Fox and Daniel Wolf have joined Kirkland & Ellis.
But Skadden executive partner Eric Friedman sees no connection between Baker’s lateral move and that of Fox and Wolf. When asked whether the three departures allude to any larger issues at Skadden, Friedman simply responds, “none whatsoever.”

Anybody in the mood for some positive spin? Let’s take a look at some after the jump.


How should a firm respond when partners keep leaving? Try this on for size:

Friedman framed Baker’s move in the context of past departures from the firm’s restructuring practice. “We are a bit of an incubator of high-quality restructuring talent,” Friedman says. “We have had other restructuring partners leave over the years and go and do other things.” He adds, “This is very typical of the industry.” (As previously reported here, one of those restructuring moves happened in December, when practice co-head Timothy Pohl announced his departure to join Lazard.)
Friedman also says Baker’s departure will have minimal impact on Skadden’s restructuring practice, highlighting that the firm has more than 100 restructuring lawyers in New York, Los Angeles, London and Wilmington, Del. Recently, Skadden has handled restructuring matters involving Circuit City Stores Inc., Hartmarx Corp. and Delphi Corp. “The strength of our practice is something we are very proud of,” Friedman says.

As a commenter is fond of saying:

You guys are all idiots.
SKADDEN SECURE

Meanwhile, getting a big time bankruptcy partner is good news for Latham & Watkins. Hopefully, remaining Latham associates will get a morale boost from this move.
Another Partner Loss for Skadden, This Time to Latham [Law.com]
Earlier: Musical Shockwaves Chairs: Skadden Rainmakers Defect to Kirkland & Ellis
Skadden Summers: Welcome to the New Market Class of 2010 start dates pushed to 2011.


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77 thoughts on “Musical Chairs: Another Partner Leaves Skadden

  1. guest says:

    And your job is to report on it, while making $20/hour.
    Get to work butt boy.

  2. guest says:

    Milmoe rocks. end of story.

  3. guest says:

    Fourth bitches!

  4. guest says:

    6th … burder that MysTTTal has eaten today

  5. guest says:

    fix the title
    “Muscial”?

  6. guest says:

    Rats fleeing a sinking ship that overpaid for its worthless labor. Would you work at a firm where the idle secretaries are paid twice the rate at other firms?

  7. guest says:

    Elie, I didn’t go to Harvard or anything, but at least I proofread my work before showing it to the general public.

  8. guest says:

    Where are all the Latham sucks people today?

  9. guest says:

    i think elie needs a proofreader to get him more krispy kremes.

  10. guest says:

    Leaving Skadden to go to the sinking ship that is Latham is per se retarded.

  11. guest says:

    This is excellent news for my swass plagued ass.
    Evan Chesler

  12. guest says:

    Elie, you are worthless. Skadden has 2,000+ lawyers and you make a big whoop about 3 leaving in a month. Do a few google searches on “[other firm] partner departure” and see if you can’t come to the realization that partners leave firms all the time. How Harvard let you in is beyond me.

  13. guest says:

    I can say that “The Wolf” is rough around the edges, but he make a body disappear.

  14. guest says:

    McDermott sucks.

  15. guest says:

    The partner was probably an underperformer who was forced out. LATHAM is a festering TTT.

  16. guest says:

    I thought there was a period at the end of a sentence rather than a comma (“Skadden,”) – but what do I know.

  17. guest says:

    LATHAM LESSONS FROM THE CORP/FIN BOOM:
    Market picks up, Latham retardedly stocks up on associates and acquires lateral partners for a fortune. Economy turns, everyone gets fired except for the now worthless, expensive partners Latham can’t easily lose.
    Is history repeating itself? Will Latham retardedly pay a fortune for lateral partners right before a turn in the market?

  18. guest says:

    Why do legal blogs and such always assume that the departure of every partner is a big “get” for the acquiring firm, or that the departure was even voluntary. Because it sounds more newsworthy?

  19. guest says:

    SkaddenDC is dead.

  20. guest says:

    Baker is obviously looking for a better opportunity to participate in layoffs.

  21. guest says:

    I think that firms should force their less powerful partners out bit by bit in small groups for economic reasons and explain it as performance-based firings so no one thinks that the firm might be making less money in a recession.

  22. guest says:

    What is a burder, and where can I get one?

  23. guest says:

    anyone seeing a pattern here? next year Latham will be laying off 100 bankruptcy associates. mass hire mass fire = their model

  24. guest says:

    MUSCIAL?

  25. guest says:

    Anyone know why he left?

  26. Hizzla says:

    That’s fine, more cake for me!

  27. guest says:

    My my my poker face
    my my my poker face

  28. guest says:

    Can someone please post a link to or summarize Toobin’s article on Justice Roberts in the New Yorker? I can’t find any reference to it on this site.

  29. guest says:

    26, see 21.

  30. guest says:

    Guys, stop being such racists. “Muscial” is the way blacks say “musical.” It’s like “ask” and “aks/ax.”

  31. guest says:

    Is it possible Skadden is in financial trouble?

  32. guest says:

    LaTTTham must be offering this guy a fortune. Joining latham is just retarded.

  33. guest says:

    13 – insecure at SkaTTTen

  34. guest says:

    16 — Are you absolutely fucking retarded, Jan Baker is extremely well revered in the restructuring world — and no I don’t work at Skadden. Go back to your 3L exams at Whittier law school and come back when you know something.

  35. guest says:

    Read this guy’s bio – he’s not some schlub lateral partner. He’s a rainmaker – jeeze, you guys are all idiots. And Elie, of course, doesn’t discuss his track record.

  36. guest says:

    36
    All partners who leave are schlub laterals. What law firm wants to admit that it’s tossing out rainmakers?

  37. guest says:

    Retired partner here: I had held off on commenting before, but I’ve worked with many Sakdden attorneys over the years. As a group, they suck donkey dicks. They lack common sense of any sort, plus they are completely full of shit when it comes to dealing with others. I have never been on the receiving end, as I represented the same client as Skadden, so we worked together, and that sucked as well. Yes, they make tons of money and send huge bills to many fine clients, but they well and truly suck. Most excellent attorneys around the country have equally dim views of attorneys in this firm.

  38. guest says:

    2200+ attorneys at Skadden and 3 partners leave!!! ZOMG!!!!! The firm is imploding!!!!!

  39. guest says:

    36 here – this is a story because this guy IS A RAINMAKER.
    God, 37 is an idiot. Read Elie’s links.

  40. guest says:

    “Skadden partner goes slumming through Latham ghetto”

  41. guest says:

    It still says “Muscial.”
    I no longer think these are easter eggs and/or are otherwise deliberate.
    Also, this site has become the Drudge of legal news. When was the last scoop (other than of rocky road), Elie?

  42. guest says:

    Looking back on it, maybe those big bonuses weren’t the most prudent course of action

  43. guest says:

    @42 Yesterday’s quinn thing…
    @38 No way a retired partner uses the phrase “suck donkey dicks”. Please go back to researching that useless paper you’re writing for your TTT school’s review.

  44. guest says:

    42
    Last scoop was the QE associate who committed virtual legal suicide. That was yesterday.
    What have YOU accomlished since yesterday other than pad your bills and troll ATL?

  45. guest says:

    At least Baker’s fourth firm. He was at Weil before Skadden and somewhere else before Weil.

  46. guest says:

    Skadden didn’t defer their 2009 incoming associates or conduct attorney layoffs (to my knowledge). Maybe these partner departures are evidence that the firm is doing less well financially than they want people to believe?

  47. guest says:

    38 = D.J. Baker

  48. guest says:

    Latham’s paying this guy a fortune. they’re desperate to rebuild their image and are betting the farm on this guy.

  49. guest says:

    Maybe you guys should hire Richard Herbst to write your articles.

  50. guest says:

    38 — you are clearly a 3L at Whittier law school with 16 (maybe actually San Fernando Valley College of Law. Anyway, Jan Baker is the opposite of the Skadden stereotype, he is a class act and a great lawyer.

  51. guest says:

    This cannot be good for the Idaho potato lobby.

  52. guest says:

    This cannot be good for the Idaho potato lobby.

  53. guest says:

    47, Skadden hopes to defer their 2009 associates. It opened “Sidebar” to them. It’s CURRENTLY voluntary. Skadden Class of 2010 has no choice. They are deffered.

  54. guest says:

    50,
    I would willingly put up with Elie’s misspelling marathons if that means the QE associate does not write for ATL — just imagine if the articles were all written in lowercase and were in a tone that was swishier than Liberace and punctuated with “eek!”

  55. guest says:

    I would rather pry out my eyes with a spork or be shipped as a convict to a hellworld like Salusa Secundus to serve in Sardaukar “training” camps rather than receive a lengthy email from the QE associate in lowercase criticizing my social and political choices.

  56. guest says:

    wait till this guy realizes that most of Latham’s “bankruptcy” associates were actually corp associates up until a few months ago.
    lol

  57. guest says:

    This guy is a big deal. So it’s not just any old lateral move.
    Before this curent boom, when Latham was making a point of declaring that they were a big deal in bankruptcy, the typical rejoinder was “no you’re not, you don’t have a big debtor practice.” This is clearly an attempt to fix that.
    But the timing is pretty bad. Why is Latham always behind the ball? They’ll feel good about this for two years, and then when bankruptcy dries up they’ll feel stupid.
    There’s nothing wrong with just running a nice lean creditor-side practice out of LA, Latham. Why do you always try to dive in headlong about a year late?

  58. guest says:

    wait till this guy realizes that most of Latham’s “bankruptcy” associates were actually CWT corp and structured finance associates up until a few months ago.
    LULZ.

  59. DennyCrane says:

    Phil Mickelson’s wife, Amy, has been diagnosed with breast cancer. Please pray for a successful treatment and recovery.

  60. guest says:

    Is he going to move his 401k to Latham?

  61. guest says:

    Latham likes to buy partners at the height of the market right before the economy changes.

  62. guest says:

    I like that they’re touting the Circuit City bankruptcy like it was properly handled.
    CC ended up in chapter 7. That’s not something to be proud of.

  63. guest says:

    64 — 7, 11, 13 are all just numbers.

  64. guest says:

    Fortunately for me, I don’t have to worry about any partners leaving my firm.
    I work at Thompson Hine and our partners are so shitty that no one wants them.
    It turns out that being a successful partner requires more than a love of being pompous, arbitrary, and generally assholish to people. As it happens, you also need to have a book of business.
    No partner-theft worries for Thompson Hine, then!

  65. guest says:

    Jan is a very good attorney and well respected at Skadden and in the bar at large. He was passed over for a firm leadership position about a year or so ago and part of the move is he probably wants to head latham’s group (plus a ton of money I am sure). He has business but a lot of his work was also generated from his corporate partners and their clients. This will not have an impact on Skadden’s bankruptcy practice except they are losing a nice partner. And of course, Milmoe still rocks…

  66. guest says:

    I am not at Latham; actually, I am in the bottom half of the AmLaw 100. I have a question for all of the Latham haters out there: If Latham is run by such bad business people, if its management team is so incompetent, etc., please explain the following to me:
    1. How did you end up accepting an offer there?
    2. What do you think your answer to question number 1 says about you and your ability to conduct due diligence (assuming you did any that is worth mentioning)?
    3. Was it simply luck that that firm made it into the AmLaw and Vault top ten lists?
    My point in asking all of these questions is to make you realize that there are some matters that are simply out of the control of a law firm’s partnership/management (like the global economy tanking).
    If the layoffs were conducted as bullshit performance reviews in light of the global economy tanking, then I’d say Latham would be fair game for ridicule and contempt. But for those who received six months of $ and were admittedly let go because work is slow (not a reflection on the attorney let go), I find it hard to believe that it’s fair to call Latham out.

  67. guest says:

    16–
    You have obviously never seen Baker in court. He is quite good at what he does. You won’t make it into the partnership of Skadden’s restructuring group unless you have some serious mental firepower (some in that group, obviously, have more than others), as well as ability in court and the negotiating table.
    If any of this is news to you, you have probably never worked across from Skadden on a bankruptcy matter. Whether you win or lose, you will definitely earn your money when you go up against those guys. And he was one of their very best.
    Latham is welcoming an outstanding bankruptcy lawyer. If past performance is any indication, Latham and its clients should be better off for making this move.
    –Not at Skadden or Latham, but I have had multiple weekends and nights ruined because of them.

  68. guest says:

    66–
    We understand that you’re upset with Thompson Hine; but, please knock it off already. It is a firm that was founded in an area of the country that now has a shrinking economic footprint and population.
    As area businesses vanish and the regional economy contracts, it can be quite a challenge to attract new business–especially when you have to do so from other parts of the country/world and really do not have that kind of platform (at least not as far as I can tell). Be thankful that you have a job and, instead of bashing the people you work with, try to help them develop some business.
    –Not at Thompson Hine

  69. guest says:

    64–
    That statement probably sounded a lot better when you made it in the bunker.
    Now, muster up the courage to leave the bunker and realize that Circuit City, like many other retailers in bankruptcy, was not able to reorganize effectively because (i) the financial crisis is making it hard to pull off that trick and (ii) the way in which the 2005 Congress and President (almost all Republicans) changed the bankruptcy laws of this country to make it almost impossible for a business to come out of bankruptcy. That result may not have been their exact intent, but that was definitely the net result.
    I am not sure that it would have made a difference whether a firm other than Skadden worked the case. I have my doubts because Skadden is generally pretty good when it comes to this stuff.
    –Not at Skadden

  70. guest says:

    good luck all the K&E, especially with Fox…. not the nicest man alive…

  71. guest says:

    meant good luck all @ K&E…..

  72. guest says:

    Skadden restructuring is completely disintegrating. In addition to losing Tim and Jan, they have also lost ALL of their best senior associates and counsel in New York and Wilmington; many of whom are now partners at other firms. Several more are actively searching for new positions and will be leaving soon. The firm has been left with mostly useless partners and a bunch of junior associates who don’t know what they are doing.
    Skadden has relied on their restructuring department in the past to support them during slow M&A times but this time they have missed out on a bunch of big cases.
    Jack has destroyed the department by promoting his people (some of whom were shockingly incompetent) while talented people in New York and Wilmington were passed over. Wilmington has lost so many people in the past year they can no longer handle a case without help from other offices.

  73. guest says:

    74-
    Yeah, I did notive a lot of 12th year associates and such at Skadden. Evenutally those people are going to get fed up and leave, and it’ll be just partners and juniors.
    Is Gilardi in Wilmington a dick?

  74. guest says:

    They weren’t 12th years and Gregg is a really smart guy – that’s all I will say.

  75. guest says:

    I’m one of latham’s laid off first years and my life has pretty much been ruined. I had plenty of offers my second year and there were many opportunities available that I didn’t explore. Now there’s nothing all because I went to Latham.
    Who cares about a severance? It’s not worth having my career ended before it even started.

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