Attorneys Privilege: Murdoch/Dow Jones Deal May Rest With Bancroft Lawyers

By: The Bancrofts may be controlling the top stake in Dow Jones & Co., "but the final decision on whether to sell the publisher of The Wall Street Journal to Rupert Murdoch could well be made by a small circle of longtime family lawyers in downtown Boston," the Journal reports today.

Lawyers from Hemenway & Barnes "sit at the center of dozens of overlapping trusts that hold power over most of the Bancrofts' 64% voting stake in the company," the paper relates. "Those lawyers occupy two of the three trustee seats on a number of key trusts, with the third held by a family member. On one of the biggest trusts, lawyers from the firm are the only trustees. And the fact that the large Bancroft clan is divided over whether to sell further deepens the firm's influence.

One family member who is leaning in favor of selling the company told the Journal: "The vote really resides with them."

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