The disappearance of Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch as standalone companies may also lead to the disappearance of work for the litigators who have those companies as clients. The AmLaw Daily breaks down who represents (represented?) who in an article today, including:
- Paul, Weiss has defended Lehman in 10 matters filed in state and federal court in the last two years, and 32 since 2003, including derivative, auction-rate securities, and antitrust cases.
- Jones Day led Lehman’s defense in the Enron securities class action and has handled 33 matters for Lehman since 2003.
- DLA Piper has worked on 17 matters, and Heller Ehrman and Morgan Lewis have each worked on 16.
- Simpson has worked on six cases filed in 2008, including a major mortgage-backed securities class action.
For Merrill Lynch:
- Skadden, Arps has worked on more than 60 matters since 2003, and 28 in the last two years, including Merrill’s recent settlement of auction rate securities litigation with regulators.
- Gibson Dunn has worked on about 60 securities and ERISA cases.
The article also observes that Bank of America is a loyal client of O’Melveny & Myers’ litigation department, and that O’M&M may stand to gain the most new work if it begins to receive some of the legacy Merrill Lynch litigation.
It is not just big law firms that will be affected by the dire developments at Lehman or Merrill, or others that may soon follow. An article in the New York Law Journal points out that plaintiffs’ law firms filing securities class actions against failed companies now routinely seek to recover from banks who they claim facilitated securities fraud:
“I was just thinking about that this morning,” said class action lawyer Salvatore Graziano of securities cases that might be affected because of the collapse of Lehman. Mr. Graziano, a partner at New York-based Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman, said there were cases across the nation that had gone on for years, costing the plaintiff’s lawyers millions, which might be dead with the Lehman bankruptcy or a possible AIG filing.