You’d be surprised by how often we receive requests for financial advice around here (even though that’s really more the province of Dealbreaker). E.g., should I refinance my law school loans? How much should I be saving for retirement? I’ve just been laid off; what should I do with my 401(k)?
These questions lie beyond our expertise. So we’ve put together a panel of experts to offer insight into current market conditions and what they mean for your personal finances. This free event is taking place on MONDAY, JUNE 29, at 6:30 PM.
The roundtable will be preceded by a sunset cocktail hour, in a room with stunning Central Park views (see above). So come enjoy free drinks with the ATL editors (Lat, Elie, Kash and Marin); pick up some complimentary swag, including Above the Law t-shirts and gavel-shaped stress balls; and then sit down for an informative panel discussion:
MARKET VOLATILITY AND YOUR FINANCES When: Monday, June 29, 2009, at 6:30 p.m. Where: 1345 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York Speakers:
• Sam Mari, VP, AllianceBernstein
• Bob Stansbury, VP, AXA Equitable
• Deborah O’Neil, J.D., CFPTM, CLU, VP AXA Equitable’s Advanced Markets Team
• David Lat, Above the Law (moderator) Cost: The event is free and open to the public — feel free to bring friends — but RSVPs are required. Please email email@example.com.
The event is less than a week away, and although admission is free, seats are limited. We’ve already received a fair number of responses — so if you think you might be interested in going, please rsvp to save a spot for yourself.
Hope to see you there!
This isn’t really our beat, but Dealbreaker has the full video of smackdown Jon Stewart gave Jim Cramer on The Daily Show last night. It’s great televisionYouTube.
Granted, Stewart’s grasp of macroeconomics is not great. But it is significantly better than Bill Maher’s (who asked Erin Burnett last week why “growing” was important for the economy). And picking on CNBC over the financial crisis kind of like picking on the ABA for doing nothing to stem the tide of legal layoffs. (Wait a minute, it’s nothing like that. What is the ABA waiting for, the freaking Bat Signal?)
But, if you ever wanted to see what it looks like for a grown man to put his foot up the ass of an annoying man, you’ll enjoy this clip. Part one is below, click over to Dealbreaker for parts two and three:
It’s kind of like what Collective Soul said a decade ago, when things were just fantastic:
Are these times contagious?
I’m never been this bored before.
Is this the prize I’ve waited for?
These days, it seems like all my friends are depressed on account of the Depression. (Or the “recession,” for those ostriches who choose to bury their heads in the sand.) It certainly doesn’t help that CNN keeps slapping Obama into FDR’s car or that every reporter declares 600,000 jobs were lost today or the “Dow hasn’t dipped this low since 1929.” Good lord. No wonder no one is spending. I’ve stopped reading the papers. It’s all just widespread panic. Pretty soon they’ll be bringing polio back, too.
And the law firms. Wow. Who ever would have thought those blue-blooded Ivy Leaguers who were doing filings and writing law review articles about all those “complex financial instruments” would now be unemployed? And each day there are more and more layoffs. Where are the acquisitions? And where are freaking derivatives? I mean you always need lawyers, right? And what: associates doing paralegal work? They don’t know how to shepardize, much less tab and hole-punch briefing books. Geez.
* If you don’t have hooters you can’t work there. Hooters discriminates against men by refusing to hire them, a class action argues. Get over it sissies, and grow some boobs. [Courthouse News Service]
* In less pressing news…President-elect Barack Obama will issue an executive order to close Guantanamo within days of entering the White House according to senior advisors. [BBC News]
* Annoyed by your loud neighbors? At least you don’t live on 64th and Lexington next to Berny Madoff (well actually you probably do, I bet those apts. are sweet) His neighbors are incensed by yesterday’s decision to keep Madoff out on bail. Meanwhile, Fairfield Greenwhich has been sued three times by Madoff investors. [Bloomberg.com]
* I served my country, and all I got was special judicial help. An Illinois county is launching a special court to try veterans who commit non-violent crimes. [The Associated Press]
It’s a new year, and for Biglaw that usually means it is time for firms to go out and get a loan.
Obviously, this year it might be a little more difficult than usual. The American Lawyer is reporting that the credit crisis is coming to a partnership near you:
Law firms, typically considered good credit risks, are now experiencing the toughest and most expensive lending conditions in years. “Even good borrowers, prime borrowers, are having more restrictions and more difficulties than they used to,” says Altman Weil consultant James Cotterman.
Most firms will still be able to get loans to cover their immediate expenses. But to do so they will have to submit to more vigorous financial vetting than they did in the past. And, of course, it’s going to be a whole lot more expensive to borrow money:
Meanwhile, firms that didn’t secure a credit line early last year, and who went looking for it in recent months, discovered that credit wasn’t cheap anymore. “We just took out some lines from several different banks,” says the head of one firm, who asked for anonymity to speak frankly. The firm let its credit lines expire in 2003 and relied instead on capital contributions from partners. The banks used to give the firm credit for free. “Now we had to pay for the lines,” he says.
Rates have doubled, from below 1 percent in 2007 to 2-3 percent today for the top 50 firms, says Andrew Johnman, head of professional services at Barclays plc. “If they need additional money or if they need an amendment to their credit facility, then we reprice it to current market pricing,” he says.
Apparently, banks are worried that additional firms will dissolve like Heller and Thelen. More on that after the jump.
Seriously, though, it’s a good sign for the firm, even if it may not be a lucrative engagement — the Treasury press release reports that “total cost for the firm’s services is not expected to exceed approximately $500,000.” It raises the possibility that rumors of the firm’s demise are greatly — well, maybe not greatly, but somewhat — exaggerated.
* California’s Supreme Court agreed to hear the case against Prop. 8. [Reuters]
* For all the associates who go crazy working late into the night in dark conference rooms dreaming of embezzling money from the firm–let this be a lesson to you. Employee Angela Marie Dees was arrested for stealing 1.67 million dollars from the California law firm Moore and Waxler. The crazy thing? The firm didn’t even notice until they did an audit. [mysuncoast.com]
* “Stung by outsize investment losses, some of the nation’s biggest companies are pushing Congress to roll back rules requiring them to put more money into their pension funds, just two years after President Bush signed a law meant to strengthen the pension system.” [NYT]
* A jury heard opening statements yesterday in the MySpace hoax case, the one where the suburban mother used a fake alias to terrorize a 13-year-old who killed herself as a result. [ABC]
* Even though bankers basically caused a world-wide recession causing thousands of lawyers to lose their jobs (thanks a lot), at least Barclay’s is giving the litigators some love. Barclay’s is suing a hedge fund for hiding $150 million in investments. [Bloomberg]
* Yesterday was National Toilet Day. Everybody who works on Wall Street already knew that. [UPI]
This weekend, the Times reported that the economic crisis is taking a toll on University endowments:
VC firms typically make “capital calls” to these investors whenever they need more money to pump into their startups. However now rumors are circulating that Columbia University’s endowment fund is illiquid — that is, it can’t raise the cash it needs to fund current commitments.? Harvard, meanwhile, is reportedly trying to sell a third of its private equity portfolio at a steep discount in a “secondary offering.”
One of my favorite pieces of useless information is that the largest “endowment” for a non-profit institution is the Catholic Church. The second largest? Harvard University. So I’m pretty sure that Harvard trying to sell off a 3rd of anything is the little known fifth horseman of the apocalypse:
When the Lamb opened the fifth seal I saw before me a Crimson horse. And its rider was named Deregulation, and Consumer Fear and Capital Retreat followed close behind. They were given power over the rich of the earth to kill by the crunch, the short-sell, and the capital call.
The point is that private universities, and therefore many top law schools, will have to start dealing with the after effects of the financial crisis very soon. Hiring freezes and financial aid restrictions could soon follow.
But public institutions could feel the pain immediately.
Read about how the economic crisis is effecting one public school after the jump.
Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP and Squire Sanders & Dempsey LLP have each been awarded a contract for roughly $5.5 million to help shepherd about 2,000 financial firms through the program that would see the government buy company shares, the Treasury Department said on Monday.
Looks like Hughes Hubbard’s strategizing with the acquisition of boutique bankruptcy firm Luskin, Stern & Eisler may have paid off.
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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: firstname.lastname@example.org.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
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