Anthony Davis Quoted in ABA Journal Article on Clawback Profits from Dissolved Firms

October 8, 2014

Anthony E. Davis, a partner in the firm's Professional Responsibility, Professional Liability & Risk Management Practice, was quoted in the article "Lawyers From Dissolved Firms May Now Keep Clients, Courts Say," which appears in the October 1, 2014 issue of the ABA Journal. The story addresses the dissolution of several large law firms and the "unfinished-business doctrine," under which partners have a duty to account for partnership property when a firm closes.

Until recently, trustees of dissolved law firms were typically able to retain profits from unfinished work performed by attorneys from the defunct firm who joined another law firm. But the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California and the New York Court of Appeals have recently rejected the unfinished-business doctrine and allowed the law firms that took on the attorneys performing the work to retain the profits. The California case currently is on appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. The New York opinion, and the California opinion if it stands, will have a dramatic effect on lawyer mobility. Says Mr. Davis in the article, "The New York case is both definitive and critically important in settling New York law." He adds, "[i]f California and New York end up in the same place, it would be very strange for courts in other jurisdictions to reach a different conclusion."

Please visit the ABA Journal website to view the full article.

Mr. Davis focuses his practice on the laws that govern lawyers. He advises attorneys and law firms on legal professional and ethics issues, law firm creation, merger and dissolution, risk management and loss control. He is a member of the New York City Bar's Professional Ethics Committee; a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management; a member of the American Law Institute; and a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation.

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP is a U.S. law firm with 450 attorneys located in 11 states and London. Founded in 1934, the firm has a national reputation for its insurance industry work, its representation of professionals and law firms, and its closely coordinated business advisory, transactional and litigation services. We serve clients ranging from emerging and middle-market businesses to Fortune 500 companies, as well as governmental and public sector clients.