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Tower Snow Jr., the former chairman of Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, is finally telling his story of the firm’s collapse. In a court document filed with the San Francisco bankruptcy court last week, Snow responds to a $2.7 million suit filed against him by Brobeck’s bankruptcy trustee, Ronald Greenspan. The filing, written by Snow’s attorney, Cooley Godward Chairman Stephen Neal, contends that during Snow’s four years as chairman he generated millions in revenue and created a more egalitarian culture at the firm. It also says Brobeck was financially healthy at the time of Snow’s expulsion in May 2002 and that even Citibank, the firm’s lead lender, was lauding Brobeck for its “fiscal discipline.” “Not only did Brobeck benefit financially from Snow’s efforts, but Brobeck flourished under Snow’s leadership,” Neal wrote. “For example, the revenue generated by the securities litigation group tripled from $16 million in 1998 to almost $50 million in 2001,” Neal states. “Similarly, revenue from the intellectual property group grew from $10 million in 1997 to more than $60 million in 2001.” While Snow has been blamed by many former partners for Brobeck’s nearly $90 million bank debt, Neal says Citibank was happy with Brobeck during the period Snow was chairman. “Indeed, Citibank representatives on numerous occasions told Snow in front of other senior Brobeck partners and staff that it regarded Brobeck as a ‘model’ firm and that Brobeck was one of the few large law firms outside of New York City exercising tight fiscal discipline,” Neal writes. The filing also portrays Snow as being a champion of the firm’s associates and staff. It says he increased their salaries and benefits at the expense of partner income and shared information with them that had historically only been available to partners. The filing notes that Fortune magazine chose Brobeck as one of the “100 Best Places to Work in the United States” in both 1999 and 2000. Brobeck closed in February 2003. In January, Greenspan filed individual suits against 222 former Brobeck partners for distributions they received from the firm in 2001 and 2002. Snow’s damages were tallied at $2.7 million. While 206 of the partners have settled for amounts less than Greenspan cited in his complaints, Snow is one of the few who has refused to settle. Snow says Brobeck’s partnership agreement specifies that any partner expelled from the firm is relieved of all liabilities. Rather than having to pay the estate, he contends he is entitled to reimbursement for the cost of defending himself against the trustee’s claims. The court filing describes the leading Brobeck partners — particularly Richard Odom, who succeeded Snow as chairman, and Richard Parker, the managing partner — as conspiring to make Snow “unemployable” in the legal marketplace and to hurt him financially. The filing says Brobeck management refused to return Snow’s capital contribution and renegotiated the firm’s debt obligations with Citibank to leave Snow and others with a disproportionate share of any recourse liability. Snow is requesting a jury trial over the trustee’s complaint. Greenspan’s attorney, Bennett Murphy, a partner at Los Angeles’ Hennigan, Bennett & Dorman, said Greenspan is reviewing Snow’s request and will decide “if there is a valid legal basis for that.”

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