In a move that can best be described as cheap, Latham & Watkins joins a growing list of firms that will not allow associates to accrue vacation time. Why would a firm deny its associates the opportunity to get paid out for unused vacation days when they leave the firm (voluntarily or involuntarily)? Because it saves them money, of course.
I suppose Latham could have put it this way: “We’ll no longer honor accrued vacation time because we don’t want to be on the hook for extra paychecks after we s***can you.” But where’s the fun in that? Instead Latham tried to sell associates on the idea that its change in vacation policy would allow associates to take unlimited vacation days.
Latham associates weren’t fooled by the memo. Check it out and see if you would have fallen under the spell of spin …
March is almost over (and tomorrow is the official start of spring), but law firm bonus news continues to trickle in. Yesterday, for example, we covered Mayer Brown. Today we bring you Baker Botts (Houston).
As far as associates were concerned, it was about time:
Baker Botts in Houston finally announced bonuses for 2009. People were getting very upset about how long it was taking, and the partners were very aware of that fact.
For the most part, bonuses were slightly higher than most people were expecting.
Perhaps Baker Botts can afford to be generous; work is definitely coming in the door these days. The firm is representing Dominion Resources, which is being acquired for $3.48 billion by Consol Energy, and Schlumberger LTD., which is merging with Smith International. And Baker Botts has been raking in big bucks from bankruptcy work too.
Class of 2010 graduates with offers in hand want to know when they’ll have firm-issued BlackBerrys in hand too. Last week, we had an open thread on start dates for 2010 graduates.
Shortly thereafter, we heard from Skadden-bound associates. They’ll be starting in the new year, and they’ll have some money to keep them afloat til then. But it’s money from their future earnings:
[Skadden] says “start date and orientation in mid-January 2011.” No stipend — just 15k salary advance — 5K in April, rest with receipt of final law school transcript. Repaid out of first year salary.
Honestly, I was hoping for more…
Skadden is a market leader. Does this mean stipends are no longer in fashion? Sorry, 3Ls, money for doing nothing is so 2009. UPDATE: We’ve noticed some confusion in the comments. We’re not talking about the bar stipend; we’re talking about the deferral stipend for January start dates. If you look at our 2009 round-up, you’ll see that many firms offered a $5,000 – $25,000 “deferral stipend” along with January start dates. (Last year was a different ballgame, though, with deferrals taking incoming associates by surprise. This year, offering salary advances instead of stipends might not be unreasonable.)
What’s the policy at other firms? Some firms, such as Sidley Austin and Milbank, are reportedly still offering stipends. A round-up, and more chatter from Skadden-ites, after the jump.
Earlier this month, we wrote about the departure of over a dozen partners from White & Case to Latham & Watkins (which is once again in expansion mode). These defections took place mainly in London and the Middle East, outside our usual geographic focus; but they were sizable and dramatic, and therefore worth covering.
Am Law Daily described Latham’s poaching of White & Case lawyers as “among the more spectacular lateral raids of recent years.” As reporter Richard Lloyd breathlessly wrote, the moves “raise serious questions about White & Case’s London finance practice, its position in the Middle East market, and its relationships with such important clients as Deutsche Bank and Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company.” In other words: the ship be sinking?
Well, not so fast. White & Case is rearranging the deck chairs taking decisive steps to beef up the offices that lost all that talent.
Our coverage of the London legal market tends to be episodic. We tried offering more regular coverage for a while, with our Letter from London column, but we put the feature on hold to focus on domestic developments. (We might revive the London column if we can find a sponsor for it.)
We will, however, cover major news out of London — such as last week’s massive defections from White & Case to Latham & Watkins.
On Wednesday, we commended the firm of Paul Hastings for moving so quickly to support Haiti earthquake relief efforts. Since then, a number of other top law firms have pledged their support to this worthy cause.
(Okay, Rush Limbaugh questions the worthiness of the cause. But we suspect that Limbaugh’s position — like that of Pat Robertson, who blames the earthquake on Haiti’s supposed pact with the devil — is a minority view.)
The WSJ Law Blog and Am Law Daily have gathered information about what various law firms are doing to help Haiti. We’ve combined their reports with information we’ve received from our own sources, to create a more comprehensive list.
Check it out, after the jump.
Last week, we reported that Latham & Watkins officially raised salaries, all the way back to where they would have been had the firm not frozen salaries in the first place.
Today, we have news that Latham is opening up new offices: one in Houston and one in Beijing.
Ahh, ah, AHHH, ah. Don’t call it a comeback:
Latham continues to rock peers and put suckas in fear, after the jump.
We did not Photoshop this picture. It actually appeared in a New York Times wedding announcement. Chuckle at it, if you must. But know that when you do, you’re fiddling while a venerable institution goes up in flames.
December isn’t a great month to get married, and this December was particularly bad. Still, our final Legal Eagle Wedding Watch couples for 2009 have some surprisingly strong Biglaw credentials. Here they are:
Watch to find out what some of our subscribers received in their May box!
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We currently have a number of active openings for associate roles at US and UK firms in HK / China, Singapore and two new in-house openings. As always, please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org in order to get details of current openings in Asia, as well as to discuss the Asia markets in general and what we expect for openings later this year. Our Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney will be in Beijing the week of March 25 and Evan Jowers will be in Hong Kong the week of April 1, if you would like to meet them in person.
The US associate openings we have in law firms are in the usual areas of M&A, cap markets, FCPA / white collar litigation, finance, and project finance. The most urgent of our top tier (top 15 US or magic circle) law firm openings in Asia (among many other firm openings that we have in Asia) are as follows:
• 2nd to 5th year mandarin fluent M&A associates needed in Beijing and Hong Kong at several firms;
• Korean fluent 2nd to 4th year cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 5th year Japanese fluent M&A associates needed in Tokyo;
• 4th to 6th year mandarin fluent cap markets associate needed in Hong Kong;
• 2nd to 4th year M&A / cap markets mix associate needed in Singapore.
The last time I flapped my wings your way, I tried to make at least enough noise about your mobile phone to make you more than a little bit uncomfortable. I hope I did. If enough of us become anxious enough about the known and unknown unknowns and knowns in our mobile phones, then we can start making wise decisions about how to manage that information and its resultant investigations.
Today, I’d like to put a finer point on the last installment’s topic by asking a question that seemed to catch most attendees off-guard at a conference panel that I moderated last week: is there discoverable personal information in a mobile app? Our panelists’ answer was a uniform “yes” with one stating that, if he had to choose only one type of data that he could discover from a mobile phone, he’d choose app data. Why? Because there’s simply so much of it and because almost all of it is objective – not just user-created like an email – but machine-tracked like GPS, usage duration, log in and log out times, browsed web addresses, browsed actual addresses. Also, most of us seem to have the idea that data doesn’t actually “stick” to our mobile devices the way it “sticks” to our hard drives. Maybe there’s a disconnect based on the fact that our phones are mobile so we assume the data is mobile to?
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