Legal Business

As KWM cracks, beware re-written history and schadenfreude

Happy New Year, profession. Barely have we gotten into 2017 and the inevitable has happened: the legacy SJ Berwin business has entered administration, becoming the largest collapse in European legal history.

From the point last spring that a high-billing Paris private equity team quit for Goodwin Procter, it was hard to see King & Wood Mallesons’ (KWM) European business avoiding a bad outcome. But this comment is not really about KWM’s fate, more about how we try to interpret events and re-write history after the fact.