Bloomberg Law has posted a short but fascinating documentary Steven Davis and Rise and Fall of Dewey LeBoeuf. Ten years after the spectacular collapse of the ALM 100 law firm, former Chairman Steve Davis  broke his silence. No other former partners agreed to be interviewed for the documentary. Commentary by David Lat, Founder of Above the Law; Vivien Chen, legal analyst at Bloomberg Law and   Prof. David Wilkens, Director of the Center for the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School is woven into the Davis narrative.

Dewey LeBoeuf was not the first ALM 100 firm to collapse.  Heller, Brobeck, Howrey,  Coudert Brothers all succumbed to the mysterious alchemy of missteps, hubris and  changed law firm economics. Dewey LeBoeuf has the distinction of being the first truly “white shoe” law firm to join this solemn procession. They were also the first collapse to result in the indictment of law firm leaders. Lat refers to  Dewey LeBoeuf as “The Lehman collapse of the legal world.”

According to Davis market forces as well as  prestigious consultants suggested in 2005  that LeBoeuf  either needed to shrink into a boutique or find a merger partner  and transform itself into a  “super firm.” The firm opted to grow and began a spectacularly aggressive recruiting spree which included enticing Ralph Ferrara  to leave Debevoise  with a $16 million sign on bonus. For the first time law firm partners were being recruited and paid like athletes. The high risk strategy worked … until it didn’t.  The American Lawyer  described LeBoeuf as a “rainmaker magnet.” But a revolving door spins partners  “in” as well as “out”. And when a group of  rainmakers threatened to leave, Davis  found a merger partner in Dewey Ballantine one of the whitest of white shoe firms where profits per partner had been in decline. The merger took place on October 1, 2007.

Continue Reading Ten Years On – Bloomberg Law Releases Documentary on the Collapse of Dewey LeBoeuf

Several weeks ago Joe Breda, President of Bloomberg Law sent a communication to Bloomberg Law customers promising a new pricing strategy. Here in the key text from the document:

“Our migration to a single platform has meant price adjustments for some customers. In response, we are recommitting to transparency and predictability in pricing.  Our long-term vision is a fair price that’s consistent with the marketplace and representative of the value Bloomberg Law brings to your practice or business.” (The complete message is included at the bottom of this post.)

I had a conversation with Breda in which he explained that although Bloomberg will no longer sell Practice Centers, customers can get access to practice related content by purchasing  as many seats as are required by any practice
Continue Reading Bloomberg Law Returns to Predictable Pricing Model – Enhances Customer Cost Management

2014 was marked by an unusual level of churn in the leadership of legal information companies. Here is a rundown of notable changes:
BNA Legal Division.
The most interesting  executive change was Bloomberg’s selection of “legal rebel” David Perla as President of Bloomberg BNA Legal. There
have been a succession of short term leaders

Dan Doctoroff

Yesterday, Dan Doctoroff CEO of Bloomberg sent a letter to Bloomberg terminal customers outlining the results of two investigations of the company’s data security and journalistic practices. The investigations were triggered by reports in May 2013 that Bloomberg news reporters had access to some subscriber information.

In response to the controversy Bloomberg retained the law

Pearson the British publisher of the Financial Times, announced that they will be selling their Mergermarket unit which publishes the Mergermarket deal monitoring and deal data product and Debtwire which covers the global distressed debt market.According to a story in the New York Times, Pearson bought Mergermarket for $192 Million in 2006. The Times story

Last week Bloomberg acknowledged that Bloomberg reporters had used the infamous “Z”  and  “UUID” functions on the Bloomberg terminal to access “customer data.”  Reporters had access to the names of users at an organization, how long the account had existed, when the account was last used and what broad categories of data they had accessed, e.g.

This morning I attended a  presentation at Bloomberg HQ given by Bruce  “growth is dead” MacEwen. He has so many unique insights I definitely recommend reading his book to absorb them all. He showed some amazing slides on the  configuration of the legal industry before  and after the  2007 crash.

 One interesting “aside,”  focused on the corrosive