At least eight lawyers who left Pillsbury last year are being asked to return a portion or all of their 2006 earnings to the firm within 30 days — but most say they have no intention of paying back anything, even if it means going to court.
The attorneys received letters this month claiming they had been overpaid, demanding repayments of about $30,000 to $100,000. One letter, obtained by The Recorder, explains that the ex-partner in question received a distribution greater than their actual share of the firm’s profits at the time they departed….
Reactions from ex-partners who received the letters ranged from “insulted” to “furious.” Many questioned the firm’s accounting, the fairness and enforceability of the demands, and why they are being singled out, since not all partners who left last year got a letter.
If the ex-partners stick to their guns, the firm will have a difficult time recovering this money. Given the amounts at stake — relatively modest, by Biglaw standards — it may not be worth (1) the litigation costs and (2) the attendant bad publicity and airing of dirty laundry.
We don’t know the identity of the partners in question. If you do know, or have any other information about this controversy, feel free to share.
Ex-Pillsbury Partners Vow to Fight Firm’s Demand for Money [The Recorder via WSJ Law Blog]