Friday, March 22, 2013

Brown and Heller Shocker!

 Wow!

The Intrepid One is there:
After 38 years in operation, the law firm informed 23 attorneys and about 50 staffers last week that it would be closing, and Monday was their last day. The lease on two floors at the One Biscayne Tower building, the firm's home since 1975, expires April 1.

Employees will receive no COBRA health insurance but will receive three weeks of severance pay, firm co-founder Lewis Brown said.
So they got two days' notice, three weeks of severance, and no COBRA.

Actually, not even two days:
Attorneys and staff were called last Friday and informed the firm was closing. They were told to pick up their belongings and clean up their files for transfer Monday.
 But no worries, says Brown:
"We are making sure we ensure all our ethical obligations are met."
That's a relief.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

No country for old men.

Anonymous said...

How ironic that this story hit the DBR the day after you posted an item about ol' Hank Adorno, whose firm shut down in a similarly abrupt manner almost two years ago to the day.

Let's wish the Brown and Heller attorneys (and staff) well, because it's going to be awfully difficult for 20+ attorneys with no clients (according to the article, they all worked for one client who has since fired the firm) to land on their feet.

By the way: With all due respect to Lew Brown and his desire to spend more time with his kids, does anyone else think the other suddenly unemployed 20+ attorneys at his firm were "mutually agreeable" to this situation so Lew can attend more school plays and parent-teacher conferences?? If you think so, there's a bridge in Brooklyn in which I'd like to sell you an ownership interest.

Anonymous said...

The firm hasn't been relevant since 1987.

Rumpole said...

Easy come, easy go.

Anonymous said...

Most of you do not know what you are talking about. That firms had very high-end work and was largely chock full of very talented lawyers, who now find themselves in the unfortunate situation of having to go out and find new jobs. And based on the article stating that they were billing $24 mm a year, it is doubtful that Lewis Brown was "agreeable" to that work disappearing. And by the way, that firm actually represented Adorno in the case that lead to its demise.

Anonymous said...

Live by the single client;die by the single client.

Anonymous said...

Great to see Lew focus in on the right issue: fulfilling his ethical responsibilities under the CPR. Obviously a successful lawyer need not focus on his ethical or moral responsibility to those in his employ. Otherwise, that would detract from his time with his family and his enjoyment of his retirement.

Anonymous said...

All that money earned and they saved nothing for continuing operations in the event of a downturn???

Fake Alex Michaels said...

You vanted it....you got it.

@DRACULAWYER

Fake Alex Michaels on twitter.

OBJECTION JUDGE
DIS IS BULLSHEEEEEEET

Anonymous said...

Brown and Heller was one of the premier litigation firms in Florida for 38 years. They handled, as lead counsel, some of the largest cases in both New York and Florida. In addition to representing law firms and accounting firms in South Florida, they also represented top international accounting firms in class action cases with highly successful outcomes and practiced before the SEC in Wells proceedings. They were lead defense counsel in the Fisher Island litigation and as far back as 1988 obtained one of largest lender liability verdicts in the country at that time.In the last ten years they handled the largest hedge fund cases that had ever been filed in the country. Their practice was the envy, not only of local firms, but also large money center law firms. Their reported appellate decisions probably exceed 100. Many of their employees worked at the firm for over 20 years, a testament to how well they treated their people.

They were also highly thought of by many judges in state and federal court, some of who they represented.

I also know they were very generous contributors to many South Florida charities, including Miami Children's Hospital, United Way, The Florida Philharmonic, YoungArts, Camillus House,among many others.

They represented large companies like Toyota, Whirlpool Corp., KPMG, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Anderson LLP, Swiss Re, Watsco, amd many others.

I think they deserve the respect they earned and admiration for the great legacy they left having been one of the few firms that built a hugely successful practice and remained together for almost 40 years, a true rarity in this legal community.

From some the posts here, it appears they also generated a lot of jealousy among some of their peers.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it a little curious how a firm with 20 lawyers could bill $24 million + per year? Seems inflated, but we know how lawyers with office managers straight from the hood can inflate the numbers (See Rothstein, Scott).

Dyanne Fatburg said...

Cheryl would never have inflated the numbers

Scott Rothstein said...

Even I didn't steal $100 million. Way to go Lew!!! Best, Scott.

Bernard Madoff said...

Great point Scott. Lew is the real king of Ponzi.