And Bingham McCutchen (above) was, first, a lion-chasing zebra (where does the Dykema giraffe fit into this equation?) and now, a baby-coddling grizzly bear. Hey, if any of you crows want to see an idea using puffins, drop me a line.
(All ads scanned from the Wall Street Journal, the bear ad from yesterday’s edition.)
A commenter at Copyranter offers some great suggested captions for the Bingham ad. To read them all, click here. Our personal favorite:
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.
Yesterday we asked: “What’s Up With Bingham McCutchen?”
Associate salaries, that’s what. Last night, Bingham McCutchen sent around an email announcing that it “will be increasing 2007 base compensation in our domestic U.S. offices to match the base compensation structure in our New York office, consistent with the new national market.” The raise is retroactive to June 1.
That’s the good news. And the bad news?
Well, just check out this interesting (but depressing) article from The Recorder. The upshot: the litigation department is slow at Bingham, and the firm is offering buyouts to associates to leave.
We’ll probably do a more detailed write-up about the Bingham buyouts in a later post. If you have some information to share about the situation, please email us (subject line: “Bingham McCutchen”).
The Bingham pay raise memo, verified by multiple sources at the firm, appears after the jump.
[I]t is time to turn your attention to Bingham. The firm has a national presence in four major markets that have all raised to 160k base (DC/SF/LA/Boston) and 2006 profits per partner well in excess of peer (and lesser) firms that are paying those market salaries.
What exactly is Bingham’s problem? Its associates deserve answers, and after one month of hearing about raise after raise, there is nothing but silence. Please do anything you can to squeeze some information from firm management before the firm starts bleeding associates and decimates its summer recruiting program for the year.
This will probably be our last salary-related post of the day, so you can treat it as the end-of-day open thread. We’ll post any memos we receive later today sometime tomorrow morning (unless they’re extraordinary for some reason).
Here’s a good short item about D.C. pay developments, by Nate Carlile of the Legal Times. According to Carlile, the firms that have raised to $145,000 for first-year in Washington are as follows:
1. Akin Gump
2. Arnold & Porter
3. Covington & Burling
4. Gibson Dunn
5. Hogan & Hartson
6. Latham & Watkins
7. O’Melveny & Myers
8. Patton Boggs
9. Sidley Austin
10. Steptoe & Johnson
After the jump, confirmed pay raise announcements from Bingham McCutchen and McDermott Will & Emery.
The Recorder has a write-up of the results, which contains some fun factoids. Did you know that each Perkins Coie office has a “Happiness Committee,” which throws surprise parties for lawyers and staff?
This is unusual. Many law firms have “Unhappiness Committees,” which are sometimes called “Personnel Committees” or “Associate Life Committees.” But we don’t know of any other firm with a “Happiness Committee.”
And here’s something we didn’t know about the #94 company on the list, Bingham McCutchen (whose name we keep on misspelling):
[A]t Bingham, women outnumber men two to one and make up 23 percent of the partner ranks — believed to be the highest percentage in the industry, according to the Fortune report.
Nothing huge today, like yesterday’s news about Harriet Miers’s departure; but a few interesting moves. The two most noteworthy ones involve transitions between the public and private sectors: From politics to private practice:
* Asa Hutchinson has rejoined Venable’s Washington office. Hutchinson — a former Undersecretary of Homeland Security, Republican congressman, and chief of the DEA — left the firm in March 2006, to run (unsuccessfully) for Arkansas governor. From private sector to government:
* New York’s brand-new Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, snags another former federal prosecutor for his “dream team.” Henry Greenberg is leaving the Albany office of Greenberg Traurig to serve as Cuomo’s counsel.
Law firm news, after the jump.
At the White House:
* On the heels of Christopher Oprison and Cheryl Stanton, former Wilmer Hale partner Paul Eckert joins the White House Counsel’s Office. Lateral Moves:
* Nicholas H. Politan, to Gibson Dunn & Crutcher (NY), from Bingham McCutchen, where he served as co-head of the project and structured finance group.
(Wild guess: He’s the son of former federal judge Nicholas H. Politan (D.N.J.).)
* IP litigator Duane David-Hough, to Fish & Richardson, from Ropes & Gray (NY).
A few more moves, plus links, after the jump.
* Sullivan & Cromwell: Jeffrey Chapman, Michael Escue, Hydee Feldstein, Stacey Friedman, Brian Hamilton, Julia Jordan, Eric Kadel, Jr. and Juan Rodriguez.
The partnership promotions will be effective January 1, 2007. Congratulations, kids!
Like many other top New York firms, Sullivan still has a single-tier partnership structure. All partners are equity partners.
And all S&C partners are doing very well for themselves. In 2005, the firm enjoyed average profits-per-partner of $2.4 million. Seehere (subscription required). Lateral Moves:
* Private equity lawyer Stephen Culhane, to Linklaters (10 points — Magic Circle!!!), from King & Spalding. Government to Private Sector:
* Harry Sandick, to Jenner & Block, from the venerable S.D.N.Y. U.S. Attorney’s Office (where he served as deputy chief appellate attorney and, before that, as acting chief of the violent crimes unit).
* HawyoodHaywood Gilliam, to Bingham McCutchen, from the well-regarded San Francisco U.S. Attorney’s Office (N.D. Cal.).
[Ed. note: See this comment, and this juicy article. It appears that the office has slipped in the past few years.]
Haywood Gilliam headed the securities fraud section of the U.S.A.O. and worked on various stock options backdating cases. His move to private practice is timely, given the explosion of backdating scandals in Silicon Valley. But Gilliam will presumably be conflicted out of a bunch of cases that he worked on while at the U.S. Attorney’s Office. UK Firm Adds Another NY Partner [NYLawyer.com] Former Federal Prosecutor Joins Firm in NY [NYLawyer.com] In Timely Hire, Firm Grabs Backdating Prosecutor [NYLawyer.com]
We have oodles and oodles of moves — some actual, and some rumored — to share with you today. Lateral Moves:
* Antitrust lawyer Jeffrey Brennan and mass torts/products liability lawyer Kathleen O’Connor, to Dechert, from the FTC and Merck, respectively.
(Can O’Connor be the “Countess of Toxic Torts”? The title of “Queen of Toxic Torts” is already taken — by Skadden’s Sheila Birnbaum, with whom we are obsessed.)
* Leveraged finance lawyer Christina Ungeheuer, to Latham & Watkins (Frankfurt), from Milbank Tweed (Frankfurt).
* William Nordwind (legislative and government affairs) and Michael Volpe (labor), to Venable, from Capitol Hill (an interminable subcommittee name) and Clifton Budd, respectively.
* Financial restructuring lawyer Stephen Peppiatt, to Bingham McCutchen (London), from Shearman & Sterling.
* Trusts and estates lawyer Kenneth Page, to Hughes Hubbard & Reed, from Coudert Brothers (where he headed their T&E practice).
Also, here’s more detail about a move that we wrote about last week — the move of Dennis Orr and three colleagues from Mayer Brown (NY) to Morrison & Foerster (NY). Shoes Waiting to Drop?
* Over at scandal-ridden computing giant HP, Ann Baskins “remains employed by the company as general counsel.” But her days may be numbered. (The commenters at the WSJ Law Blog are certainly calling for her head.) [WSJ Law Blog] Think Tanks:
* William Gale has been named Vice President and Director, Economic Studies, at the Brookings Institution. NY Lawyers Switching Firms [NYLawyer.com] MoFo New York hires four-partner litigation team from Mayer Brown [Legal Week Student] H-P Mess Casts Harsh Spotlight on Ann Baskins [WSJ Law Blog] Gale Named VP & Director of Economic Studies at Brookings [TaxProf Blog]
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Ed. note: The Asia Chronicles column is authored by Kinney Recruiting. Kinney has made more placements of U.S. associates, counsels and partners in Asia than any other recruiting firm in each of the past six years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deal flow has clearly picked recently up for most US associates, counsels and partners in Hong Kong/China and Singapore. We are on the phone with a lot of these folks on a daily basis, many of whom we have known for years. Further, the head of our Asia team, Evan Jowers, and Kinney’s founder and president, Robert Kinney, frequently meet in person with leading US partners in Asia to assess their needs and keep on top of the inside scoop at as many firms as possible. The need for legal recruiting help in Asia from experienced recruiters appears to be live and well. In March, Evan and Robert were in Beijing at such meetings, in April, Evan was in Hong Kong, and for half of June Evan will be in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Thus its pretty easy for us to tell when there has been an across-the-market pick up in capital markets and corporate work.
On an average day in Asia when Evan and Robert visit firms, they typically have 5 to 9 meetings a day, mostly with US partners in the market. The reason they have these meetings is not simply because Kinney makes a lot of US attorney placements in Asia and that a particular firm may have openings; instead these are just visits with friends. After years of working together as business partners, the folks at Kinney are actually these peoples’ friends. The firms Kinney work closely with in Asia (which is just about every law firm – call us if you want to know the one firm in the world we will never place anyone with again, ever, and why) look forward to the visits, or at least act like they do. After seven years in the market, many of the client partners are former associate candidates. Also, these US partners see Kinney as a very good source of market information as well, because they know how deep their contacts are in the market and how frequently they are speaking to counterparts at peer firms.
In a land that is right here and in a time that is right now, a technology has arisen so powerful that it can replace basic human document review. Is it time to bow down before our new robot overlords?
First, here’s a little story about me: my life in the legal world began as a paralegal. My first case was a GIANT patent infringement case that was already six years old and had involved as many as five companies, multiple US courts, the ITC and an international standards committee. I knew nothing about any of this.
On my first day, my supervisor (a paralegal with at least eight other cases driving her crazy) sat me down in front of a Concordance database with a 100,000+ patents and patent file histories. “Code these,” she said. I learned that “coding”, for the purposes of this exercise, meant manually typing the inventor’s name, the title of the patent, the assignee, the file date, and other objective data for each document. I worked on that project – and only that project – for at least the first six months of my job. After a week or so, time began to blur.
What I know, in retrospect and with absolutely certainty, is that as time began to blur, so did my judgment. So did my attention to detail. If you could tell me that I did not make at least one mistake a day – one inconsistent spelling, one reversed day and month, one incorrectly spaced title – I frankly would need to see your evidence. I would not believe it. The human mind is trainable but it is not a machine.
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