I recently graduated from a state school in the California State University system as a Philosophy major. My original plan was to go to law school, but I am now thinking I may want to go into accounting instead (due to the terrible job market for lawyers and the 150k debt I’d be faced with).
Particularly, I would like to work at a Big 4 firm. Is this change possible?
— from a question sent into the advice column of Going Concern (the accounting world’s answer to Above the Law). Note the questioner’s less-than-stellar undergraduate GPA.
We are not fans of Crocs here at Above the Law. We stand by this position, even though First Lady Michelle Obama — aka She Who Can Do No Wrong — has been spotted in them.
Apparently we are not alone in our opposition to Crocs. It seems that the people at Porsche — yes, the luxury sports car maker — have sued the footwear folks. In Germany.
Seriously? Yup. The lawsuit was mentioned in the Crocs (CROX) third quarter 10-Q, which is how it came to the attention of our sister site, Going Concern (via Footnoted).
So what is Porsche suing Crocs over? Find out at the links below. Deadline Watch: Porsche Suing Crocs For ‘Cayman’ Use [Going Concern] Porsche vs. Crocs… [Footnoted.org] Earlier: Crocs: Ugly and Dangerous
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. From our sister site, Going Concern:
[A] judge in Seattle has allowed a revised lawsuit to proceed that lists “Washington Mutual officers and directors, underwriters, and the auditing firm Deloitte & Touche” as defendants.
The revised lawsuit was trimmed down to a “concise” 267 pages from the original 388 that the judge described as “verbose” and “disorganized”.
“Verbose” and “disorganized” would also describe many lawyers we know. On the defense side, though, it’s an all-star cast. From Am Law Litigation Daily:
The lineup for the defendants includes Simpson Thacher & Bartlett attorneys Barry Ostrager and Rob Pfister for former WaMu officers; Ronald Berenstain of Perkins Coie for former WaMu outside directors; Barry Kaplan of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati for former WaMu CEO Kerry Killinger; Peter Wald of Latham & Watkins for Deloitte; and Jonathan Dickey of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher for the underwriters.
If the power to tax is the power to destroy, then shouldn’t we at least try taxing stupidity? They’re thinking about doing it in France. From Going Concern:
Our frog eating friends have decided that they will start taxing people for their stupidity:
“The French Foreign Ministry is proposing a very narrow law requiring citizens foolish enough to wander into international danger zones, regardless of public warnings, to pay at least part of the cost of their own rescue.”
If you wander up a silly mountain and get stuck, it is civilized to have somebody go and try to find you even it was your own damn fault. But that doesn’t mean society should have to foot the entire bill for your weekend warrior shenanigans. Right?
Click on the link below to read — and comment on — the full post. The Solution to All Our Fiscal Problems [Going Concern]
Frank DiPascali, the former CFO — chief fraudulent officer? — for Ponzi schemer extraordinaire Bernard Madoff, pleaded guilty today to a variety of charges, including securities fraud, falsifying records, and international money laundering.
Read more and comment over at Going Concern. Guilty Madoff CFO Update [Going Concern]
And accountants, and investment bankers. Senator Arlen Specter (D-PA) has introduced legislation that, if passed, would make it easier for investors to sue law firms, accountants and investment banks involved in perpetrating fraud. The law would effectively overrule Supreme Court precedent placing limits upon suits against parties with indirect involvement in fraud.
Read more — and comment — over at Going Concern (link below). Arlen Specter Not Pandering to the Bean Counter Vote [Going Concern]
The newest member of the Breaking Media family, the accounting-focused Going Concern, seems to be venturing onto ATL turf today.
Multiple stories on the Going Concern front page are law-related. These are just excerpts or summaries; click on the links to read more (and comment).
1. UK Court Decides it Will Leave the Major Lawsuits to the Americans
“Big 4 firms dodge a bullet in the UK as the highest court dismissed a negligence lawsuit against an accounting firm that failed to detect a fraud that brought down a trading company.”
2. UBS and IRS Probably Have a Deal, No Toblerones Involved
“UBS is going to name names, albeit not all of them, bringing us to ever so close to the bitter end of the whole IRS/UBS standoff.”
3. Ex-BDO Partner Won’t Be on His Boat after Plea Deal
“[Former partners of accounting firm BDO Seidman] that were involved with the firm’s tax shelters are continuing to drop like flies. This time, Mark Bloom, a hedge fund manager and former BDO partner that worked in Tax Solutions group, pleaded guilty to several charges.”
4. California Overtime Lawsuits Update
Ah, California lawyers…. If only you were accountants, you might be entitled to some back pay for overtime. The issue will be decided by the worker-friendly Ninth Circuit at some point in the future.
Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: [email protected].
Since late last year, things have been booming in Hong Kong / China in cap markets, especially Hong Kong IPOs. M&A deal flow has recently been getting a bit stronger as well. Although one can’t predict such things with any certainty, all signs are pointing to a banner entire 2014 for the top end US corporate and cap markets practices in Hong Kong / China. This is not really new news, as its been the feeling most in the market have had for a few months now and things continue to look good.
The head of our Asia practice, Evan Jowers, has been in Hong Kong for about 10 days a month (with trips every other month to both Shanghai and Bejing) for the past 7 months, and spending most of his time there meeting with senior US hiring partners at just about all the major US and UK firms there, as well as prospective candidates at all associate levels and partner levels, and when in the US, Evan works Asia hours and is regularly on the phone with such persons, as our the other members of our Asia team. Our Yuliya Vinokurova is in Hong Kong every other month and Robert is there about 5 times a year as well. While we have a solid Asia team of recruiters, Evan Jowers will spend at least some time with all of our candidates for Asia position. We have had long standing relationships, and good friendships in some cases, with hiring partners and other senior US partners in Asia for 8 years now.
The evolution of relationships between the genders continues. Currently, in law firms, there is an interesting conundrum; balancing the desire for a gender-blind workplace where “the best lawyer gets the work and advances” and the reality of navigating the complicated maze created by the fact that, in general, men and women do possess differences in their work styles. These variations impact who they work with, how they work, how they build professional connections and how organizations ultimately leverage, reward and recognize the talents of all.
Henry Ford sat on his workbench and sighed. A year earlier, he had personally built 13,000 Model Ts with his own hands. Fashioning lugnuts and tie rods by hand, Ford was loath to ask for help. Sure, there were things about the car that he didn’t quite understand. This explains the lack of reliable navigation systems in the Model T. But Ford persevered because he knew that unless he did everything, he could not reliably call these cars his own.
“Unless my own personal toil is responsible for it, it may as well be called a Hyundai,” Ford remarked at the time.
The preceding may sound unfamiliar because it is categorically untrue. And also monumentally stupid. Henry Ford didn’t build all those cars by hand. He had help and plenty of it. Almost exactly one hundred years ago, Henry Ford opened up the most technologically advanced assembly line the world had ever seen. Built on the premise that work can be chopped up into digestible pieces and completed by many men better than one, the line ushered in an age of unparalleled productivity.
Today, an attorney refers business because he can’t do everything the client asks of him.
There are three reasons why this is way dumber than a made-up Henry Ford story…