Law Firms Screwed Up Also

from the lessons-learned dept

Fortune has an article all about what happened at the well-known Silicon Valley law firm Cooley Godward during the boom and bust. They followed the pattern of many law firms (in fact, they admit that many of their decisions were based on the criteria of “well, other firms in the area are doing this…”) and started focusing on getting equity from their startup clients. However, they went beyond even that. Once they realized that there was so much money to be made from equity in pre-IPO companies, they actually started firing their stable clients who didn’t offer the same sort of upside. Suddenly, they were telling investment banks and Fortune 500 companies (who they had a strong history of working with) that they didn’t want any more of their business. Not surprisingly, this strategy has since backfired as they try to crawl back to those stable companies they brushed off. The headline of the article suggests that the firm “got screwed”, but like most everyone involved in the tech industry, it seems that they really screwed up themselves.

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