On the list of law firms that have moved their associates up to the $160K pay scale, one of the most conspicuous omissions is Jenner & Block. As we wondered in a prior post: “What’s Up With Jenner & Block?”
As it turns out, “About twenty equity partners. Toe-up.” From today’s National Law Journal:
Jenner & Block, a litigation-focused firm, is shifting between 15 and 20 of its equity partners to nonequity status this year with some being asked to leave the firm and a smaller number moving voluntarily toward retirement, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The firm’s management last month began to move forward with the plan to cut some of the equity partners during the next year or two, the sources said.
Jenner has never before taken such a step that affected so many equity partners, they said. The firm has 185 equity partners, according to a list of the highest-grossing law firms published last month by The American Lawyer, an NLJ affiliate.
Lots of Jenner associates have been clamoring for a pay raise. But in light of the partner de-equitizations, is this a case of “Be careful for what you wish for, you might just get it”? Could raising associate salaries exacerbate the problems that led Jenner to steal a page from the Mayer Brown playbook?
On the other hand, the partner purge could be viewed more charitably. Is Jenner & Block dumping deadweight partners to pave the way financially for raising associate salaries? In a recent memo, the firm hinted at “changes in our associate compensation structure.”
We’ll have more about Jenner in a subsequent post, focused on the plight of associates rather than partners. If you have anything you’d like to contribute, please email us (subject line: “Jenner and Block”). Thanks.
Jenner & Block Will De-Equitize Partners [National Law Journal via Law.com]
Earlier: Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: What’s Up With Jenner & Block?
Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: A Jenner & Block Memo