09 January 2009

Legal eagles fly from Wall Street

January 09, 2009 3:47 PM

Legal eagles fly from Wall Street

A Goldman Sachs Group Inc. top attorney is the latest in a flock returning to law firms.

By: Hilary Potkewitz

Another top lawyer is leaving an investment bank for the law-firm life. John Squires, chief intellectual-property counsel for Goldman Sachs Group Inc., just announced he’s joining law firm Chadbourne & Park as a partner in its New York office.

Mr. Squires joins a growing group of former bank advisors who have had enough of the high-flying investment world, especially with the demise of so many financial services firms in the past few months.

In September, the former head of Bear Stearns & Co.’s legal and compliance department went to Weil Gotshal, and former lead asset management counsel to Bear’s private clients and hedge funds left for a partnership at Venable.

The pair followed in the footsteps of former Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc.’s senior counsel for global real estate, who took a partnership position at Allen & Overy’s New York office.

Some lawyers, however, can’t win for trying. Gene Small was senior litigation counsel at Bear Stearns when the bank collapsed last May. Unfortunately for Mr. Small, he quickly found a job at Dreier, as a commercial litigator.

Dreier imploded in early December when its founder, attorney Marc Dreier, was arrested for allegedly masterminding a $380 million fraud scheme.

The firm filed for bankruptcy last month, leaving its 250 former lawyers twisting in the wind.


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