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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING
BIG STEPS - Cravath and Wachtell—two very rich firms. This year’s Am Law 100 report shows that a boom in M&A helped push profits per equity partner at Wachtell to $6.53 million, while Cravath enjoyed PEP of $4.62 million. Both firms, which are relatively small, also are standouts because of their lockstep compensation model. But, as Christine Simmons reports, growing competition from global firms and other Wall Street elites such as Sullivan & Cromwell raise the question: Will lockstep remain the right step?
DOWNTIME - A group of nearly 250 financial institutions, facing attempts by the trustee of the Bernie Madoff fund to claw back allegedly ill-gotten gains, can take a breath for now. As Colby Hamilton reports, the Second Circuit has granted a stay while they see if the U.S. Supreme Court will take up two questions—one on the reach of federal bankruptcy law and the other on conflicts relating to international law. The writ of certiorari is due in July.
WAITING - The Ninth Circuit is set to hear oral arguments today in a case challenging the Trump administration’s policy that forces Central American asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico while their cases are pending in U.S. courts. The court issued a stay earlier this month barring the application of the policy.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING
MORE ABROAD - Data from the Am Law 100 shows that since 2008, the 50 largest U.S.-based law firms have shrunk by 3,000 lawyers stateside while growing by 8,700 lawyers abroad. As a result, international lawyers now make up 35 percent of total Am Law 50 lawyers, an increase from 24 percent a decade ago. Hugh Simons and Nicholas Bruch write that the tilt toward overseas markets is putting a drag on firm-average profitability due to the lower price point and billed hours of international markets.
WHAT YOU SAID
“Sleep well tonight, you have friends in high places.”
— ROBERT COSTELLO, PARTNER AT DAVIDOFF HUTCHER & CITRON IN NEW YORK, WHO, ACCORDING TO THE MUELLER REPORT, WROTE THIS STATEMENT IN AN EMAIL TO MICHAEL COHEN, FORMER LAWYER FOR PRESIDENT TRUMP. COSTELLO, THE REPORT SAYS, TOLD COHEN THAT HE HAD A “BACK CHANNEL OF COMMUNICATION” TO RUDY GIULIANI.
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