Guess Who's Going To Profit From This Crisis?

The lawyers, of course!

Bloomberg: A rising number of defendants and suspects in government probes of collapsed financial firms may yield the biggest fee bonanza for the defence bar since the days of Enron Corp. and WorldCom Inc. The largest cases can generate millions in revenue. Former Enron Chief Executive Officer Jeffrey Skilling alone paid $23 million in legal fees even before he went on trial for fraud and was convicted.

“There’s a very interesting ballet going on now between clients, lawyers and the investigating agencies,” said Harvard Law School professor Alan Dershowitz, who represented convicted 1980s junk bond king Michael Milken. “People are rushing to get the best lawyers before they can be hired by someone else.”

Bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. alone is the subject of three federal investigations and at least 20 subpoenas. Markets for subprime mortgages, credit default swaps and auction- rate securities have come under scrutiny for possible fraud too. In New York, four former executives at Credit Suisse Group and Bear Stearns Cos. have already been charged with fraud.

“I think the defence bar is going to see very full employment,” said Robert Morvillo, who is defending former American International Group Inc.’s Chief Executive Officer Maurice “Hank” Greenberg in investigations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo. Morvillo is a lawyer with New York-based Morvillo Abramowitz, Grand, Iason, Anello & Bohrer.

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