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WHAT WE’RE WATCHING

DONE – The Ninth Circuit has put the nail in the coffin of Howrey’s unfinished business claims. Ross Todd reports that the appeals court confirmed a ruling that clients, not firms, control ongoing matters. The decision stems from the 2011 bankruptcy of once-prominent Howrey, and nixes the bankruptcy trustee’s claims that a waiver adopted upon the firm’s dissolution to claims for unfinished business amounted to a fraudulent transfer of Howrey funds to firms where partners landed. Unfinished business claims have played a big role in the bankruptcy proceedings of law firms that collapsed in recent history, including Heller Ehrman, Coudert Bros. and Thelen. 

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