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Bruce MacEwen's Post-Mortem on the Dewey-Orrick Split

Bruce MacEwen offers this lengthy post-mortem analysis of the Orrick/Dewey break-up that we posted on here three weeks ago. MacEwen first gives a great round-up of links to all the stories on the failed merger of Dewey Ballantine and Orrick, before launching into his thoughts on the events.

MacEwen suggests that there's nothing wrong with the merger not going through, given that in the corporate world, mergers are often unsuccessful and don't bring the predicted gains. As with marriage, better to call it off before the wedding rather than split up later. 

MacEwen also shares his view that in the case of the Orrick/Dewey merger, the practice group leaders were never on board: 

I never sensed the partnerships themselves—practice group leaders on down—were behind the deal.  I sensed it was driven from the top, and the top alone.  Understand:  First of all, I have no inside information that this is true (and I wouldn't write about it here if I did!), but I do have this sense.  Second, there is nothing wrong with initiatives being driven from the top; they almost always are (those that aren't are called insurrections).  The point is that the "top" must enlist support, fully, completely, patiently, collaboratively, sincerely.  Somehow that doesn't seem to have gelled in this case; more's the pity.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on January 24, 2007 at 08:03 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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