Yesterday at around 5:30 p.m., just as the New York office was getting ready to head off to the firm holiday party, Chadbourne & Parke issued its bonus memorandum. The upshot is that Chadbourne is paying year-end and special bonuses to “eligible” associates in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, and Houston (yes, Houston — wow).
The bonus table is your standard table, with the most senior associates getting $115,000 in bonuses ($65,000 year-end and $50,000 special). But it’s not a lockstep match due to the “eligibility” requirement. It’s not clear what the eligibility criteria are, but here’s the relevant language from the memo:
As in the past, eligibility to receive a full or partial year-end bonus will be performance based, with the quality of performance as well as billable or quality non-billable hours expectations each taken into account. Eligibility for a partial or full special bonus will be based on meeting or exceeding all of the Firm’s expectations.
It seems that Chadbourne is going with the Fried Frank model. Some people will get full special bonuses, some will get partial special bonuses, and some might get no special bonus at all. In addition, it appears that some CP associates might not even get a full year-end bonus, based on the memo raising the possibility of getting a “partial year-end bonus.”
In sum, it pays to be an eligible young associate.
Some notable moves within the legal profession: Government to Private Sector:
* Former Maryland Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele, to LeBoeuf Lamb in DC. Last November, Steele lost his bid to represent Maryland in the U.S. Senate.
* Michele Hirshman, who served as Eliot Spitzer’s top deputy at the Attorney General’s office before he became Governor, is joining Paul Weiss, as a litigation partner. Described by the New York Times as “very smart, very tough and rather short,” she sounds perfectly diva-licious. Lateral Moves:
* Antitrust superstar Charles “Rick” Rule, to Cadwalader, from Fried Frank. This truly IS like musical chairs: Cadwalader, Rule’s new home, recently lost its antitrust group to Skadden.
* Celebrated criminal defense lawyer Abbe Lowell — who did an excellent job defending Hamlet against murder charges — is moving from Chadbourne & Parke to McDermott Will & Emery.
* Mark Holscher and Jeffrey Sinek are joining the Los Angeles office of Kirkland & Ellis. They’re coming from O’Melveny & Myers and Thelen Reid, respectively. From the Law Blog:
Holscher and Sinek are best friends. They were roommates when they served as federal prosecutors in Los Angeles. Holscher, 44, served as an assistant U.S. Attorney from 1989-1995; Sinek, 46, served from 1989 to 1994. Sinek was the best man at Holscher’s wedding; Holscher was a groomsman in Sinek’s. Both graduated from Boalt Hall law school. Holscher told the Law Blog they’ve always wanted to work together.
Earlier today, we published salary data for Wilson Sonsini. We quoted a poster who was disappointed that the raise was retroactive only to February 1st. We then received this clarification from a source at the firm:
Our raise was made retroactive to February 1 rather than January 1 because we have a February 1 fiscal year start. Compensation matters are always handled as of February 1.
In addition, bonuses were 15 percent higher this year because partner profits were up 15 percent. Staff bonuses were also 15 percent higher.
We are very busy at WSGR these days — cranking on all cylinders!
We also (finally) received confirmed information about Chadbourne & Parke. We reprint it after the jump.
As previously mentioned, we’re on a reduced publication schedule this week. We’ll be doing a daily news round-up (and maybe a few other random posts here and there). We’ll return to our normal diarrhea of the keyboard publishing schedule on January 2.
* Civil libertarians, just raise the white flag. The Justice Department knows what you’re doing RIGHT NOW. [Washington Post]
* His father always knew there was “something special” about Judge Frank Easterbrook. And litigants who have appeared before FHE feel the same way. [Buffalo News via How Appealing (of course -- no offense, but we aren't regular readers of the Buffalo News)]
* In other Seventh Circuit news, Judge Richard Posner delivers remarks about maritime law to an audience of supermodels. We swear we’re not making this up. [Washington Post]
* Following up on our prior report, here’s a clear sign that Chadbourne & Parke partners don’t have enough business. [WSJ Law Blog]
* If McDonald’s french fries never taste the same, blame it on the anti-trans-fat legislation. [UPI]
* Complications of diabetes: not just medical, but law-related, too. [New York Times]
* If you’re a judge with unfulfilled literary aspirations, try writing something safe and non-controversial. Ideally it should be something nobody would want to read. We suggest a pop-up book about the Federal Rules of Bankruptcy Procedure. [St. Louis Post-Dispatch via How Appealing]
* Even more fun than charades: take Peter Lattman to a party, start reading out random newspaper headlines, and challenge him to find a legal angle to the stories. [WSJ Law Blog]
I heard a rumor from a partner at my firm that C&P is in “turmoil” and that numerous partners are looking around for new firms. Has anyone else heard a similar rumor? Any comment from C&P associates?
Which was seconded by this one:
“I’ve heard the same thing. I actually know of multiple C&P partners who have been talking to other firms about moving their practices…..”
But opposing viewpoints were offered in these twoposts:
“Not what I hear. To the contrary I understand that the mood is upbeat and that C&P is busier than ever and growing. And, they matched bonuses and said in their memo that some associates would get more than their class year. Sounds like a good place to be.”
“I am an associate at Chadbourne and have seen no turmoil. I hear many rumors, but have not heard these. Any more info? Looking at the firm from the inside, IMHO it seems to be doing well and heading in the right direction. I get market comp at a decent place to work. So, I hope for my sake that the OP has it wrong. Just my two cents.”
The latest collection of moves within the profession: From government to private sector:
* George Bundy Smith, former judge on the New York Court of Appeals — the state’s highest court (duh) — to Chadbourne & Parke, as a litigation partner. Lateral moves:
* “A little ditty, about Jack and Diane”: M&A lawyer Jack Bodner, bankruptcy lawyer Dianne Coffino, and bankruptcy lawyer Ben Hoch, to Covington & Burling (NY), from Dewey Ballantine. We hear that this trio is “extraordinarily nice.”
Dewey Ballantine is in the process of merging with Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe — a combination that has been delayed (and might possibly fall apart).
Covington will soon unveil plans for new office space in the fancy, Renzo Piano-designed New York Times building. It may be the coolest move since the Skaddenites got to shack up with the Conde Nasties (but there are probably fewer hotties among the ink-stained wretches of the Times than the staffers of Vogue).
* Duane Morris launches its Baltimore office by snagging three partners and an of counsel from DLA Piper: Jay Gordon Cohen, Keli Isaacson, George Nemphos, and Wilbert Sirota (of counsel). On the Comeback Trail?
* You can’t keep a good woman down: Star Jones, the prosecutor turned television personality, is doing a radio show (after getting booted from “The View”). Good luck, Star! Star Jones: a star reborn? [Miami Herald] At Last, Star Jones Reynolds’ Dramatic Comeback! [Gawker] NY Lawyers Switching Firms [NYLawyer.com] Firm Opens Baltimore Office With Raid [NYLawyer.com] Three More Walk Away From Dewey [WSJ Law Blog]
In addition to the major move reported this morning, a few other legal professional developments worth noting: New Partners:
* Chadbourne & Parke: Corporate lawyers Frank Vellucci and Ayse Yüksel (both in New York, but Yüksel also works in London).
* McCarter & English: Corporate lawyer Lance Friedler, securities and white-collar criminal litigator William Moran, and products liability lawyer Thomas Smith (all in the New York office). Lateral Moves:
* Corporate lawyer Rick Frimmer, to Luce, Forward, Hamilton & Scripps (San Diego), from Greenberg Traurig. NY Lawyers Making Partner [NYLawyer.com]
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