Weil Gotshal, Block in public war of words

A furious spat has erupted between Weil Gotshal & Manges’ management team and ex-rainmaking partner Dennis Block, over the firm’s international strategy.

In an unprecedented letter to New York magazine, management at the US firm rubbished Block’s claims, made in an earlier article, that he had left because he did not agree with Weil Gotshal’s foreign offices – including London – sucking profits away from New York.

Block, now at Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, has responded by writing to the management team saying that the letter was an inaccurate “attempt to rewrite history”.

Weil Gotshal says that it only wrote back to New York to have its side on record.

The Weil Gotshal management committee’s letter, signed by all 13 members – including London managing partner Maurice Allen – said that Block had not resigned but had been forced to leave.

“There had been a long history of inappropriate conduct by Block toward partners and associates that, despite repeated warnings, went uncorrected,” they wrote.

Block claimed in his June interview that he never received any support at Weil Gotshal and that he took most of his clients when he left. But the firm’s management retorted that Block’s departure had had no adverse effect on the firm.

Block also went on to criticise Weil Gotshal’s plans for eastern European offices and, referring to his old firm’s strategy, said: “They want to do real estate in Hungary!”

He said branch offices were useful if they directed big clients to New York. But he said they required huge investment and were not worthwhile if they were going to generate less profitable work.