It's Am Law 100 Time Again: This year's American Lawyer 100 report is out, and the assessment is that "it could have been worse." Three of the four key categories measured by the report -- gross revenue, head count and revenue per lawyer -- fell, while profits per equity partner increased by 0.3 percent to $1.26 million. Gross revenue was off by 3.4 percent, and head count dropped by about 1 percent. The firms earned a total of $64.8 billion, down roughly $2.3 billion. And, in the first year-over-year reduction in head count since 1993, they cut their lawyer labor force by 1,219, to 80,772. Check out the full report here.
Goldman Sachs Left Out of the Debate: As Congress mulls financial reform legislation, a concerted effort is being made to avoid embattled financial institution Goldman Sachs and its stable of well connected lobbyists. The New York Times reports that the White House has been reaching out to financial institutions to garner support for reform measures, but has so far avoided Goldman Sachs, given the ongoing Securities and Exchange Commission lawsuit against Goldman. As one financial industry executive involved in the discussions said, the message is that "Goldman’s opinion doesn’t matter and that it would be negative if Goldman was supportive of what we were doing.”
Senate Ends Standoff on Financial Reform Bill: After three days of holding up action on the financial-overhaul bill, Senate lawmakers will now take the debate to the floor. The Wall Street Journal reports that the breakthrough came in a bipartisan agreement on a single contentious element of the overhaul proposal: the creation of new government authority to wind down failing financial firms. Democrats agreed to kill a proposed $50 billion fund to break up large, failing financial companies, which gave Republicans an opening to end their opposition to moving the legislation as their unified position was starting to fray.
Obama Skeptical of Immigration Reform's Chances: President Barack Obama said yesterday that "there may not be an appetite" to overhaul the nation's immigration laws this year, even though he believes there is a need to do so. The Washington Post reports that Obama thinks it would take Republican help, something that has been in short supply lately, to make progress on a difficult issue that "generates a lot of emotions."
Oil Spill Bigger Than Previously Thought: The amount of oil spilling into the Gulf of Mexico from an oil rig disaster off the Louisiana coast is five times as large as had been believed, the Los Angeles Times reports. The Coast Guard says that a second leak has been found near the site where the British Petroleum rig exploded and sank last week, gushing some 5,000 barrels of oil a day into the Gulf and not the 1,000 barrels previously estimated. The spill could have serious implications for the sea food industry in Louisiana and the greater Gulf Coast.