Law firm bankruptcies - rescues gone wrong?
The email from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe chairman Ralph Baxter to newly-tapped Coudert Brothers chair Clyde Rankin on 12 February 2005 was short, friendly and direct: "Skip, congratulations on your election. I look forward to seeing you this week. Let's talk on Monday." The message, it turned out, wasn't just an electronic high-five from one firm leader to another. It was also the start of what evolved into talks between Baxter and Rankin about a possible merger of their firms. The email's inclusion in a lawsuit filed in December against Orrick by the administrator overseeing the bankrupt Coudert estate underscores where those talks led.
Litigation launched by the estates of two bankrupt firms illustrates the perils of plucking partners from sinking ships, says Ross Todd
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