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Harvey R. Miller, known as the dean of bankruptcy lawyers, announced Tuesday that he was leaving Weil, Gotshal & Manges to join investment banking boutique and private equity firm Greenhill & Co., as a partner and managing director, effective Sept. 1. In over 30 years as head of Weil Gotshal’s business finance and restructuring department and as a member of the firm’s management committee, Miller, 69, oversaw the creation of what is widely regarded as the nation’s pre-eminent bankruptcy practice. He is leaving just as the firm is working on the two largest corporate restructurings in American history, those of Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc. “I’ve been doing what I’ve been doing for a long time,” said Miller. “The department is thriving, the firm is thriving. It seemed like a good time to make a change.” Miller had already stepped down as department head in January, turning over responsibility to current department co-chairs Martin J. Bienenstock, who is leading the firm’s team on the Enron Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and Marcia L. Goldstein, who is now working with WorldCom, which is expected to file shortly. The firm’s 100-lawyer bankruptcy group is in good hands, said Miller. “I’ve trained a lot of good people,” he said. “The fact that I’m leaving is not significant in terms of the firm’s future success.” Stephen J. Dannhauser, Weil Gotshal’s executive partner, said Miller would be missed greatly at the firm with which he was so thoroughly identified. “He’ll always be loved here,” said Dannhauser. “He’s been a friend and a mentor.” Miller said he had been receiving an increasing number of offers from investment banks and other financial services firms, which have aggressively sought restructuring work as the volume of mergers and acquisitions has fallen precipitously in the last year. “People started chasing me,” he laughed, “and I started to believe my own press clippings.” GREENHILL’S ROLE Scot L. Bok, a partner and managing director at New York-based Greenhill, said many firms would have seen enormous value in having the nation’s leading bankruptcy lawyer within their ranks. “Harvey is one of those lawyers who transcends the legal world,” said Bok. Miller said Greenhill emerged as a particularly attractive choice because he had known founder and chairman Robert F. Greenhill since the two worked together on the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Texaco Inc., which was the largest bankruptcy ever when filed in 1987. At the time, Greenhill was head of the investment banking division of Morgan Stanley, the financial advisor in the bankruptcy. Greenhill later became president of Morgan Stanley and then chairman and chief executive officer of Smith Barney. He founded Greenhill in 1996. Unlike large investment banks that also have trading and underwriting businesses, boutiques like Greenhill focus on advisory services, chiefly in the M&A and restructuring areas. Similar firms include Lazard Freres and the Blackstone Group. In the bankruptcy context, such firms take the lead in valuation of assets and defining optimal post-bankruptcy capital structures. Lawyers advise on these efforts, draft the many necessary documents and handle ancillary litigation. Lawyers are paid by the hour; bankers receive a monthly retainer and a “success fee” contingent on the success of the restructuring. “We wouldn’t be bringing Harvey Miller aboard and expanding the department if this wasn’t a very good business,” said Bok, noting that Greenhill was on track to have a record year in 2002. The firm is currently working with Weil Gotshal on the Chapter 11 bankruptcy of Bethlehem Steel Corp. OTHER HIRES Greenhill has also recently announced two other new partners. When Miller joins the firm in the fall, Greenhill will have about 18 partners and about 75 other professionals on staff. The firm, which also encompasses a $425 million private equity fund, has offices in London and Frankfurt as well as New York. Miller said he was excited about the prospect of working in a new environment. “I’m not going to write briefs anymore, edit legal documents or do time records.” Miller joined Weil Gotshal as a partner in 1969 from the defunct bankruptcy boutique of Seligson & Morris. Weil Gotshal counted 60 lawyers in all, he recalled, and the firm was focused on representing the city’s many independent publishing houses, most of which have since been subsumed into larger media companies. At the time, he said, the firm would not have been considered a top New York firm. With partners Ira Millstein and Robert Todd Lang, Miller steered the firm for the next three decades. The firm now has 950 lawyers and offices around the world. Despite his role in such growth, Miller is not dwelling on the past. While cleaning out his office Tuesday, Miller said he was struck by the multitude of bound volumes on his shelves that traced the history of the bankruptcy practice at Weil Gotshal. He said he would keep the volumes from Texaco and maybe those from the bankruptcy of the Macy’s department stores. The rest were destined for the trash. “They’re really nice and they look good on the shelf,” he said, “but they’re also really heavy and they take up a lot of room.

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