Law Firms

Heller Ehrman to Vote Today to Dissolve


Although a vote won’t be taken until today, the struggling Heller Ehrman has no choice but to dissolve, the law firm’s chairman reportedly told all hands at a meeting Thursday.

The 118-year-old California-based law firm, which survived the San Francisco earthquake and helped arrange the financing to build the Golden Gate Bridge, has been hemorrhaging attorneys for months and the end is now at hand, according to the Recorder and the San Francisco Chronicle.

Chairman Matt Larrabee said staff will be paid Friday, and he also “indicated that under the federal WARN Act, associates and staff would be paid for the next 60 days,” the Recorder writes. A small number of staff will be asked to help wind down the firm’s affairs.

A two-thirds vote is required to dissolve the partnership, according to Heller Highwater, a highly unofficial anonymous website apparently published by a law firm employee or employees. And, despite the planned dissolution, it appears that the law firm should have more than sufficient assets to settle its accounts:

“It appears that Heller is in debt to the tune of $50 million, with accounts receivable of approximately $118 million,” states a blog post today. “With a normal recovery rate of 90 percent, it is in the best interests of everyone—bank and shareholders—to work in a ‘receivership’ state once the dissolution vote passes and to not be forced into involuntary bankruptcy.”

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Heller Holds Firmwide Meeting on Plans for ‘Orderly Transition’”

ABAJournal.com: “Ex-Merger Suitors Consider Picking Up Pieces of Heller”

ABAJournal.com: “Heller Suffers Another Blow with Reported Loss of up to 40 IP Lawyers”

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