Aaron Charney

Aaron Charney Sullivan Cromwell settlement Above the Law blog.jpgThe celebrated case of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell was fun while it lasted. As we mentioned last night, the fun is over: the parties have reached a settlement.
But the case was good to us — and we intend to give it a proper sendoff, with several post-mortem posts. If you have any info or gossip about the case that you’d be willing to share, please email us.
This post is the obligatory linkwrap. We’ve collected and read various reactions to the settlement news, so you don’t have to.
Links and excerpts, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Brokeback Lawfirm: A Settlement Linkwrap”

Aaron Charney Sullivan Cromwell settlement Above the Law blog.jpgYes, the Brokeback Lawfirm litigation has come to an end. No, this is not an April Fools’ joke.
Sullivan & Cromwell and Aaron Charney ride off into the sunset, with Charney a little sore in the saddle — from all the money he’s sitting on. No more “bending over” for this cowboy.
The scoop, from Anthony Lin, appears in the New York Law Journal:

Sullivan & Cromwell said Thursday it had reached a settlement with former associate Aaron Charney, who sued the New York law firm earlier this year for sexual orientation discrimination.

“Aaron Charney and Sullivan & Cromwell have resolved their differences in connection with all pending disputes between them,” the firm said through a spokesman.

Charney’s lawyer, Daniel Alterman of Alterman & Boop, did not return a call for comment.

The settlement, the terms of which are confidential, brings to a close a dispute that had fascinated the New York legal community over the past several months, both with its allegations concerning partners at one of the city’s most prestigious firms and its bizarre twists and turns in the courtroom.

The rest of the piece recites the facts of the case and its procedural history, which will be familiar to ATL readers. But it’s a clear and cogent summary, and you can read the rest of it here.
We’ll have more to say in the morning. In the meantime, have at it in the comments.
Aaron Charney, wherever you are: Good night, and good luck. And if you need any help spending those settlement proceeds — call us.
P.S. Anthony Lin’s article was linked to by Howard Bashman at 10:58 PM, but we’re not exactly sure when the news broke. (We just got home from the Georgetown Law EJF auction, which was great fun.)
Sullivan Settles With Former Associate Who Sued Firm for Discrimination [New York Law Journal]

H Rodgin Cohen Chairman Aaron B Charney Aaron Brett Charney Sullivan Cromwell.JPGAfter a quiet period, in which we were reduced to wishing Gera Grinberg a happy birthday, there’s some actual news about Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell. From Keeping Up With Jonas:

Judge Fried issued his decision in response to S&C’s partial motion to dismiss. Though both sides landed blows, it seems that S&C can claim itself the victor of this battle. The Court dismissed Charney’s Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress (“IIED”) and Conspiracy causes of action, albeit without prejudice. However, at least as it stands now, it appears that Charney may have difficulty reviving these claims. But it was not a complete victory for S&C. The Court declined to strike most of the paragraphs from the Complaint that S&C had requested.

More from Jonas here, and Justice Bernard Fried’s order here (PDF). Jonas titled his post “The Empire Strikes Back.” But why did he use a photo of Sharon Nelles instead of H. Rodgin Cohen (who is closer in age and appearance to Emperor Palpatine)?
Professor Arthur Leonard offers the detailed, thorough analysis that we’ve come to expect from him. Here’s an excerpt:

So, what does all this mean? I’m not entirely sure….

I had thought that these additional claims were separate and distinct from the NYC HRL [Human Rights Law] claims, as relating to the activities of S&C and Gallion in reaction to the lawsuit rather than to S&C’s treatment of Charney as an employee. That is, the HRL claims related to what happened before Charney filed his original lawsuit. The intentional infliction of emotional distress claim was addressed to the tactics that S&C then used after the lawsuit was filed to try to pressure Charney to back down, and the conspiracy claim was specifically aimed at the enlistment of attorney Gallion to add to the pressure and sidetrack Grinberg from allying himself with Charney

Does Fried’s action in dismissing these additional legal claims but refusing to strike almost all the factual allegation paragraphs of the complaint that specifically relate to them mean that he believes the events that came after the first complaint are now part of the overall case under the city Human Rights Law? If so, then Charney has lost nothing by this dismissal order, and the judge has at least implicitly ratified the idea that S&C’s response to his complaint becomes part of the retaliation case, at the very least.

Professor Leonard’s full post appears here. We agree with his assessment that “this continues to be a complicated case.” When are we going to get more sexy and salacious allegations?
Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell [New York Supreme Court (PDF)]
Court rejects bid to expand Charney case [Leonard Link (Art Leonard)]
Charney Sullivan & Cromwell Decision: The Empire Strikes Back [Keeping Up With Jonas]

Eric Krautheimer 2 Eric M Krautheimer Aaron Charney Sullivan & Cromwell Above the Law blog.jpgWe’ve been having a lot of fun with Non-Top-Tier Law School Week here at ATL. So we’re extending it, to include all of next week. As we mentioned before, if you have a story idea that fits under this theme, please email us.
As part of this special celebration, each day we’re going to highlight a successful non-top-tier law school graduate, and honor this person as our Non-Top-Tier Law School Graduate of the Day.
Here is today’s winner:
Name: Eric M. Krautheimer
Law School: Western New England College School of Law, 1993
Current Position: Partner, Mergers & Acquisitions, Sullivan & Cromwell
Why He’s Our Winner: Eric Krautheimer is a partner at S&C, one of the world’s most prestigious and profitable law firms. In 2006, profits per partner at S&C clocked in at $2.82 million. Innumerable Harvard-Yale-Stanford grads would KILL to be in his shoes.
The best part of his job: (allegedly) ordering a prissy little Columbia boy to “bend over” and take it (where “it” = a corporate document).
Talk about living the non-top-tier dream!

H Rodgin Cohen full size headshot Sullivan Cromwell.jpgYesterday we broke the news of Sullivan & Cromwell’s new bonus program for its most senior associates. To read the memo from firm chairman H. Rodgin Cohen, click here.
Now we have more details, thanks to the WSJ Law Blog (which has a nice shout-out to us) and the New York Law Journal.
Some ballpark numbers, from the NYLJ:

A Sullivan & Cromwell partner who asked to remain unnamed said Wednesday that the supplemental bonuses would probably range from around $15,000 for fifth-years to around $30,000 for eighth-years.

With the supplemental bonus, the most senior associates at Sullivan & Cromwell can expect to earn total compensation of around $400,000, based on the current top base salary of $310,000 and last year’s $60,000 year-end bonus.

The WSJ Law Blog scored an interview with Rodge Cohen, who explained: “Retention is clearly an objective… 95% of the associates we lose we’re sorry to see go.”
Five percent = Aaron Charney + Gera Grinberg.
But will a little extra cash make a big difference in retention? Law firm consultant Peter Zeughauser has his doubts.
The WSJ also asked Rodgin Cohen about a subject near and dear to all of your hearts: possible increases in base salaries. Cohen said that the subject won’t be discussed for another month or so.
More discussion, plus a reader poll, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “More Details About the Sullivan & Cromwell Senior Associate Bonuses”

Kiehls Sullivan Cromwell Aaron Charney Above the Law blog.jpgIn response to yesterday’s quick post on the Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell litigation, a tipster sent us this:

I don’t have any information on the case, but thought you might be interested in this minor tidbit on Sullivan & Cromwell.

The Lavender Law conference (the annual GLBT CLE fest) was in Chicago last weekend. S&C did not send anyone for the conference itself, as far as I know, but they flew in several associates just for the closing ceremonies.

They also offered the nicest swag of any firm: gift sets of Kiehl’s products. Seems they are trying to repair some damage with the gay community, even if it’s only through cosmetics.

“Only” through cosmetics? Kiehl’s products are no ordinary cosmetics. S&C is shrewd: they know the way to our hearts is through our pores.
Sure, that Aaron Charney might seem cute and well-meaning. But who wouldn’t kick him to the curb for a lifetime supply of Facial Fuel?
Correction: According to various commenters, Sullivan & Cromwell personnel were present for the job fair as well. “S&C was front-and-center at Lav Law. A friend of mine called me from the fair to tell me how pallid and haggard they looked.”
Kiehl’s [official website]

Aaron Charney ROB TV screencap.jpgAre you wondering what’s going on in the case of Aaron Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell? You’re not alone.
We went to check the case’s status on the electronic docket, but couldn’t find the case by party name or by index number (Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP: 100625/2007; Sullivan & Cromwell LLP v. Charney: 600333/2007). This caused us to wonder: Has the litigation been settled?
Apparently not. Sources close to the case tell us that it hasn’t been settled and that there was a court hearing not too long ago. We don’t have more details, but if we get them, we’ll pass them along.
So what can we tell you?
1. S&C Man of Mystery Gera Grinberg — perhaps the critical witness in this case, who left the firm under mysterious circumstances — had his birthday last month. A reader pointed us to his attorney registration information on the New York courts website.
This tipster also noted that Grinberg’s attorney registration status was recently updated, but does not list an employer. This suggests he has not yet found new employment since leaving 125 Broad Street. Does anyone know where he might be?
2. Could the Charney case be affecting S&C’s recruiting this year? Possibly. We reprint an interesting tip, suggesting that it’s affecting the firm’s reputation, after the jump.
Do you have any inside info on the latest developments in the Charney case? If so, please drop us a line. Thanks.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Brokeback Lawfirm: Happy Birthday, Gera Grinberg”

Clifford Chance LLP Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgSadly, we’ll probably never learn whether former Clifford Chance partner Michael Bryceland was asked to “bend over” (a la Aaron Charney). Unlike Sullivan & Cromwell, CC settled the case quietly, for an undisclosed amount.
Of course, if you have any details, please feel free to send them to us by email (subject line: “Clifford Chance”). Thanks.
Revealed: CC pays out in sexual orientation claim [TheLawyer.com]

Noble Black Corcoran Vice President Above the Law Abovethelaw blog.jpgAfter we wrote about Aaron Charney flipping his condo for a tidy profit, a reader emailed us:

Do some research on Noble Black, Charney’s agent at Corcoran. I remember reading an article several years ago where he left a New York Biglaw firm to go into residential real estate because the money just wasn’t good enough.

I wonder what the connection was to Charney that Charney hired him. Maybe Noble and Aaron dated?

Reader, please keep your fantasies in check. Noble Black may be ridiculously good-looking, and he and Aaron would make a cute couple — but we have no idea about Noble’s sexual orientation. Just because he enjoys “gallery openings,” as noted in his Corcoran bio, doesn’t make him gay.
But this reader was correct about the article. We unearthed the February 2005 New York Times piece, entitled Six Figures? Not Enough! Those of you feeling poor on $160,000 a year may be able to identify with the plight of Noble Black, as well as the others quoted in the article.
More after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Brokeback Lawfirm: Noble Black”

Aaron Charney apartment 1 Abovethelaw Above the Law blog.jpgNo, not the Sullivan & Cromwell headquarters at 125 Broad Street. That happened months ago, not long after the young corporate lawyer sued his uber-prestigious employer, claiming anti-gay discrimination and retaliation by S&C.
We’re referring instead to Aaron Charney’s former home, a luxury apartment on the 53rd floor of the Orion — a new, high-rise condominium on the West Side of Manhattan. We previously profiled Aaron Charney’s apartment (above right) back in this post, wherein we wrote:

City records show that in late November, Charney closed on an $820,000 condominium in the fancy new Orion building, on the west side of Manhattan….

Charney financed this purchase with a $656,000 mortgage — 80 percent financing. Perfectly respectable; not overly leveraged. This means he put down about $164,000 for the purchase.

(Food for thought: Did S&C help him out with his down payment?)
Well, now Aaron Charney has gotten back all that money — and then some. NYC records disclose that he sold his apartment last month for $972,500 (and paid off his mortgage).
So Charney flipped a property he owned briefly, just over six months, for $152,500 more than he paid for it. If you’ve been wondering how Aaron Charney is supporting himself these days, there’s your answer (or at least part of it).
Nice work, Aaron! Even after closing costs — we doubt he paid the full 6 percent commission (who does these days) — he probably made a tidy profit. If Aaron Charney decides not to return to law, maybe he has a promising career in real estate.
Update / Correction: As discussed in the comments, “[h]e’ll have to pay both the NY ‘flip tax’ and federal capital gains tax because he held it for such a short period.” So maybe he’s not making as much of a killing as we originally thought.
Further Update: Detailed tax analysis here.
More details about Aaron’s pad, including text and images from the real estate listing, after the jump.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyerly Lairs: Aaron Charney Has Left the Building”

Page 2 of 17123456...17