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Sonnenschein Rescues 100 Thacher Lawyers

Looks like 150-year-old, New York-headquartered Thacher Profitt & Wood may not survive through the end of 2008. The Am Law Daily is reporting that following a breakdown in talks between Thacher and King & Spalding, predictions are swirling that Thacher may soon face dissolution.

In the meantime, Chicago-based Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal extended a life raft to 100 Thacher lawyers from a variety of practice areas, including structured finance, corporate, banking, real estate and litigation. As the New York Times reports, the acquisition means that Sonnenschein will take on the $113/hour contract (capped at $500,000 total) to advise on the recent $7 billion dollar federal bailout program. As we reported earlier, at least four major law firms declined to even bid on the Treasury contract, fearing that it might trigger conflicts with existing, deeper-pocketed clients. 

Bruce MacEwen at Adam Smith, Esq. offers a slightly more uplifting take on a seemingly depressing story:

Sad as it is to see a storied firm, bombed out of the World Trade Center twice and still resilient, reach the end of its road, what really matters is not the name of a brand, but the individual lawyers and professionals. No one at Thacher died during the two WTC attacks, and none will "die" professionally today. That's why it's a good news holiday story. They are living to fight another day, and (disclosure) from personal experience and acquaintance, I can testify that they're fighters.

Will Thacher be the last casualty of 2008, or will several more firms nosedive before the year's end? And will the Thacher attorneys who weren't picked up by Sonnenschein survive? What do you think?

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on December 22, 2008 at 11:32 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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