Dewey Ballantine

old lady elderly woman.jpgFrom a recent NYT piece about mandatory retirement policies at law firms:

Unlike corporate America, which, for the most part, dropped mandatory retirement ages decades ago, many big law firm partnerships are keeping up the practice of pushing out older lawyers to make room for new blood.

In a survey last year of 46 law firms with 100 or more lawyers, about 57 percent of them reported a mandatory retirement age, ranging from 65 to 72….

The article focuses on A. Paul Victor, the former Weil Gotshal antitrust partner who recently moved to Dewey Ballantine, after hitting Weil’s mandatory retirement age of 68.
The story explores the pros and cons of having a mandatory retirement age — a legitimate and interesting policy question. But our primary reaction is summed up this by these commenters at the WSJ Law Blog:

“[I]f you’re pushing 70 and you really want to trudge in to the office every day there may be something wrong with you. Mr. Victor and others, really – spend some time living life while you still can.”

“By 65, these guys have made plenty of money and should find something else to do — legal or otherwise — to keep them busy. Go teach or provide pro bono services or get reacquainted with your family. Leave some room so that the young bucks can have their day in the sun, too.”

One obvious rebuttal: many federal judges remain on the bench well into their old age. But which way does that cut? We can think of a number of judges who probably should have retired years ago.
Happy Birthday. Vacate Your Office. [New York Times]
Forcing Aging Partners to Retire: Fair or Foul? [WSJ Law Blog]

Dewey Ballantine partners, have you no sense of decency? If your associates are going to act in completely undignified fashion, can’t you at least give them dignified surroundings in which to do so?
No amount of tinsel and mistletoe can disguise this basic truth: making out with a paralegal in the cafeteria is beyond humiliating.
Lawyers Lament Lousy Christmas-Party Plans [New York Magazine]

musical chairs 2 Above the Law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFLateral Moves:
* Antitrust lawyer Paul Kaplan, to Bryan Cave (NY). from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton.
* Bankruptcy lawyer Alan Gover, to White & Case, from Dewey Ballantine, where he was co-head of the bankruptcy practice.
(Dewey Ballantine is the process of becoming Dewy Orifice. Perhaps Gover’s departure is related to the merger.)
* Same move, different city: energy lawyers Earle O’Donnell and Donna Attanasio, to White & Case from Dewey Ballantine, but in Washington rather than New York.
* Government contracts lawyers Gregory Smith and Kevin Mullen, to Cooley Godward Kronish, from DLA Piper.
New Office:
* Howrey has opened a New York office, headed by Thomas Engel and James McCarney, formerly of the litigation boutique Engel McCarney & Kenney (which Howrey swallowed up).
On The Move: Paul M. Kaplan to Bryan Cave [Antitrust Review]
Paul M. Kaplan Joins Bryan Cave in New York [Bryan Cave]
NY Practice Leader Switches Firms [NYLawyer.com]
Bonus Season Doesn’t Stop Partner Pair From Switching Firms [NYLawyer.com]
With Boutique Raid, Firm Opens NY Office [NYLawyer.com]
The Churn [New York Times]


When Harry Met Sally Above the Law Orgasm.jpegAfter we posted Dewey Ballantine: “We’ll Have What She’s Having,” we received this email from one of you:

Picking up on the sexual overtones of the Dewey Ballantine / Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe merger, and with apologies for how vulgar and puerile this is:

Is anyone calling the new firm Dewy Orifice?

Uh, we are!
(A Google search for “dewy orifice” suggests that it has not yet been used to refer to the post-merger entity. But that’s about to change, as soon as Google picks up this post.)
Earlier: Dewey Ballantine: “We’ll Have What She’s Having”

Shakira Above the Law Legal Tabloid Nude Pictures Naked Pictures Nude Pics Shakira Shakira Shakira.JPG* The Democrats are in the House — and Senate, too. Say hello to the new chairmen of the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Judiciary Committee. (And goodbye to Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.)
* It was a big week for politics — and celebrity divorces. Parting ways: Britney Spears and Kevin Federline.
* Dewey Ballantine + Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe = Sexytime!!!
* Hit movie Borat + Two dumbass frat boys = Lexytime!!!
* “Shake-It-Like-Shakira” contest + Drunken Jersey girl = More Lexytime!!!
* Rumors of Justice Stevens’s retirement: Greatly exaggerated? Or for real this time around?
* Speaking of the SCOTUS, here’s a fun fact: “It is unlawful to… make a harangue or oration… in the Supreme Court Building.”
* For the record, onetime Supreme Court nominee Robert Bork “doesn’t go seducing women at a convent.”
* News flash: Your friends who went into investment banking make WAY WAY WAY more money than you. (Unless you’re a new Wachtell Lipton partner, in which case they make WAY more money than you.)

When Harry Met Sally Above the Law Orgasm 2.JPGWe often compare law firm mergers to weddings. And other folks do, too.
So if law firm mergers are marriages, how do they get consummated? Enough about the wedding; what about the honeymoon?
One ATL reader had some thoughts on the matter:

Sorry to continue to batter you with sexual innuendo, but Law.com — which told us yesterday that “size does matter” — is at it again.

This time they’re talking about the Dewey Ballantine / Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe merger. Zusha Elinson’s article starts off as follows:

“Maybe you’ve heard about The Big ‘O’ — the green one that’s as dear to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe as the swoosh is to Nike.”

“The Big O” — for Orrick. Not to be confused, notes our correspondent, with “that special place between a first date and a shotgun wedding.”
(A double entendre in the lede — how risqué! If you’re still not getting it, click here, third item down.)

Apparently Orrick decided it would let Dewey Ballantine have the right side of the bed — err, firm name — as long as Orrick got to gloat about its big “O.” Voila, Dewey Orrick is born, with Orrick’s big green “O” as the logo of their love.

Here’s where Law.com goes a little overboard — and by overboard, I mean “How can we turn the most innocuous sentence into proclamations of much glorious sexytime”:

“Orrick put a lot of time and energy — and symbolism — into that simple circle.”

“Because the O is analogous to circle, it’s a continuum that has all kinds of evocative power,” said Norm Rubenstein, who was Orrick’s chief marketing officer when the mark was designed. “It also suggests the globe, which signifies the firm’s global reach.”

I may be mistaken about what Norm means by “the firm’s global reach,” but I’m sure that when combined with “a lot of time and energy,” it has “evocative power.”

Well! And finally, for filing under “too much information,” our reader adds:

For the record, if Law.com really wants to know, I have indeed heard of the big “O.” Unfortunately for my wife, she has not. Thank God for iron-clad prenuptial agreements.

We feel badly for the poor wife of this reader. She doesn’t know what she’s missing!
The Power of a Logo [The Recorder via Law.com]
Big O [Wikipedia]
Orgasm [Wikipedia]
Earlier: At Least They’re Not Merging With Cheetham & Howe

musical chairs above the law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFA few moves within the legal profession worth noting:
Legal Academia:
* Tax law professor Neil Buchanan, to GW, from Rutgers-Newark, effective January 2007. (Gavel Bang: TaxProf Blog.)
Lateral Law Firm Moves:
* Corporate lawyer Carey Schreiber, to Winston & Strawn, from Dewey Ballantine.
* Corporate lawyer Jeffrey Katz, to Dechert (as a partner), from Milbank Tweed (where he was a senior attorney).
New Partners:
* King & Spalding has named twelve new partners. Have a friend who was up this year? See if they made it by reviewing the firm’s press release.
Although they don’t involve moves, while we’re on the subject of law firm employment (and King & Spalding), here are two interesting items from the WSJ Law Blog:

1. Power Brothers Ascend to the Top of Hotlanta’s Legal Scene: Two brothers, Robert Hays and Richard Hays, will be heading Atlanta’s two largest law firms, King & Spalding and Alston & Bird.

This will take effect as of 2008, when Richard Hays takes over as Alston & Bird’s managing partner. Robert Hays is currently chair of King & Spalding. See also here.

2. Spurned Orrick Associate Sues Firm: “At the same time that it’s talking merger with Dewey Ballantine, west-coast powerhouse Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe is defending a suit by a former associate who claims the firm fraudulently promised to make him a partner.”

Buchanan to Leave Rutgers for GW [TaxProf Blog]
NY Partners Switching Firms [NYLawyer.com]
NY Associates Making Partner [NYLawyer.com]
King & Spalding Announces Twelve New Partners [King & Spalding]

* Gay marriages legally-cognizable-relationships-that-will-probably-get-called-civil-unions are coming to New Jersey.
ted olson lady booth.JPG* Superstar lawyer Ted Olson, who is not gay, got married — to a lovely lady named Lady. And ATL has the exclusive photos to prove it.
* Law firms are tying the knot too. The latest to head for the altar: Dewey Ballantine and Orrick.
* Things are going less smoothly for celebrities. Country music star Sara Evans is getting divorced. Jane Pauley is filing suit. Naomi Campbell is getting arrested. And Foxy Brown is getting sentenced.
* Paralegal pay ain’t half bad, as long as you work for Biglaw — and put in lots of overtime.
* Think grammar and punctuation are silly and useless? Listen to the cautionary tale of the costly comma.
* Justice Scalia: You like him, you really like him!
* As for your Least Favorite Supreme Court Justice, we’ll keep the polls open over the weekend. To vote, click here.
* And if you’d like to cast a ballot in a more frivolous poll, help Judge Janice Rogers Brown pick a hairstyle. To vote, click here.

dewey ballantine orrick herrington sutcliffe merger.jpg
As previously rumored, megafirms Dewey Ballantine and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe are heading for the altar. From Nathan Koppel’s article for the Wall Street Journal:

Yesterday, the executive committees of Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP of San Francisco and Dewey Ballantine LLP of New York approved the main terms of a merger. The combined firm, to be called Dewey Orrick LLP, would have more than 1,500 lawyers and rank among the 15 largest U.S.-based law firms in terms of lawyers if the merger is approved by the firms’ partners, who are due to vote later this year.

The merger will probably be approved, although there are some potential snags. From The American Lawyer:

One key issue: how many of the firm’s partners will have full equity status. Combined, the firms now have about 260 equity partners and 155 non-equity, most of those at Orrick, according to figures published in the May issue of The American Lawyer. A shake-up in status will lead some partners to seek other opportunities and could produce a feeding frenzy by legal recruiters.

The media coverage contains some good gossip about both firms. More excerpts and discussion, after the jump.
While we have your attention, we’d like to invite any readers who work at either firm to drop us a line and give us the inside scoop. How is the possible merger being received by your colleagues? Are people excited or apprehensive? Is the other firm seen as a worthy merger partner? Speak now, or forever hold your peace.

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “At Least They’re Not Merging With Cheetham & Howe”

musical chairs above the law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFA number of big-ticket moves to report today. The most notable involve government lawyers:
Government to Private Sector:
* Debra Wong Yang, the U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California (Los Angeles), has resigned from the USAO. She’s headed to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, as a partner (duh). Ka-ching!
Yang will work out of the firm’s L.A. office. She will co-chair its Crisis-Management Group, along with former Solictor General Theodore Olson and another former federal prosecutor, Randy Mastro.
At Main Justice:
* Jonathan Cohn (OT 2000/Thomas) is now the Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Appellate. He was previously the DAAG overseeing the Office of Immigration Litigation (and will continue to discharge that duty until a successor is found).
rachel brand jonathan cohn.JPGAt right: Jonathan Cohn and his wife, Rachel Brand (OT 2002/Kennedy), the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Policy. Although his portfolio has changed (and we’d say for the better), he doesn’t have to get new business cards, since he’s still a DAAG.
Out the Door:
* Casualties of the stock options backdating scandal: Stuart Nichols, former general counsel of KLA-Tencor, and David Lubben, former general counsel of UnitedHealth.
Lateral Moves:
* Corporate lawyer Arthur Hull Hayes III, to Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal, from Dewey Ballantine.
* Technology, media, and telecom lawyer Carole Aciman, to Greenberg Traurig, from Hughes Hubbard & Reed.
* King & Spalding: The intellectual property practice acquires five new lawyers: Kenneth Sonnenfeld (NY) and John Harbin, Tony Askew, Steve Schaetzel, and Jim Johnson (in Atlanta). They came from Morgan & Finnegan (Sonnenfeld), Powell Goldstein (Harbin), and Kilpatrick Stockton (Askew, Schaetzel and Johnson).
And Another One Gone, And Another One Gone… [WSJ Law Blog]
L.A. U.S. Attorney Debra Yang Resigns; Will Join Gibson Dunn [WSJ Law Blog]
NY Partners Switching Firms [NYLawyer.com]
More NY Partners Switching Firms [NYLawyer.com]

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