Cooley Godward Kronish LLP announced today that Heidi Keefe, Mark Weinstein and Mark Lambert, previously partners with White & Case LLP, have joined the firm’s national IP litigation practice. The three partners will be resident in the Palo Alto office.
“We are delighted to welcome such an accomplished and respected team of litigators to Cooley’s IP litigation practice,” said Frank Pietrantonio, head of Cooley’s IP litigation practice. “Their experience in the technology and life science sectors complements Cooley’s established platform in these areas and will enhance our ability to meet the growing demands of our clients.”
The situation at White & Case has been well-documented. So the partner defections are not totally shocking.
For Cooley, it doesn’t look like the good partnership news translated into positive associate outcomes. Details after the jump.
In August, we received news that Cooley Godward had quietly laid off 15 to 20 associates. A tipster reported:
Information is being tightly controlled, but estimates are around 15-20 associates firm-wide. They are being couched as “performance based,”
This month, we received additional confirmation. The firm did not respond to our requests for comment made in August and again this month.
But Above the Law has obtained a copy of the Cooley separation agreement, dated August 2009. In the agreement, the firm offers what effectively amounts to a three-month severance package (August through October). Technically speaking, however, it’s three months of notice; the laid-off associates still have to show up for work through October:
And of course there is the standard non-disparagement language:
But the firm also agrees not to disparage its departing associates:
You make the call. Are these “stealth layoffs,” made because of economic reasons? Or are these the kind of normal “performance review” decisions that go on at firms during bad times and good times?
Earlier: Update: Cooley’s Layoffs Were Worse Than We Thought