Law Practice Management

Bankruptcy Boom Hits BigLaw

Posted Jan 5, 2009 3:21 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Long-predicted, a tsunami of bankruptcy business is at last starting to fill up the coffers of BigLaw.

The disastrous economic conditions that swept through the country to virtually every industry in 2008 are expected to keep practitioners busy for years to come, as companies that managed to stay in business for a while increasingly are forced to seek bankruptcy court protection, reports the National Law Journal, in an article reprinted by New York Lawyer (reg. req.).

"A steady rise in corporate bankruptcy filings throughout 2008 is expected to crescendo in 2009 and 2010," the legal publication reports, "with collapses spreading from the retail, auto-related, real estate and financial industries to almost any area affected by the downturn in consumer spending, lawyers in the area say."

Bad news for corporate America, however, is good news not only for law firms with substantial bankruptcy departments but attorneys who wish to work there. Firms expecting a wave of bankruptcy business are not only courting seasoned practitioners to add to their insolvency practice groups but putting young lawyers to work, too.

"We were fortunate that we had a large incoming class," says Marcia Goldstein. She heads the business finance and restructuring department at New York City-based Weil Gotshal & Manges, which is particularly known for its bankruptcy practice. The firm is still hiring seasoned laterals, she notes.

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