One year ago, we wrote about how Columbia law professor Hans Smit was trying to unload his 12,000 square foot home — the only freestanding single-family mansion in Manhattan — for a cool $29 million.
One year later, the good professor’s home is still on the market. Its white-marble-clad facade greeted us when we visited the New York Times homepage this morning (screencap and link to listing below).
The only difference from last year? The asking price, now up to $30 million.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. And up your asking price by a million!
(In all seriousness, Professor Smit’s decision to round up to $30 million probably isn’t as crazy as it might seem. Despite the weak real estate market in the rest of the country, the market in New York City — especially at the high end — continues to be strong.)
Yesterday we put out a call for submissions for Lawyerly Lairs. We look forward to your responses. In the meantime, here’s some real estate porn that we were able to obtain on our own — since the property in question is for sale.
The Schinasi Mansion is the only freestanding single-family mansion in Manhattan. It dates back to 1909, boasts 12,000 square feet of living space, and sits on swanky Riverside Drive. It is currently on the market for an eye-popping $29,000,000.
Here’s a shot of its French Renaissance, white marble exterior:
So who owns this Mother of All Townhouses? A senior partner at a top Biglaw firm — who also married very well? An ex-lawyer who left for the world of finance, to become a managing director at an investment bank or a partner at a successful hedge fund?
Actually, no. The $29 million mansion is owned by — brace yourselves, people — a legal academic. It’s home to Professor Hans Smit (at right), who teaches civil procedure and international law at Colubmia. Guess those private law school salaries must be pretty good!
Actually, there’s a backstory — and no, Professor Smit didn’t win the $315 million Mega Millions jackpot. Check out the details, as well as more drool-worthy pictures, after the jump.
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…