Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Goodbye Gordon Silver?


  • Uber is still alive! The Nevada Senate passed a bill regulating Uber and other ride-hailing apps. [RJ]
  • Snell & Wilmer is learning the consequences of having a governor and lieutenant governor that are both lawyers. [RJ]
  • Military pensions are community property in a divorce. [8NewsNow]
  • The big news today that everyone really wants to hear about is what is going on at Gordon Silver. If you haven't already, go read the Vegas Inc. article detailing changes at the firm including the departure of Jerry Gordon and 15 attorneys who are starting a new firm called Garman Turner Gordon. While that article gives us a few details, there are still many other missing details. What will become of the existing firm and its office space? What will it be called? What about the attorneys? What does this mean for the job market? Is anyone safe?

59 comments:

  1. Gordon and silver is fine. They just opened an office in LA.

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    1. Gordon will be fine. Silver will be fine. Gordon & Silver? Not so much.

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    2. 7:44 = lol. Nice reference to an earlier post.

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    3. ...and just as quickly as it went up, that LA office is no longer there.

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    4. According to the article at http://www.abajournal.com/news/article/15_lawyer_team_exits_gordon_silver_to_form_new_firm GS just opened its LA office last month and got three lawyers to leave another firm to start up that office. What a #$%^ move to entice those three lawyers to leave their firm while many of the GS lawyers were potentially plotting their exit from the firm.

      Gee, no need to give a #$%^ about those three lawyers who are now likely unsure about their future.

      I obviously wasn't in the middle of this to see how it went down, but that just seems wrong from my outside perspective.

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  2. Maybe it's bs, but the GS story makes it sounds like the firm was doomed by rumors that the firm was doomed. Kinda reminds me of the Vanity Fair story on Bear Stearns, where Bear alum said "we could have made it if rumors didn't send people into a run on a bank frenzy." Makes me feel bad for writimg "what's up with GS" posts on here for he last 3 months.

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    1. It was all your fault 7:47. If you hadn't asked, it would not have happened - just don't ask about my firm please ....

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    2. Lol, my post reads a little grandiose. I only asked about GS because dudes I know at GS told me they were scared, so I'm not claiming credit. Just feel a tiny bit bad for joining the peanut gallery.

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    3. Yes, GS would have not only survived but would have thrived were it not for those pesky rumors. Its current demise has nothing to do with management issues or finances.

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    4. Whats up with FC?

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    5. FC seems to have the least stable business model, especially the huge partner to associate ratio and taking in the leftovers of JV and LSC after the profitable partners go elsewhere.

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    6. I just think that partners at FC aren't the same as partners traditionally. No idea what the compensation model is but they call them "shareholders" and they seem to do the same work that associates do.

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    7. The number of partners vs associates at FC's Las Vegas office is telling. It means that the vast majority of the partners are barely (if even) generating enough business to keep themselves busy, let alone feed an associate work. That model is unsustainable in a firm with more than a small handful of partners that either have very low overhead or extremely high rates. Neither of those apply to the FC model.

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    8. Have heard that FC partners are not partners at all but "Directors" that report to a management committee. This is the model generally now. Partners who were absorbed became directors of their new firm or employees. They have hourly targets like associates. But the firm seems to be doing well and has survived the big downturn in 2008-2010.

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    9. @ 11:08 The terms "Director" or "Shareholder" have nothing to do with the "model" as you describe. FC is professional corporation (PC) rather than a partnership so what would be considered partners in a partnership as known as shareholders or directors in a PC. Any firm of any size (in excess of 15-25 attorneys) generally has a management committee or an executive committee that makes decisions.

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    10. I think Marquis Aurbach (the best managed large home-grown law firm in Las Vegas) has a traditional model whereby the elected managing partner makes day to day decisions, but all partners meet regularly to duke it out over big decisions. Builds balls and relationships. M&A will be here long after all the others fail. Lesson to be learned: Giving one partner all the power is foolish. This model killed LSC and GS.

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    11. Thanks for your self laudatory comment Terry Coffing. I wonder if Frank Flansburg agrees.

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    12. @ 2:35 - thanks Al, but everyone knows that not "'all' partners meet regularly to duke it out over big decisions." Many of the "big decisions" are made by just a few of the partners there.

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    13. I'm curious about the associate-to-partner ratio discussion here. A challenge in the marketplace is having clients accept the costs arising from use of associates -- i'm a relative newbie, but the market for Las Vegas legal services by the business community seems modest (mostly SMBs) as compared to other metropolitan areas. In addition to any other reasons for this issue, is this something others contend with?

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    14. If you're billing $500 a hour for doc review, drafting discovery, diligence, or drafting routine motions, clients get pissed. Unless FC partners bill less than partners at similar firms, their lack of associates indicates that's happening there.

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    15. "It's current demise has nothing to do with management issues or finances." Really? It was a combo of many things, but that was the main reason. Poor decisions made by the people who ran the place. For supposedly smart lawyers, they lacked business acumen.

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  3. Which attorneys left GS? Who are the 15? Any rumors about what the others that didn't leave are doing? I assume that they are actively discussing with each other who might break away with one another. Or are the rest of them staying put? My bet is that we'll see a few of them leave together and then the dominoes will continue to fall.

    Any rumors about the GS business model and financial condition? Do we have a situation similar to LSC, or do we just have a group of 15 who feel the grass will be greener branching out?

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    1. Someone posted the following on May 8th: "I heard GS to close on May 31."

      At that time, I didn't think much of it, but there's a good chance that that person knows something. It's too much of a coincidence that 15 people were announced as leaving right after that.

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    2. Might be ridiculous, but I heard from someone that worked there that some high-up GS people thought they went over the top on their recent office remodel, leading to some internal turmoil regarding the price tag.

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    3. Sounds like some other lucky firm/business can slide into the over the top space and take it over. LOL

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    4. I hope it becomes a new office for Webster Webster & Cohen.

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    5. If I was an associate (or even a partner) at GS, I would have been pissed about the remodel too. It was over the top. Nearly the entire top floor of the building dedicated to different conference rooms with different themes. It was gorgeous but unnecessary. It felt a lot like someone stroking their ego.

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    6. Ego? Ego at GS? You jest.

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    7. Let's take a moment to wish the best to everyone at GS and GTG.

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    8. What are the other approximately 24 GS attorneys doing who aren't part of the 15 who are leaving?

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    9. Honestly, that gorgeous remodeling was nothing but a mirage. Sure the outside looked amazing, but go back to where everyone works and the construction was definitely lacking. Cabinets falling apart and desks built with the cheapest material, but hey, at least they had a shower, club room for partners only, and a mothers room. Like the previous person said, they were definitely stroking their ego because from what I heard, no one else benefited from all that remodeling. It was best left untouched.

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    10. What is a mother's room?

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    11. A mother's room, is a room for new mothers to nurse in. As a former employee the remodel was way over the top. They laid off a good percentage of the staff last year within a month or so after the remodel. They spent all this time & money remodeling certain areas, especially the top floor where the high up attorneys work and clients go, but left the areas for employees with unfinished plastered walls. The entire thing was a joke. I was lucky enough to leave before their demise.

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  4. Does anyone know if Howard Hughes Center will seek to enforce personal guaranties against the shareholders of GS? I can't imagine HHC leased that much space without iron clad personal guaranties.

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    1. No personal guarantee is "ironclad" without an actual pledge of the collateral. Guarantors routinely escape execution via trusts and bankruptcy. Creditors don't usually do much due diligence as to actual collectability, but only as to ability to pay, which are two totally different things.

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    2. At this rate people will want to stop doing business with attorneys....

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  5. Heard from a summer at GS yesterday that they were informed they no longer have positions because the firm is closing 5/31.

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    1. Ouch for the summer associates - as an aside, you'd think GS would've at least offered them positions in their newly opened LA office.

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    2. @1:14 That LA office was recently closed. You can check out the GS website and see that it has been taken down. it has been confirmed by someone at the firm. Not sure about the future of the phoenix and reno offices.

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    3. Not picking up the sarcasm are we 7:30?

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    4. 7:30 is a little slow on the uptake.

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  6. These unfortunate circumstances involving a variety of law firms should give office staff a bit of an understanding that the economic state for law firms is not improving. One should be happy with having a job at a firm that is paying their salary, their health insurance and providing other perks. Eventually things will turn around but it will take a while. Just my opinion.

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    1. I don't see things looking up until the State or Bar does something with the law school (closes it) or offers the bar exam once a year. Even if the market improves over saturation remains and keeps getting worse.

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    2. At 1:43 pm - Sounds like the crap they fed the LSC staff for years! The suits need to acknowledge and appreciate that it's the staff that make them look good and they should get rid of administrators with that attitude so competent staff will continue to make the suits look good and keep their secrets.

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  7. Do you think some of their nice ass furniture will be for sale. I would love to get some $1500 chairs for $200 each.

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    1. Got to be honest, with all of the liquidations going on, I'm starting to run out of room to store all the furniture I've been buying. I feel like a scavenger....a happy scavenger.

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    2. Is this real? where do you even go to buy used law firm furniture? Is LSC's wood wall paneling available?

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    3. Go to Nellisauction.com

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    4. @11:00, no the wood paneling was snapped up by Disco Stu. He seemed to think it fit in nicely with his bell bottoms and platforms.

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    5. I walked through on their open house day. At first I was thinking "what ostentatious crap, no wonder you went broke" but then I thought about how long they'd been in that building. That wall panel might be old enough to vote.

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  8. Jeff Silver joins Dickinson Wright effective immediately 5/14 - http://www.trospercommunications.com/blog/?p=693

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    1. With Gordon leaving and Silver leaving, it sounds like the May 31st rumors are no longer rumors.

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    2. I always thought of DW as a shitty outfit. The place you end up if you've made a number of bad career choices. this is a big get for them.

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    3. Richard Gallin is leaving Gordon Silver for Kolesar & Leatham. And his emailed confirmed the closing of Gordon Silver.

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  9. The entire Reno office is joining Dickinson.

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    1. Interesting business plan --- Keep picking up the scraps from firms that implode. LSC = implode/bankruptcy. GS = ? (no word on whether there were financial issues versus grass is greener elsewhere issues).

      Not sure about the line of thinking here, but good luck to Dickinson. If I get fired or laid off, I'm going to submit my resume there since they'll probably take me.

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    2. Definitely financial issues. The firm was terribly mismanaged. The Phoenix office is now closed as well. There are only a handful of attorneys left. It is just a matter of time before it is completely gone.

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    3. Will Howard Hughes Center let them off the lease? On the one hand, it's about $160k/mo. in rent gone missing, but on the other hand, it should be easy peasy to fill three floors with new tenants.

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