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Global Alliance Pursues Madoff

Unique problems demand unique solutions. There's no doubt that Bernie Madoff's $50 billion Ponzi scheme was an unprecedented crime, both in terms of the dollar amount involved and the enormous scope -- the fraud impacted victims all over the world.

So instead of trying to monopolize all of the work in the case, law firms representing those harmed by Madoff are doing something different. As The Am Law Daily reports, 34 law firms from more than 20 countries involved in one way or another with Madoff litigation formed a "Global Law Firm Alliance" to serve as "a point of contact" for exchanging non-privileged information and expertise. The group will also figure out ways to cooperate as claims move forward so that clients with similar interests don't wind up undermining each others' cases through conflicting approaches.

Keeping an alliance together won't be easy. Says Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal bankruptcy and restructuring partner Carole Neville, "There are a lot of issues that have to be dealt with -- client confidentiality, privilege, and joint events." Still, Neville believes that having support and cooperation from colleagues, particularly those abroad, can increase the likelihood of successful outcomes.

So what do you think? Can 34 major law firms play nicely together? Or is a unified front between so many players as unlikely as, well, as unlikely as a $50 billion Ponzi scheme that went undiscovered for at least a decade? Post your comments below.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on February 20, 2009 at 03:27 PM | Permalink | Comments (3)

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