Alas, not all the news coming out of Stroock is this happy. We’ve just learned that the firm is planning to cut the ranks of its legal secretaries….
- Biglaw, Fulbright & Jaworski, Law Firm Mergers, Layoffs, Pillsbury Winthrop, Severance, Staff Layoffs
The law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski is a leader in many fields — at least 31 of them, according to the latest Chambers rankings. In addition to recognizing Fulbright as a leading firm in 31 categories, the influential Chambers guide also named 99 Fulbright lawyers as leading individuals in their practice areas.
And now it seems that more reductions might be on the way. Could Fulbright be trying to slim itself down in advance of a merger with another firm?
- Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Lateral Moves, Litigators, Litigatrix, Money, Partner Issues, Severance, Sexism, Sexual Harassment, Thompson & Knight, Weil Gotshal, Winston & Strawn
Last week, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and the American Lawyer all mentioned an unusual debt in the bankruptcy case of Dewey & LeBoeuf. A former D&L associate, Emily Saffitz, was listed as being owed $416,667 — a sum big enough to put her in the top 20 unsecured creditors of the firm. This was apparently due to a “severance arrangement.”
Why did Dewey agree to pay an associate from the class of 2006 more than $400K in severance? According to the Times, Saffitz received this severance agreement after she “complained over how she was treated by a former Dewey partner and told the firm’s management.” According to the Journal, she filed “a complaint regarding sexual discrimination by a Dewey partner who is no longer with the firm.”
Inquiring minds want to know: Who was the partner in question? And what did he allegedly say or do to Emily Saffitz?
Finding out such details is difficult. Settlements in cases of alleged sex discrimination or sexual harassment often contain non-disclosure or non-disparagement provisions that prevent the parties from speaking about what took place.
So we didn’t expect we would ever find out which former Dewey partner triggered complaints from Emily Saffitz. Until, well, he emailed us….
Multiple UPDATES, after the jump.
- Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dissolution, JPMorgan Chase, Money, Partner Issues, S.D.N.Y., Severance, Sexism, Sexual Harassment, Thompson & Knight
Why Dewey Owe More Than $400K to a Former Associate?
(And a report on Dewey’s day in bankruptcy court.)
As we reported late on Monday night, Dewey & LeBoeuf has filed for bankruptcy — the largest law firm bankruptcy in U.S. history, in fact. You can access a copy of Dewey’s voluntary petition to enter Chapter 11 over here (via Scribd).
Yesterday afternoon, Dewey’s lawyers appeared in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. The firm’s lead lawyer, Albert Togut, introduced himself as follows: “I can finally confirm the worst-kept secret of the year. I am counsel for Dewey & LeBoeuf.” He’s going to be a very busy man over the weeks and months ahead.
Let’s find out what happened at the hearing, and also take a closer look at one of Dewey’s most intriguing unsecured creditors: a (rather attractive) litigatrix, a former Dewey associate now at another firm, who is owed more than $400,000 in “severance” by D&L….
- Bankruptcy, Biglaw, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dissolution, Greenberg Traurig, Lateral Moves, Layoffs, Money, Musical Chairs, Severance, Staff Layoffs, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan
Based on recent remarks by current and former leadership at Dewey & LeBoeuf, it seems that the firm is going to end with a whimper, not a bang. The current plan apparently involves no bankruptcy filing or dissolution vote, but just the defection of one partner after another, until nobody is left.
And the partner departures continue. As we mentioned in Morning Docket, for example, Greenberg Traurig just picked up about 50 Dewey lawyers over in Poland, to form Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak. Meanwhile, here in New York, Sutherland Asbill & Brennan has added insurance litigatrix Ellen Dunn, former co-head of D&L’s U.S. litigation practice, to its ranks.
While the partner stars realign themselves, back here on earth, last night brought bad news for former Dewey associates and staff….
Last year witnessed a Valentine’s Day Massacre in the legal profession. Over 800 lawyers and staffers lost their jobs in the week leading up to V-Day.
This year, the week before Valentine’s Day was comparatively full of sweetness and light — totally appropriate for the holiday of love. In fact, it looked like last week was layoff-free at the nation’s large law firms (as discussed over at Law Shucks).
But not quite. We can now report that layoffs took place on Friday at Drinker Biddle.
Update: If You Show Me Yours, I’ll Show You Mine
Kashmir Hill & David Lat
(Or: A less casual comparison of severance packages.)
Hello, friends. The tables we’re compiling these days are not fun ones. We’ve posted running lists of the firms that have frozen salaries — as well as a list of those that haven’t — and, in this post, a list of the going rates in severance packages.
With layoffs still going strong, knowing the severance terms at your firm is more important than ever. As reported earlier today, 70 to 150 Latham associates could be handed three-month goodbye presents on Friday.
We put together a casual comparison of severance packages last week, and we asked those with knowledge to weigh in. ATL readers offered several corrections and additional information. We even had a firm spokesman email us to correct a listing.
We offer a new table, after the jump, along with the same caveats from the first time around.