Schiff Hardin logo.JPGWe’ve noticed in comment threads that many of you would like frequent commenter Partner Emeritus to retire. But he’s a persistent one. Perhaps frustrated readers should take a page from the book of Schiff Hardin.

The 400-attorney firm found an interesting way to get rid of its partners emeriti in the firm’s Chicago office. It will move its “special partners” to temporary offices while its main building is being renovated, and then not move them back.

UPDATE: It appears there was a misunderstanding. A clarification from the firm appears here.

The firm notified its retired partners, referred to as “special partners,” on Sunday. And not in a very nice way. They got the message via mass e-mail:

Dear Special Partners,

As you know, we are about embark upon the renovation of our space in Chicago. We will move to temporary space two floors at a time and then return to our improved floors. We will use this opportunity to reshuffle offices

Some of you have volunteered to move offices when we return to the renovated space. I have not, however, had an opportunity to speak with all of you about this topic. With one exception, you will not be returning to your present office.

The mass e-mail that Schiff Hardin’s (not-so special?) partners emeriti got, plus a clarification from the firm, after the jump.

The firm’s managing partner sent “special partners” this mass e-mail on Sunday:

Dear Special Partners,

As you know, we are about embark upon the renovation of our space in Chicago. We will move to temporary space two floors at a time and then return to our improved floors. We will use this opportunity to reshuffle offices.

Some of you have volunteered to move offices when we return to the renovated space. I have not, however, had an opportunity to speak with all of you about this topic. With one exception, you will not be returning to your present office. (Tom Luning continues to act as the firm’s General Counsel.) This is not a statement about your value to the firm. You have played critical roles in building the firm and making it the thriving institution it is today. Rather, this is a recognition of the successful mentoring you have done to the next generation of leaders.

Rather, this is a recognition of the ease of sending this to you en masse, by e-mail, rather than having an actual conversation with you.

Nor is it a statement that your contributions to the firm are at an end. You continue to be valuable and valued partners. It is, however, a recognition that, as a class, you are able to enjoy a little more time out of the office than those who succeed you.

It sounds like the special partners might get a few offices they can share when they feel the need to return to the premises. We reached out to the firm earlier this week, but a spokesperson did not call us back (or even send a group e-mail).

If you have any questions or comments, please do not hesitate to contact me. We are finalizing specific office plans and Doug Domenick should be in touch with you in the next few days in this regard.

Thank you for your understanding.

Ron
Ronald S. Safer
Managing Partner

We imagine getting this group e-mail had the distinct effect of making this “class” of partners feel not quite as “special.”

UPDATE: A clarification from the firm appears here.


comments sponsored by

101 comments (hidden for your protection) Show all comments