The Firms

December 20, 2010 6:31 PM

Gone Till December? Wyclef Plays Monday Afternoon Show at DLA Piper's NYC Office

Posted by Ross Todd


DLA Piper partner David Hryck has seen his client Wyclef Jean--the recording artist, producer, and activist--perform more than a dozen times at venues and events across the globe. On Monday, Hryck (pronounced HER-sik) got to see Jean play yet another (makeshift) venue: the multipurpose room on the twenty-seventh floor of DLA's Manhattan offices.

"I've not seen him play a law firm," Hryck says in the run-up to Monday's concert. "But I've never seen anyone play a law firm before."

The performance came together quickly. While Hryck and Jean were having lunch on Friday at Del Frisco's, Jean told the DLA tax and corporate partner that he had decided to offer a special thank you to people at the firm who represent him as a paying client and handle pro bono work for his foundation, YĆ©le Haiti. (Hryck has counted Jean as a client since the end of 2008--he was introduced to the musician through another client, model Petra Nemcova. He's handled business planning for the musician and contract negotiations and corporate governance matters for the foundation.)

"He's a generous guy, he likes making people happy," Hryck says of Jean. And the artist clearly likes to move fast--he suggested a thank-you concert to take place just three days later on Monday afternoon.

"The folks here at DLA have been great about setting it up," Hryck says when asked about the short window of time to prepare for the special performance. It all came together, and at about 3 p.m. on Monday, a crowd of a couple of hundred fans--including Dr. Ruth Westheimer, another DLA client--took in an hour-and-fifteen-minute set from Jean and his six-piece band.

The set list included a pair of songs from Jean's latest release, "If I Were President: My Haitian Experience," as well as crowd favorites off his 1997 debut album "The Carnival" including "Gone Till November." Jean stuck around for another half hour after the show to sign autographs and pose for pictures.

"It was unbelievable. It was over-the-top," Hryck says. "No one has ever seen anything like that at a law firm. It was a good vibe."


Photo: Wyclef Jean rocks the twenty-seventh floor multipurpose room at DLA Piper's Manhattan office; courtesy of DLA Piper.

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