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by Vault Law Editors | September 29, 2008


Recommended reading: Bruce “Adam Smith Esq” MacEwen on  Heller and the “stark, glaring reality is that law firms are fragile institutions.”


MacEwen’s post-mortem, distilled:


1.  Heller should never have absorbed the Venture Law Group.


2. The firm was harmed by having a term limit for its managing partner. (“Why trade winning horses in mid-stream?”)


3. The firm’s negotiating stance in merger discussions was unrealistic. (“Like to think that your firm is the firm that it was a decade ago or the firm that it could be a decade hence? Get over it. You're the firm you are today.”)

4.  The firm lost sight of the fact that its “assets go down in the elevator every night.” (By which he seems to mean that the firm failed to “inspire” its people.)

Ultimately, the confluence of these events and attitudes resulted in “failure of confidence,” such that “[t]here doesn't need to be anything wrong with Heller, or Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, or Merrill Lynch, for people and the market at large to perceive there's something wrong with any of those firms. It's the run on the bank mentality.”

-posted by brian


Filed Under: Law