Legal eagles earn a higher corporate pay perch

November 12, 2015

Compensation for S&P 500 general counsels is up almost 23 pct since 2010, a sharper rise than for CEOs and CFOs. It’s a sign that companies are choosing to handle more big deals, lawsuits and regulatory issues in-house. Outside law firms should brace for a steeper dive in demand.

M&A lawyers lob stones at Goldman from glass house

March 9, 2012

At the dealmaker jamboree in New Orleans, debate over how the bank played both sides of the El Paso sale drowned out other hot topics. Bankers and CEOs took beatings over other conflicts, too. And yet for an event mainly devoted to legal issues, there was little self-reflection.

Greedy law schools taught jobless grads too well

March 16, 2012

Disgruntled lawyers are suing their alma maters for exaggerating employment prospects. That seems fitting for a litigious lot with buyers’ remorse over a $120,000 education. A lousy job market isn’t the schools’ fault, but training these cheeky legal eagles may be.

Do-it-yourself law firm IPO looks a bit too feisty

July 24, 2012

Bankers are valuing LegalZoom at a whopping 40 times last year’s earnings. That’s justifiable if the U.S. online legal site can turn impressive revenue growth into consistent earnings. But rising competition and potential lawsuits are just two of the company’s biggest risks.

China mistakes foreign law firms for Party poopers

August 13, 2012

They’re dealmakers, not threats to communist rule. Yet China’s wary leaders won’t license them. That’s no way to lure overseas investment. Change must wait until a tense murder case and political transition passes. But economic preeminence won’t come without global lawyers’ help.

U.S. deal lawyers not as valuable as they may think

November 8, 2012

Financial markets are indifferent to the legal terms of U.S. public company mergers, new research shows. That may be because most transactions close regardless of the fine print. M&A attorneys have uses, but agonizing over detailed wording isn’t the best way to serve clients.

Besieged boards need updated defender-in-chief

March 19, 2013

Over a long career, lawyer Martin Lipton has become synonymous on Wall Street with takeover defense. But with shareholder activism ascendant and often on target, his contrarian screeds sound dated. This week’s M&A confab in New Orleans could put them further to the test.

Optimism over M&A may be deserved – at a discount

March 20, 2013

Bankers and lawyers telling a PR firm that specializes in deals they expect to see more merger activity makes for sweet echo-chamber music. Even pessimism expressed in the same survey in past years has proven too rosy. Maybe factor a typical premium of 30 pct into the answers.