Congratulations to Mr. Chuck and his co-conspirators. It appears that their efforts to exert grassroots pressure on Mayer Brown, with the goal of getting the firm to inform them of the terms of their offers, have borne fruit.
As first mentioned in the comments on our post from yesterday regarding Winston & Strawn, incoming associates at Mayer were recently informed of their offer terms. Their time in limbo is now over.
When we reported on the silence of Mayer Brown regarding start dates for incoming associates, I specifically mentioned that Mayer Brown’s greatest gadfly — Mr. Chuck — had nothing to do with the story. Alas, that did not stop other people from assuming that Mr. Chuck was continuing his crusade to force Mayer Brown to say something about start dates.
Never one to shy away from the limelight, Mr. Chuck decided that the fact that he wasn’t a part of the story shouldn’t preclude him from making himself part of the story. Here’s the subject line of the email he sent to all Mayer Brown incoming associates last night:
Pls, This Was Not Initiated By Me (Today’s Mayer Brown Above-The-Law Fiasco))
No, Mr. Chuck didn’t start it, but damnit he’s going to end it make sure it continues…
Mayer Brown associates got a disturbing email this morning:
After careful consideration, the firm has decided to implement a job reduction in our US offices that will affect 28 associates and counsel and 47 staff members.
This can’t be good news for the firm’s incoming mutineers who are still waiting to hear back about their start dates. Though the memo, available in full after the jump, suggests that despite laying off these 75 people, things look bright there:
Despite this necessary action, we see encouraging signs for 2010. Thus far, the year is off to a positive start. Taking this step will enable us to maintain our financial strength and continue investing in our practices, our global platform and the professional development of our people – and thereby enhance our ability to provide clients with the high standard of legal work and service that defines Mayer Brown.
We hope the 75 people losing their jobs today were left off the distribution list, because that smarts…
Last week, we brought you the story of a former Mayer Brown associate who is suing the firm. We have some more back story on the plaintiff, Venus Yvette Springs, and she certainly sounds like a colorful person.
Before joining Mayer Brown, Springs worked at Cadwalader. According to our tipsters, she left CWT in an interesting fashion:
In her departure email from Cadwalader, she quoted all sorts of religious passages and talked about how she wanted to devote her life to pro bono.
Shortly thereafter, she wound up at Mayer Brown — one of the largest and most profitable law firms on the planet.
In her complaint against Mayer Brown, Springs alleged that the firm did not count her pro bono hours as it had promised. Of course, working in the real estate department at a major firm hardly sounds like a life “devoted to pro bono.” She wants to work with clients who can’t pay, but wants to make sure she gets a plump pay check anyway.
But maybe she needed to support her family. Unconfirmed reports say that her husband is Jules Springs. Jules Springs recently pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud. No word on whether or not Mr. Springs was an equal opportunity defrauder.
After the jump, Venus Springs compares her plight at Mayer Brown to the Holocaust. I wish I were making that up.
A former Mayer Brown associate, Venus Yvette Springs, has filed a complaint against the firm. She alleges Mayer Brown discriminated against her and eventually fired her in 2008.
Springs was an associate in the real estate group of Mayer Brown, Charlotte. In her complaint, she claims that the head of the group, Frank Arado, said that he would make her a partner with the firm as recently as March 2008. But in May 2008, she was informed that she would be fired. She was officially terminated in September of 2008. The heart of her discrimination claim seems to be this paragraph:
In a statement obtained by Above the Law, Mayer Brown strenuously denied the claims:
Mayer Brown has not yet been served with the complaint filed by former employee Yvette Springs. However, based on our current review, we believe her claims have no merit. We will defend ourselves vigorously in this matter. Consistent with our policy of not commenting on personnel matters or pending litigation, we have nothing further to say.
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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 seven years. You can reach them by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Please note that Evan Jowers and Robert Kinney are still in Hong Kong and will stay FOR THE REMAINDER OF THIS WEEK. We still have a handful of available slots for meetings with our Asia Chronicles fans. If we have not been in touch lately, reach out and let us know when we could meet! There is no need for an agenda at all. Most of our in-person meetings on these trips are with folks who understand that improving a legal practice through lateral hiring is an information-driven process that takes time to handle correctly.
Regarding trends in lateral US associate hiring in Hong Kong, we of course keep much of what we know off of this blog. Based on placement revenue, though, Kinney is having one of our most successful years ever in Asia. We are helping a number of our law firm clients with M&A, fund formation, cap markets, project finance, FCPA and disputes openings. These are very specific needs in many cases, so a conversation with us before jumping in may be helpful. As always, we like to be sure to get the maximum number of interviews per submission, using a well-informed, highly targeted, and selective approach, taking into account short, medium and long-term career aims.
Making a well informed decision during a job search is easier said than done – the information we provide comes from 10 years of being the market leader in US attorney placements at the top tier firms in Asia. There is no substitute for having known a hiring partner since he/she was an associate or for having helped a partner grow his or her practice from zip to zooming, and this is happily where we stand today – with years of background information on just about every relevant person in all the markets we serve, and most especially in Hong Kong/China/Greater Asia. So get in touch and get a download from us this week if we can fit it in, or soon in any case!