I work for a midsize Regional law firm and am working on a deal with an AM50 firm on the other side. Normally when I work with larger firms their documents are pristine, but every document I’ve gotten from them (from several different attorneys) is sloppy. Typos, grammatical errors, confusing wording, etc. Anyone else experience this with certain “Big Law” firms? I’m just sort of shocked to keep getting documents from them that look like a 1st year drafted it without anyone reviewing it.

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There are lots of reasons this happens. In addition to those listed above it might be that you’re dealing with a McLaw firm like Baker McKenzie, DLA, Holland & Knight, or even Hogan Lovells, all of which have many great lawyers and even more mediocre lawyers. Big doesn’t necessarily mean consistently excellent.

You could also be dealing with a year end crunch in which the lawyers on the other side are too busy and this not being careful. Or maybe the partner has checked out and the associate(s) on the deal lack attention to detail.

The key point is you can’t get too exercised about the rep or size of the opposing firm. I’ve tried cases against inexperienced lawyers from small firms who were terrific, against American College of Trial Lawyers luminaries who have no idea what they are doing, alleged stars from firms like Kirkland and Simpson Thacher who are god awful, and nobodies from very respected firms who are spectacular. If you’re up against really elite firms like Cravath, Kirkland, or Wachtell, chances are the work is going to be great, but even then it always comes down to the individual lawyers and their focus on your matter. Name brands can be deceiving.

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Agree with this esp the big firms having a number of great lawyers but a ton of good or just decent ones

I see no difference in document quality between [good] boutique and mid-size firms and BigLaw firms.

likefunny

I’m at a regional firm as well and definitely find this is true of a lot of the largest firms. I think the partners need to maintain a ludicrous volume to be profitable so a lot is being pushed to first and second year associates since the partners just don’t have time.

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If it's a flat fee deal on their side and relatively small, they won't put the same hours into making everything perfect because it eats into margin.

Perhaps that's what's at play here.

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That’s gotta be it. It’s a relatively small deal comparatively.

Any chance you work in multifamily real estate?

Usually when this happens it’s a symptom of a junior lawyer not getting proper backup by seniors because the seniors are too underwater to help out properly. Bad look all the way around but unfortunately it happens all around.

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