Yesterday we declared ourselves “all Jenner-ed out.” But based on the comments and emails we’ve received, it seems people are still interested in hearing about Jenner & Block.
We have a little more to offer you. A second source confirms what we previously reported:
Your post about yesterday’s meeting was accurate. [Managing partner Gregory Gallopoulos] went through 3 areas: (1) associate compensation (expect a raise announcement later this week), (2) financial health of the firm (doing great, regardless of the temporary slowdown in litigation), and (3) the partner de-equitizations (no further waves of de-equitizations are expected).
And we’re pleased to report that rumors of an Above the Law shout-out are apparently true:
Greg mentioned that since so many people have sent him links to ATL, he’s become somewhat of an ATL aficionado.
For those of you who are still interested — maybe there are a handful of you — there’s a little more after the jump.
Yes, there was a big associates’ meeting at Jenner & Block earlier today. Here’s what happened, according to a source:
1. We’re going up this week. No word on whether there will be compression or whether it will be retro to a certain date. The delay was apparently due to the fact that (a) clients get pissed (they don’t want rate bumps and can’t compete for their own in-house recruits — if solely the former then I’m concerned about our client base), (b) we have a “diffuse” management system (sold as a positive in that not just two people run the firm), and (c) they are running the numbers mid-year. It will NOT be accompanied by any billable increase and no other form of comp will raise.
2. We’re apparently stronger than ever — living on cash (as opposed to loans — apparently most firms run negative in the beginning of the year), litigation is indeed slow, but this is apparently a nation-wide phenomenon and our transactional practices are booming.
3. Partner de-equitizations were “pruning” of old remnants. Still no mention of the fact that this was motivated by the desire to drive up PPP.
He also mentioned that there will be some big lateral additions to the NYC office soon.
All in all, a positive meeting, but it’s still strange that they have taken so much longer than other firms.
According to rumor, the law firm of Jenner & Block — one of the largest and most prominent shops that hasn’t raised starting salaries to $160K yet — is holding a big associates’ meeting today. We’re following up with our sources and will keep you posted. If you have info to share, please email us (subject line: “Jenner and Block”).
Recently we wrote about the partner demotions at Jenner. In that post, we promised you a later post “focused on the plight of associates rather than partners.” Now we deliver on that promise (although perhaps this information will be superseded soon by the meeting).
Get the scuttlebutt on Jenner, after the jump.
On the list of law firms that have moved their associates up to the $160K pay scale, one of the most conspicuous omissions is Jenner & Block. As we wondered in a prior post: “What’s Up With Jenner & Block?”
As it turns out, “About twenty equity partners. Toe-up.” From today’s National Law Journal:
Jenner & Block, a litigation-focused firm, is shifting between 15 and 20 of its equity partners to nonequity status this year with some being asked to leave the firm and a smaller number moving voluntarily toward retirement, according to people familiar with the discussions.
The firm’s management last month began to move forward with the plan to cut some of the equity partners during the next year or two, the sources said.
Jenner has never before taken such a step that affected so many equity partners, they said. The firm has 185 equity partners, according to a list of the highest-grossing law firms published last month by The American Lawyer, an NLJ affiliate.
Lots of Jenner associates have been clamoring for a pay raise. But in light of the partner de-equitizations, is this a case of “Be careful for what you wish for, you might just get it”? Could raising associate salaries exacerbate the problems that led Jenner to steal a page from the Mayer Brown playbook?
On the other hand, the partner purge could be viewed more charitably. Is Jenner & Block dumping deadweight partners to pave the way financially for raising associate salaries? In a recent memo, the firm hinted at “changes in our associate compensation structure.”
We’ll have more about Jenner in a subsequent post, focused on the plight of associates rather than partners. If you have anything you’d like to contribute, please email us (subject line: “Jenner and Block”). Thanks. Jenner & Block Will De-Equitize Partners [National Law Journal via Law.com] Earlier: Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: What’s Up With Jenner & Block? Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: A Jenner & Block Memo
Here is a memo — yes, a memo, not THE memo — that went out to Jenner & Block associates over the weekend:
Associate Compensation Gallopoulos, Gregory S To: #All Attorneys – All Offices
The Firm is currently giving consideration to our associate compensation structure in light of recent market changes. The Firm remains committed to maintaining a competitive compensation structure and a superior working environment. We anticipate that we will be making changes in our associate compensation structure, and as soon as we have concluded our review and consideration we will be announcing those changes. In the meantime, if anyone has questions or comments, please feel free to call me.
Gregory S. Gallopoulos Managing Partner Jenner & Block LLP
Our source is optimistic about the chances of a raise:
We have no doubt that Jenner will raise to $160K, but the partners in charge will do it as slowly as possible so they can tell Jenner’s clients (who, like all law firm clients, hate these raises because they don’t pay for any extra talent or skills and because they follow so closely on the heels of 2 other raises in the last year and a half) that they had no choice — every other firm raised as well. That will keep clients as happy as possible, and since the raises will almost certainly be made retroactive to May 1 or June 1, associates won’t care about the delay.
But we’ve also heard from some tipsters who are less sanguine. These sources suggest that maybe Jenner isn’t in the best position to be raising salaries right now.
We’ll have more in a subsequent post (because we have contacted the firm and are waiting to hear back from them). If you have any Jenner gossip to pass along, please email us (subject line: “Jenner and Block”). Thanks. Earlier: Nationwide Pay Raise Watch: What’s Up With Jenner & Block?
Some of you have been clamoring for a post discussing why Jenner & Block has been dragging its feet on associate pay raises. Pretty much all of Jenner’s traditional peer firms have already bumped to the $160K pay scale in Chicago and Washington, DC. Why hasn’t Jenner?
We’ve heard some interesting theories floated to explain Jenner’s slowness. But we’re not in a position to share these rumors until we have more corroboration.
Can you help us out? If you have actual knowledge about what’s going on with Jenner, please email us (subject line: “Jenner & Block”). Thanks.
A few more confirmed announcements of associate pay raises have rolled in. We collect and reprint them after the jump, where you should also feel free to continue the discussion from yesterday’s open thread. Thanks. Update: If you read the earliest version of the post, please note that we have added quite a bit of new material to it since we first published it. Refresh your browser to see the latest additions.
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]
A college graduate without student loan debt is akin to reading a kind quote about Kim Kardashian in a tabloid—it’s rare.
In the past eight years, student loan debt has nearly tripled to a whopping $1.1 trillion, and in the past 10 years, the percentage of 25-year-olds with such debt has risen from 25% to 43%
It’s gotten so bad, in fact, that New York Fed economists warned last month that the burden of student debt could stilt consumer spending by twentysomethings, as well as further hamper the recovery of the housing market and economy.
To get a better idea of what massive student loan debt (we’re talking over $100,000 massive) looks like, we talked to an attorney who graduated with a large student loan debt. We also consulted LearnVest Planning Services CFP® Katie Brewer to see just how their repayment plans stack up.
S. Fischer, 36, Attorney Graduated: 2001
How Much I Borrowed: $100,000
What I Still Owe: $45,000
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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.
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