4. Lee Meyerson, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett
More than 100 deal trophies crowd Lee Meyerson's windowsill like rush hour commuters at nearby Grand Central Station. They are the visible evidence of a 27-year career as a top bank lawyer, each figurine celebrating a notable bank merger or acquisition. Except that these days, with many of Meyerson's biggest clients either defunct or in trouble, the trophies look more like little tombstones. Washington Mutual, Inc. (seized by federal regulators) and Wachovia Corporation (facing collapse, bought by Wells Fargo & Company) are well represented, as is Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. (died in September) and Sovereign Bank (bought by Banco Santander, S.A.).
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