O’Melveny & Myers

We have recently covered a number of notable partner departures from O’Melveny & Myers. While some of the losses were “not undesired,” as one source put it, others were bad news for OMM.

But, in fairness to the firm, there is good news coming out of O’Melveny these days as well. Let’s discuss some of it.

First, OMM has responded to some of the partner departures with fresh leadership. Firm chairman A.B. Culvahouse remains at the helm of the ship, but several practice groups now have new heads. As recently reported by Am Law Daily, Steven Tonsfeldt is the new leader of the M&A practice group, C. Brophy Christensen and Eric Reimer will take over the corporate finance/capital markets group, and Robert Rizzi will head the tax group. Congratulations to all of them on their new posts.

Second, OMM is busy — so busy that it is calling up some of its incoming associates and asking them to come in earlier. These associates were originally given start dates in December 2011 but are now wanted in the early fall.

(By the way, we are working on a story for next week about start dates at major law firms. Feel free to send us info about your firm if you have any.)

So what specific start dates are O’Melveny’s incoming associates being offered now, and how do they feel about the change?

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Last month, we broke the news of seven key corporate partners leaving O’Melveny & Myers to join Paul Weiss. Shortly thereafter, we learned that two other prominent partners were leaving O’Melveny to join Weil Gotshal.

Of course, partners come and partners go at large law firms — but some of these nine were major rainmakers and practice group heads. Paul Weiss snagged Gregory Ezring, who chaired O’Melveny’s corporate finance and capital markets practice, and Brad Okun, who headed O’Melveny’s tax practice. Meanwhile, Weil scored Harvey Eisenberg, a leading private-equity adviser, and M&A partner Douglas Ryder.

Could something more be going on at OMM?

“You guys are missing a huge story about O’Melveny,” a tipster recently told us. “In the last two years or so, around 60 partners have disappeared.”

“The pace is now quickening,” this source added. “Since January 1, around 10% of the OMM partners, including many practice group leaders and other key rainmakers, have departed.”

These numbers sound significant — but, in fairness to O’Melveny, they should be viewed in context. Let’s hear what the firm had to say about them….

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The high-powered law firm of Paul Weiss has a legendary litigation practice. But their corporate department is strong too — they’re working on, for example, the big Warner Music deal — and it’s only getting stronger.

Yesterday corporate lawyers at Paul Weiss received an unusual email: “We would like to ask all counsel and associates to attend a meeting tomorrow morning at 11 to discuss some exciting developments affecting the Corporate Department. The meeting will be held in the concourse. Please make every effort to attend.”

The meeting took place earlier today. What was announced?

UPDATE: Please note that several updates have been added to this post, after the jump.

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In its recent obituary for Warren Christopher, former U.S. Secretary of State and former senior partner at O’Melveny & Myers, the New York Times referred to O’Melveny as “the most traditional and prestigious of Los Angeles law firms.”

Well, if you want to be one of the “most prestigious” Los Angeles law firms — or national or global law firms, to the extent that O’Melveny has outgrown L.A. — then you need to pay your people appropriately. So perhaps it shouldn’t come as a shock to learn that OMM has announced spring bonuses.

We received confirmation and details of the O’Melveny spring bonuses from multiple sources. Amusingly enough, about half of our sources on this story are anxious associates at Gibson Dunn….

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(While the associates are getting restless at Gibson Dunn….)

When in need of a pic of a T.V. cheerleader, am I right to go with Minka Kelly over Hayden Panettiere? Can we get some kind of ruling on this?

* Is it possible that in South Dakota you have to go through a shorter waiting period to buy a gun and shoot someone who is already alive than you have to go through in order to have an abortion? Could somebody check on that? [MSNBC]

* Did you see this chart showing that law professors make more than all other professors at the college level? I think I forgot to mention it because when my brain sees such horrible atrocities it enacts self-defense protocols and deletes the knowledge from my… Did you see this chart showing that law professors… [Chronicle of Higher Education]

* Same-sex couple gets deportation put on hold to pursue marriage-based immigration case. I think we’re all safer when Homeland Security isn’t run by Leviticus. [Stop the Deportations]

* If cheerleading were a real sport, this lawsuit might be really interesting. [Jezebel]

* If you think our coolest law firm bracket is dorky (don’t forget, voting ends tonight at midnight), you should check out what the bankruptcy people at Weil are up to. [Bankruptcy Blog]

* Once you get off the legal treadmill, do you ever have the urge to go back? “… That’s pride f**king with you. F**k pride.” [Law and More]

* If you think about it, pay raises should really come in the spring, when everything is new and happy, instead of the middle of winter, when everything is cold and dead. [What About Clients?]

* An obituary for Warren Christopher, former O’Melveny partner (and secretary of state, too). [Huffington Post]

Tipsters report that O’Melveny & Myers has announced its bonuses. Tipsters are underwhelmed. Tipsters in California are starting to ask: “What about our spring bonuses?”

As we mentioned last night, spring bonuses are sweeping the nation. We’re actually working on a spring bonus update (pending confirmation of a few things). If you have information and memos about your firm’s spring bonuses, please send them to tips@abovethelaw.com.

We’re starting to worry that California might be left out in the cold. Last week, Morrison & Foerster announced it was still “monitoring” the New York market. Today we have news that O’Melveny is doing the same.

Guys, read Above the Law. The major New York dominoes have fallen. California associates read Above the Law, and they’re waiting for you to get with the program…

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John Taylor Skilling, the son of former Enron executive Jeff Skilling, was found dead in his apartment in California. The Associated Press says that a bottle of medication was found next to John Skilling, and they report that he had been distraught over a recent breakup with his girlfriend.

His father, Jeffrey Skilling, served as president of Enron. In 2006, Jeff Skilling was convicted after a jury trial of multiple charges arising out of Enron’s collapse, and was sentenced to 24 years in prison. He appealed to the Supreme Court, which vacated part of his conviction in a major ruling on the “honest services” fraud statute, and sent the case back for resentencing.

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Our law firm holiday card contest is still underway, but we’re in the home stretch. Voting closes tomorrow, January 9, at 11:59 p.m. (Eastern time). If you haven’t done so already, review the finalists and vote over here.

In the our earlier post, we promised a post in which we’d (1) give shout-outs to some holiday cards that were strong but narrowly missed our cut and (2) poke fun at some of the Christmas cards we found especially disappointing. Here is the promised post.

Let’s look at some of these honorable and dishonorable mentions. Perhaps your law firm’s card is among them?

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Last week, MSNBC ran an alarmist article entitled “Details of 100 million Facebook users published online,” after a hacker security consultant compiled a list of the 171 million Facebook users who have their profiles set to show up in a public search. Any story these days with “Facebook” and “privacy” in it tends to set the Internet afire. Sometimes, the hysteria is warranted. (And when I say “sometimes,” I actually mean “rarely.” People join the social network to be social and share information, after all.)

In this case, especially, the hysteria really wasn’t warranted. The list contained people’s names, addresses, Facebook profile urls, and in some cases, phone numbers. Next time Verizon drops off my new White Pages, I expect MSNBC to break a huge, angry story about it.

InsideFacebook called the story “irresponsible journalism,” and Techcrunch appropriately titled their piece on the story, “Hacker Proves Facebook’s Public Data Is Public.” (Want to be freaked out about being tracked online? Read this instead.)

The file with Facebook users’ info was available for download on the security consultant’s site. Gizmodo was able to figure out the IP addresses of people downloading the file, and published a list of the many companies that appeared to be interested in the info. Among them were three law firms: Davis Polk, O’Melveny & Myers, and Baker & McKenzie. Quite a few ATL readers have sent this our way. Said one tipster:

I understand what a corporation which markets a product or non-legal service might be doing with this kind of data, but what purpose can it serve for a law firm? All the data collected was publicly available, but the whole thing is a little shady. Maybe ATL can figure out what their plans are for using all this information.

Okay, let’s take the conspiracy theories down a notch….

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We’re rolling through the Vault 2011 list of the “prestigiest” firms in the land, so that you can comment on what it’s like to actually live, work, and breathe those firms (when you’re not choking on all the prestige in the air).

We’ve covered #1-10 and #11-20. Here’s the next round-up. Now it’s time for the London-based Magic Circle firms to join in the elite fun:

21. Arnold & Porter
22. Shearman & Sterling
23. Boies, Schiller & Flexner
24. O’Melveny & Myers
25. Ropes & Gray
26. Morrison & Foerster
27. Munger, Tolles & Olson
28. Hogan Lovells
29. Clifford Chance
30. Linklaters

What do associates have to say about the ups and downs of life at these firms? Here are some excerpts from their Vault listings…

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