Living Large on Sarbox Litigation -- Will It Last?

Lora Bentley

Sarbanes-Oxley and other effects of the Enron scandal, such as the prison sentences currently being served by many executives, are more than old news at this point. They're just plain stale.


Nor is it a surprise that auditing firms are raking in the dough as Sarbanes-Oxley compliance requirements continue to evolve, or that accounting is the hot new field for today's college students.


What we hadn't thought about until now was just how much lawyers are also benefiting from the post-Enron phenomenon. As a witty Rocky Mountain News piece points out, corporate and securities attorneys are working hard for their big bucks now that CEOs are required to know what's in the forms they file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.


Compliance is pretty high on the priority list, the writer says, because no one wants to end up sharing a prison cell with Enron's Jeffrey Skilling or WorldCom's Bernie Ebbers -- and they're willing to pay for advice on how to avoid that fate. Even legal publishers are pulling in hefty sums with their equally hefty compliance guides.


The Rocky Mountain News columnist wonders what attorneys have done (secured second mortgages, purchased new cars, etc.) in anticipation that the complex cases and the earnings that result will continue, as well as what will happen if the proposed changes to the corporate accounting law bring those cases and earnings to an end.

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