Conduct Unbecoming: The Rise and Ruin of Finley, Kumble

Steven J. Kumble, Author, Kevin J. Lahart, With Carroll & Graf Publishers $19.95 (312p) ISBN 978-0-88184-625-6
The engrossing first-person history of the world's second largest, perhaps most powerful and most despised law firm by Kumble, a founder, and Financial World senior editor Lahart, aligns what many consider unethical conduct in the legal profession in the 1980s with the rapacity of the decade's big business. The authors trace the firm's growth from its original eight members in 1968 to 1987 when, swollen by mergers and raids, it had become a full-service, national legal powerhouse, the first of its kind. With revenues totaling $200 million, Finley, Kumble's 450 associates and partners--many of them ex-government figures--served prominent clients in every field. Eventually ousted by a greedy ``nest of vipers,'' a group of his managing partners, Kumble recalls that he had warned colleagues against the inflated compensations, feuds and debts that led to the firm's bankruptcy in 1987. This is a devastatingly candid confession and expose. Photos not seen by PW. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 10/31/1990
Release date: 11/01/1990
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