Why do we say this? Because more lawyers are on the scene, that’s why! And now everybody gets to grab their socks.
(Internal investigations: Fun for the whole family!)
Here’s a quick update on what’s going on in Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell, the lawsuit filed by Aaron Charney against S&C, alleging anti-gay discrimination and retaliation.
On the civil litigation front, Sullivan & Cromwell has a week or two before it must answer Charney’s Complaint (PDF). As we previously mentioned, S&C is conducting an internal investigation into some of Charney’s allegations.
Here’s the latest news:
1. Sullivan & Cromwell associate Gera Grinberg, the purportedly straight associate with whom plaintiff Aaron Charney had a relationship that an S&C partner allegedly referred to as “unnatural” (HOTT!!!), has retained counsel: Gallion & Spielvogel.
Some time ago, we tried to contact Mr. Grinberg. We received this response from his new lawyers:
I understand that you recently have attempted to speak with Sullivan & Cromwell associate attorney Gera Grinberg.
Please be advised that my law firm, Gallion & Spielvogel, has been retained to represent Mr. Grinberg. My partner, Steven Spielvogel, and I are both alumni of Sullivan & Cromwell’s Litigation Department; we have a great deal of experience with internal corporate inquiries and, in fact, our firm specializes in handling such sensitive internal investigations.
As you can well understand, under the circumstances we have instructed our client not to speak directly with any media representatives. To the extent that you wish to contact Mr. Grinberg for any reason in the future, you should direct your inquiry to me at my law firm by email.
I trust that you and other representatives of your organization will refrain from any further attempts to reach my client directly.
Edward R. Gallion Gallion & Spielvogel
Interesting that Grinberg has hired lawyers who are former S&C litigators (and presumably still on good terms with the firm). We wouldn’t be surprised if the powers-that-be at the firm pointed Grinberg in Gallion’s direction.
Why has Grinberg retained counsel? We’re guessing Gallion is representing Grinberg in connection with Sullivan & Cromwell’s internal investigation. Speaking of which…
2. We previously asked you which outside law firm was handling S&C’s investigation.
We haven’t confirmed this 100 percent. But we are hearing on the street that S&C has retained Paul Hastings. The team is said to be led by Zachary Fasman, a Paul Hastings partner who specializes in employment litigation.
We will contact Mr. Fasman and let you know what, if any, comment he has to offer.
If you have info you can share about this matter, please contact us. Earlier: Prior ATL coverage of Charney v. Sullivan & Cromwell (scroll down)
Sorry for the technical difficulties. Happily, we’re now back online.
Akin Gump has announced its compensation scheme for New York and Washington offices (and perhaps others; these are the ones we’ve confirmed).
Pay scales for Akin Gump, after the jump.
Our Latham & Watkins sources agree with the commenters who dismissed this memo as fake (or, if real, not yet released to all associates).
We’re signing off for now. Please continue the discussion, and post additional announcements, in the comments to this post. Thanks. Earlier: Previous announcements of law firm associate salary increases (scroll down through “Skaddenfreude” archives)
Below is the Sidley Austin memo — sent us to by one source, verified by a second.
TO: All U.S. Associates
FROM: The Management Committee
RE: Associate Salaries
We value highly our associates and your contributions to the Firm’s continued success. We also recognize the need to remain competitive with market conditions in order to recruit and retain the talent required to serve our clients. Accordingly, we are announcing increases in our standard salaries as follows, effective January 1, 2007.
Associates in our domestic offices other than New York will receive increases bringing standard salaries to the following levels:
Class of 2006 – $145,000
Class of 2005 – $155,000
Class of 2004 – $170,000
Class of 2003 – $190,000
Class of 2002 – $210,000
Class of 2001 – $225,000
Class of 2000 – $240,000
For New York associates standard salaries are as follows:
Class of 2006 – $160,000
Class of 2005 – $170,000
Class of 2004 – $185,000
Class of 2003 – $210,000
Class of 2002 – $230,000
Class of 2001 – $250,000
Class of 2000 – $265,000
Class of 1999 – $280,000
The differential between New York and offices other than New York is a reflection of market and cost-of-living factors.
As we have done in the past, we will address, on an individual basis, compensation for Counsel and associates in class years more senior than those listed above.
With your continued dedication and effort, we look forward to another strong year.
This is the Paul Hastings memo that went out earlier today (and previously posted in the comments). We have verified it with several sources at the firm.
Date: January 29, 2007
To: Stamford and New York Associates
cc: Stamford and New York Partners, All Office Chairs and AD Chairs, All Recruiting & Development
From: Jim Owens and Elizabeth Noe
Co-Chairs, Attorney Development
Subject: FY2008 Compensation Structure for Associates, New York and Stamford Offices
We are pleased to announce the Firm will be increasing base-level salaries for U.S. associates in Stamford and New York effective as of the new fiscal year which commences February 1, 2007.
FY2008 Compensation by Class Year is as follows:
Seniority Year / Class year
Stamford & New York
Entering 2007 160,000
1st / 2006 160,000
2nd / 2005 170,000
3rd / 2004 185,000
4th / 2003 210,000
5th / 2002 230,000
6th / 2001 250,000
7th / 2000 265,000
8th+ / 1999 280,000
These increases reflect the Firm’s commitment to paying at the top tier of the market in New York. The commitment to compete at the top tier extends to all of our markets. We will be making salary determinations in our other markets over the next several days. In all cases, any increase in base salary levels will made retroactive to February 1.
We thank you for and commend your performance, commitment and hard work throughout the year and your contributions to our success.
Please feel free to contact us or your local Attorney Development Committee Chair or Office Chair if you have any questions.
Here’s the Sheppard Mullin memo that went out earlier today:
To All Associates:
The Executive Committee is pleased to announce we are increasing the base compensation for all Associates. The 2007 base compensation for our first year Associates in New York will be $160,000, and for our Associates in all other offices $145,000. These new first year levels are consistent with those of our competitors. Base compensation for other classes will also be increased. The amounts for other classes will be announced shortly. The increases will be effective retroactive to January 1, 2007 and will first show up in your February 15, 2007 paycheck. You will also at that time receive the retroactive portion.
2006 was an exciting and successful year, and we look forward to working together to make 2007 even better. Thank you for the energy and hard work that has made our Firm prosper.
Count-down to Superbowl Sunday!
* Turns out those Superlawyer rankings are unrelated to true super legal powers after all. [Crime & Federalism]
* While “Supermax” may sound like an office supply warehouse store, it’s not nearly as fun. [Sentencing Law and Policy]
* In an effort to stay relevant without resorting to cell phone violence, once-ubiquitous (and once
“Super”) model Niki Taylor is suing E! for slander. [AP via Yahoo! News]
* Air America has been saved from its own personal Superhero. [HuffPo]
Are you familiar with the delightful song “One, Two Step,” by Ciara (featuring Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott, who used to live down the street from us)?
If not, do yourself a favor, and check out the video. It begins with voice-over by a rapper who exultantly announces, in major-domo fashion, “The Princess is here!!!”
The Princess is here!!! That’s how we feel every time we get to write about Shanetta Y. Cutlar. In case you’re new to ATL, as many of you are, Shanetta Cutlar is the divine diva who oversees the Justice Department’s Special Litigation Section.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve written a great deal about the colorful Ms. Cutlar (who is clearly a public official, by virtue of her influential DOJ post, even if she’s not a political appointee). We consider pretty much all of our coverage of her to be highly flattering. Far from reflecting any actual malice, it exhibits genuine affection for her.
But for those of you who don’t share our love of strong-willed women, we have some more conventionally positive feedback about Shanetta Cutlar. Check it out, after the jump.
If you were hoping that Cravath was going to up the ante for associate base salaries, we’re sorry to disappoint you. As reported last week in the comments, CSM basically matched the Simpson Thacher scale (after a bit of a delay; perhaps they were deliberating about besting the market).
For your reading pleasure, here’s the official pay raise memorandum from Cravath, Swaine & Moore, which went around on Friday afternoon:
Last week we opened up a reader poll concerning billable hours. We’ll keep it open until 5 PM today. You can check it out, and cast your vote, by clicking here.
A number of you had various quibbles with the poll — the wording of the question, the methodology, etc. Such is to be expected from an audience of lawyers. But we do admit our earlier poll was more complicated than necessary. (Also, it was rather narrowly targeted, limited to lawyers on the new “Simpson Thacher” payscale.)
Here are two more general polls for your consideration. One is for those of you at large law firms (defined as 100+ lawyers firmwide), and the second is for those of you who are not at Biglaw shops. Some quick notes:
1. These polls are highly unscientific, vague, etc. (and we’re sure that after we put them up, a number of you will come up with refinements to them). But just humor us and take them — they’re just for entertainment purposes, really.
2. In the second poll, for non-Biglaw lawyers, if you work in an office where you’re not required to bill hours — e.g., government — just provide what you regard as the rough equivalent of billables. (We are not going to get into such fine points as whether a particular meeting in your office is more like a billable meeting with clients or a non-billable, internal administrative meeting.)
3. If you didn’t work for the entire year in 2006 — e.g., you’re a first-year who arrived in the fall — just annualize your billables. Or come up with a rough estimate of what you would have billed had you been there for the whole year.
We are overlooking all sorts of little niceties. But we don’t care; we don’t want to complicate matters. These polls, while crude, will shed light on the questions we’re really trying to get at:
1. Do Biglaw attorneys work harder than non-Biglaw attorneys?
2. If so, how much harder do they work (and is it worth the extra money)?
THANKS!!! Note: To see the results of these polls WITHOUT voting, click here (for the Biglaw poll) and here (for the non-Biglaw poll). Earlier: Prior ATL reader polls (scroll down)
We have a number of associate base salary memos in the queue for publication (including some from last week, when tech problems frustrated publication). Rest assured, we will get around to posting them. (Considering that nobody is doing anything particularly exciting — e.g., besting Simpson Thacher — the time pressures for publication aren’t great.)
But for those of you who like your news to be breaking, here’s a memo that’s still warm from the photocopier. One of you already posted it in the comments. But for the record, and for those of you who only read the ATL main page, the LeBoeuf Lamb pay raise announcement is reprinted below.
Note that LeBoeuf will be paying New York salaries to its DC associates (as indicated in the addressee line for the memo). Note also that this memo is with all the horn-tooting enthusiasm of a press release, perhaps in the anticipation that it would get leaked outside the firm:
The holiday season is upon us, and yet again, you have no idea what to get for the fickle lawyer in your life. We’re here to help. Even if your bonus check hasn’t arrived yet, any one of the gifts we’ve highlighted here could be a worthy substitute until your employer decides to make it rain.
We’ve got an eclectic selection for you to choose from, so settle in by that stack of documents yet to be reviewed and dig in…
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: email@example.com.
We currently have a very exciting and rare type of in-house opening in China at one of the world’s leading internet and social media companies. Our client is looking for an IP Transactional / TMT / Licensing attorney with 2 to 6 years experience. The new hire will be based in Shenzhen or Shanghai. Mandarin is not required (deal documentation will be in English) but is preferred. A solid reason to be in China and a commitment to that market is required of course. This new hire will likely be US qualified (but could also be qualified in UK or other jurisdictions) and with experience and training at a top law firm’s IP transactional / TMT practice and could be currently at a law firm or in-house. Qualified candidates currently Asia based, Europe based or US based will be considered. The new hire’s supervisors in this technology transactions in-house team are very well regarded US trained IP transactional lawyers, with substantial experience at Silicon Valley firms. The culture and atmosphere in this in-house group and the company in general is entrepreneurial, team oriented, and the work is cutting edge, even for a cutting edge industry. The upside of being in an important strategic in-house position in this fast growing and world leading internet company is of the “sky is the limit” variety. Its a very exciting place to be in China for a rising IP transactional lawyer in our opinion, for many reasons beyond the basic info we can share here in this ad / post. This is a special A+ opportunity.
If your firm is in ‘go’ mode when it comes to recruiting lateral partners with loyal clients, then take this quiz to see how well you measure up. Keep track of your ‘yes’ and ‘no’ responses.
1. Does your firm have a clearly defined strategy of practice groups that are priorities of growth for your office? Nothing gets done by random chance, but with a clear vision for the future. Identify the top practice areas for which you wish to add lateral partners. Seek input from practice group leaders and get specifics on needs, outcomes, and ideal target profiles.
2. In addition to clarifying your firm’s growth strategy, are you still open to the hire of a partner outside of your plan? I’ve made several placements that fit this category. The partner’s practice was not within the strategic growth plan of my client, but once the two parties started talking with each other, we all saw how it could indeed be a seamless fit. Be open to “Opportunistic Hires.” You never know where your next producing partner might come from, so you have to be open to it. I will be the first to admit that there is a quirky element of randomness in recruiting.
The traditional job application and interview process can be impersonal, and applicants often struggle to present themselves as more than just the sum of their GPAs, alma maters, and previous work history. ATL has partnered with ViewYou to help job seekers overcome this challenge. ViewYou NOW Profiles offer a unique way for job seekers to make a personal, memorable connection with prospective employers: introduction videos. These videos allow job candidates to display their personalities, interpersonal skills, and professional interests, creating an eDossier to brand themselves to potential employers all over the world. Check it out today!