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[...] the Roseland-based CPA firm J.H. Cohn LLP is now assembling a practice group to deal with the fallout from the economy and from the resulting government recovery initiatives, said Patrick O'Keefe, the firm's director of economic research.

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EAGER Helping Firms Restructure Operations                                                      flexibility it has. Then we may look at ways   lems and the resulting government
➤➤ Continued   from page 17                                                                     of restructuring its operations and balance    response may dwarf the demand created by
                                                                                                sheet, with an eye to reducing costs.”         the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002,” said Tom
restructuring and other issues. When a client   he declines to identify for fear of violating        Some CPA firms, like Edison-based         Mulhare, the partner-in-charge of Amper’s
has a challenge, we select the appropriate      confidentiality agreements.                     Amper, Politziner & Mattia LLP, are also       financial services practice and one of the
experts by industry and by issue, and place          “We advised the business on financial      setting up “virtual teams” to deal with the    leaders in the firm’s new emergency
them together to work on the client’s needs.”   and other issues,” he said. “Typically, we      economy’s fallout.                             response team.
     Marshall worked with one such team in      start by examining a company’s current               “The demand for CPA firm services that          The team brings together members of
New Jersey on a “highly visible” company that   financial profile, and determine how much       will be generated from the financial prob-     far-ranging disciplines, he said. “Some of
                                                                                                                                               them are valuation specialists who can help
                                                                                                                                               to determine the worth of illiquid assets,
                                                                                                                                               others are turnaround specialists that can
                                                                                                                                               focus on businesses’ response to the slow
                                                                                                                                               economy, while others will focus on compli-
                                                                                                                                               ance with new government regulations as
                                                                                                                                               they are generated.”
                                                                                                                                                     The new practice groups also are
                                                                                                                                               changing the way law firms think, said Mark
                                                                                                                                               S. Melodia, a partner in the Princeton law
                                                                                                                                               office of Reed Smith LLP.
                                                                                                                                                     “Law firms traditionally organized
                                                                                                                                               themselves along the line of a law school cur-
                                                                                                                                               riculum,” he said. “You had a property law
                                                                                                                                               practice, one for civil matters, and another
                                                                                                                                               for trusts and estates. But that’s not the way
                                                                                                                                               our clients are set up, and their needs do not
                                                                                                                                               arise in that [packaged] way, either.”
                                                                                                                                                     In July, Reed Smith launched an inter-
                                                                                                                                               disciplinary derivatives and structured
                                                                                                                                               products group combining transactional,
                                                                                                                                               restructuring, litigation and insurance
                                                                                                                                               recovery lawyers.
                                                                                                                                                     “Instead of building a brick-and-mor-
                                  Take the time to create your dreams.                                                                         tar facility for each specialized practice,
                                                                                                                                               we have a big tent with many tables,” he
                                                                                                                                               said. “And the team members move to a
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