Remember those Bingham McCutchen associates who took buyouts and left the firm? They’re royally p.o.’ed about this article, and they want to set The Record[er] straight about the circumstances surrounding their departures.
Check out their angry letter to The Recorder, plus additional information from an ATL tipster concerning how these buyouts were mishandled, after the jump.
According to an ATL source, here’s what REALLY happened with the associate buyouts:
The real story that the Recorder just got wrong. The SF office has been very slow, and there was talk about creative solutions to avoid laying off associates. An associate during a senior class meeting suggested voluntary departures with severance. The suggestion went up the chain, and it was approved, but wink wink, there was no program. Associates had to ask for the deal individually. Once they requested the deal, they got it, unless they were on probation or in bad standing, etc. This was done to insure that no one would get burned if they requested it.
Here is the key: management was expecting associates they wanted out to request the deal. But the 6 associates that requested and got the deal were a complete shock. The SF partners were absolutely pissed that they were losing their best associates and [were stuck with] associates they wanted [to leave]. They were also surprised that the management didn’t think it through more.
Finally, most of these associates were asked to stay and were told that the doors were open if they wanted to come back. These associates wanted out because of several management decisions from the East Coast affecting the SF office including pro bono, the departure and forced departure of female partners, diversity issues, etc.
We have no difficulty believing that some of the associates who took buyouts were top performers. From another source:
Look up the biographies of the “contract attorneys.” One clerked for a prominent judge in the N.D. Cal., and another is a looker with a Harvard JD. Also, one of four attorneys who recently left also has a Harvard JD….
If you have anything to add, please email us (subject line: “Bingham McCutchen”). Thanks.
Bingham McCutchen Offers Buyouts to Some Associates [The Recorder via Law.com]