Thursday, November 13, 2014

Where Risk and Revenue Connect (Conflicts, Records & More)

Several interesting stories to share, continuing this week's informal theme of risk costs, rewards and investment priorities. First: "HP shareholder wants scrutiny of Wachtell role in controversial settlement" --
  • "If you are the most profitable corporate law firm in recorded history, with a habit of loudly defending the business judgment of corporate boards, you have to expect to take more than your share of shots. Wachtell Lipton Rosen & Katz is the Goldman Sachs of the law biz: When someone claims the firm has done something wrong, it’s news."
  • "...a brief filed this week by a plaintiffs’ lawyer whose client opposes Hewlett-Packard’s controversial settlement of shareholder derivative claims stemming from the company’s disastrous $11 billion acquisition in 2012 of the British software company Autonomy."
  • "Wachtell negotiated the settlement, which called for shareholders to release all claims against HP’s directors and officers but also for plaintiffs’ lawyers from Cotchett Pitre & McCarthy and Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd to team up with HP in litigation against former Autonomy officers. (Plaintiffs’ lawyers were originally slated to be paid $18 million for their efforts.)."
  • "HP is Wachtell’s client. It does not represent HP’s directors, who have their own lawyers. But according to dissenting shareholder A.J. Copeland and his lead lawyer, Richard Greenfield of Greenfield & Goodman, Wachtell was actually acting in the interest of HP’s board members, not the company itself, when it made a deal to release shareholder claims against HP directors."
  • "This brief isn’t the first time in the HP case that Copeland and Greenfield have raised questions about Wachtell’s supposed conflict of interest. They advanced the same argument in a brief last month, asking for permission to intervene in the case."

"Mike Pero stops his law firm from acting against him" --
  • "Mike Pero has successfully stopped a major law firm acting in a court case brought against him by the mortgage business he set up more than 20 years ago."
  • "The allegations in the proceedings were kept under wraps last month by a High Court judge when Pero applied to stop law firm Buddle Findlay acting for the mortgage business in the case."
  • "Pero had enjoyed a relationship with Buddle Findlay for seven years, the court heard, and the firm was already acting for Pero on unrelated litigation in Christchurch when it was instructed by the mortgage business for the present disputes. Pero told the Herald this morning that Associate Judge Associate Judge Matthews yesterday restrained Buddle Findlay from acting for the mortgage business."
  • "'I thought from the beginning they could not possibly be serious. I spent weeks trying to persuade Buddle Findlay against what I considered to be unethical. I wasn't so much worried about my information being shared as the loyalty factor. I'm in business like thousands of others in New Zealand. I have respect for my customers and I would never consider trying to attack them while they are paying me for my professional services,' Pero said."

"Webinar: ILTA and ARMA Present: Information Governance: A Revenue Opportunity"
  • "Law firms are under increased financial pressure due to a highly competitive market and clients demanding fixed-fee contracts. Information governance (IG) offers firms the opportunity to not only create a new practice, but also tap into a new source of revenue by leveraging existing relationships and experience."
  • "Join us to learn about the impact of IG, opportunities for information governance at law firms and how law firms can help their clients with IG."

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