If there was one stone cold lock for a pick in the Vault practice-area rankings, it was Weil Gotshal running away with the Bankruptcy table.
They sure did.
We don’t bother showing the scores for a couple of reasons: they’re usually pretty tightly packed; you have to read the methodology to make any sense out of it; and it’s common courtesy to incent you to go back to Vault and read the original source material.
This one was such a blowout that we included the numbers.
Weil beat its nearest competitor, Kirkland, 86.61 to 56.41, and even Kirkland was almost 60% higher than third-place Skadden (37.04).
The Top 10 (including one fantastic firm that just doesn’t belong, in our humble opinion and two titans of the field being called “pricks”) plus commentary after the jump.
|2||2||Kirkland & Ellis||56.41|
|10||13||White & Case||4.84|
Those top 5 all make sense.
White & Case had a great year this year, with Tom Lauria popping up all over the place and causing problems. They should probably be ranked higher.
WTF is Wachtell doing there, though? Sure, they almost had Harvey Miller 50 years ago, but this is not a bankruptcy firm. Other than that, what did they do? They represented a bidder for General Growth, but that’s M&A, not bankruptcy.
They don’t even list bankruptcy in their own practices.[Update: woops, see comments below]
Bankruptcy fans will remember a big dustup between Wachtell’s Chaim Fortgang and Miller over Sunbeam, but that was a decade ago, and led to this gem from a bankruptcy colleague describing the two:
They’re both pricks,” said one, speaking for many. “But we’re all pricks,” he added–meaning bankruptcy guys, not all lawyers.
Much as we love Wachtell, that ranking just shows the voters didn’t have a clue.
Further proof these voters blew it: Cravath (#11) hardly ever does bankruptcy at all and just did its first debtor-side deal, after bringing in a lateral because they had no inhouse capacity.
And where the hell is Dewey & LeBoeuf’s Marty Bienenstock?
Do you agree or disagree with these rankings?