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Are Clients Too Lax on Conflicts, or Is the Government Too Harsh?

Earlier this week, I posted about how banking industry clients have been willing to act flexibly with respect to conflicts of interest so that they can retain certain go-to law firms to shepherd them through the credit crisis. (As an aside, it bears noting that even go-to law firms can make mistakes, like erroneously including 179 contracts in an asset purchase deal because a first-year associate mis-formatted an Excel spreadsheet). However, the United States government is apparently, a somewhat more discerning client. The American Lawyer is reporting that four of the six law firms asked to submit proposals to advise the U.S. Treasury on the bailout plan declined to participate, concerned that stringent conflicts of interest requirements in the procurement process might force the firm to give up a more lucrative client. Ultimately, Treasury awarded the work to Simpson, Thacher & Bartlett, which is not concerned about losing business to conflicts as a result.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on October 15, 2008 at 09:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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