* I’m doing Non-Sequiturs today, since Elie is too busy marching on City Hall. [Reuters]

* A round-up of lawyer moves inside the Beltway — including another defection from Howrey (patent litigatrix Jennifer Dzwonczyk, to Venable). [Capital Comment / Washingtonian]

* Speaking of Howrey, Professor Larry Ribstein, a partnership law guru, has some questions about the handling of Howrey liabilities. [Truth on the Market]

* Apparently Cardozo Law ladies need sex as well as walking instructions. [Cardozo Jurist]

* RICO suave: Chevron turns the tables on those Ecuadorian environmental plaintiffs. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Congratulations to Orrick’s eight new partners. [Orrick]

* Larry Bodine offers some marketing advice to United Airlines — after a rather unpleasant interaction at LaGuardia Airport. [Larry Bodine's Law Marketing Blog]

* This week in A Round Tuit: the latest Obamacare ruling, the Egyptian uprising, and the shortcomings of the British legal media. [Infamy or Praise]

Every year, Fortune produces a list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For, and every year a handful of law firms make the list. And every year I wonder why some law firms made the list, while others did not, and whether Fortune actually has any idea about what they’re talking about.

We cover this list every year (click here for our posts in 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007). Last year, six firms made the list. But this year only four law firms are among the top 100 companies.

Again, I can’t figure out what the two firms that dropped did wrong. But let’s congratulate the four firms that did stay on the list.

So, which firms made the cut?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Annual ‘Best Companies to Work For’ List Includes Four Law Firms”

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?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “ATL Holiday Card Contest: Honorable and Dishonorable Mentions”

While some firms ran away from their merit-based compensation plans almost as soon as the economy began to turn around, Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe stuck with it. Depending on your performance reviews, you might make less at Orrick than your peers at competitive firms, but you also might make a whole lot more. Click here for our prior coverage of Orrick’s compensation system.

Merit-based compensation makes bonus time particularly complicated. The firm uses the bonus to cover up any gaps between your base salary under its multi-tiered associate structure versus base salary at lockstep firms, and it uses its bonuses to pay out, well, associate bonuses. AND it uses the bonuses to pay out that “extra” compensation top performers at the firm deserve.

If Orrick had a culture of secrecy like some of the Biglaw firms we cover (ahem, Jones Day, ahem), then all that would happen would be a general feeling among every associate that somehow they were getting screwed. But Orrick has fought against distrust and misinformation by being amazingly transparent when it comes to its bonus structure. Last February, Orrick put together a wonderful chart that fully explained to its own associates (and potential new recruits and lateral hires) how the firm determined its 2009 bonus structure. We’ve been told that the firm will put one together again for the 2010 bonus cycle. (In February. Which is unfortunately months away.)

So while we wait for the full story, right now we only know what the Orrick associates know. And that is that their bonus will be using the Cravath scale as a benchmark in its calculation of market compensation…

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Craig Primis of Kirkland & Ellis

Earlier this week, we introduced six Washington, D.C. law firm partners chosen by our readers as the best partners to work for.  The next six partners we present to you today come from some of the nation’s finest law firms:  Gibson Dunn, Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins, Orrick, White & Case, and Willkie Farr.

For more information about these firms generally, visit the Career Center.

Without further ado, let’s find out who these premier partners are . . .

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Career Center Survey Results: Top Partners to Work for – Washington, D.C. (Part 2)”

It’s like picking up a whole baseball team just to get a shortstop.

– an anonymous partner at Akin Gump, commenting on the failed merger talks with Orrick.

Well, that was fast. Last week we learned of preliminary merger discussions taking place between Akin Gump and Orrick. But this morning, spokespersons for each firm released the following joint statement (which differed only in which firm’s name came first):

[The firms] have mutually agreed to conclude preliminary discussions regarding the possibility of a merger. The firms appreciated the opportunity to have the discussions, which confirmed their mutual respect for one another. However, the firms have determined not to proceed.

For an assessment of the pros and cons of an Akin / Orrick union, see here.

So what exactly happened here?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Breaking: Orrick and Akin Call Off Their Merger Talks”

Yesterday we discussed the merger talks that are currently taking place between Akin Gump and Orrick. We solicited your views on a possible combination, and we received some interesting feedback (in the comments and by other means).

Let’s start with the happy stuff. Here are some positive takes on an Orrick / Akin merger, from the comments (yes, positivity in the comments — it happens):

  • “I have been at both firms and I believe it would be a good fit both geographically and practice-wise. Orrick is almost all about finance, and finance is one key area that Akin lacks real depth.” [FN1]

  • “#1 Vacuum company in America + #1 brand of cocktail shrimp = unstoppable legal force.”

But it’s not all vacuums and cocktail shrimp, sunshine and puppies. Insiders with knowledge of both firms also identified downsides to a possible Orrick / Akin merger….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Firm Merger Mania: Opinions on Orrick + Akin”

Last week we started to hear rumors of a possible merger between Akin Gump and Orrick. One tipster offered this unenthusiastic take: “Suddenly, the firm that is known for professionalism and California-style collegiality courts the firm whose softball team is named ‘The Cheatahs?’”

Meow! Well, it appears that the rumors are true. Spokespersons for each firm just confirmed to Am Law Daily and the WSJ Law Blog that Orrick and Akin are in “preliminary,” “exploratory” discussions about a merger.

What would a combined firm look like?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Law Firm Merger Mania: Akin Gump and Orrick Are Talking”

Alan Pomerantz

Many real estate lawyers are also real estate investors. It makes perfect sense: they know the market, they know the intricacies of complex transactions, and they see a lot of deals in the course of their practice. For example, Jonathan Mechanic, the renowned real estate lawyer who heads the practice at Fried Frank, owns retail and office space in Bergen County, New Jersey (where I grew up).

Over the weekend, the New York Times documented the successful real estate investing of another top New York real estate attorney: Alan J. Pomerantz, currently a senior counsel at Orrick, and before that the co-CEO of a real estate investment fund and a longtime partner at Weil Gotshal. In 1994, Pomerantz and his wife, Carol Pomerantz, a psychotherapist, bought a fabulous Upper East Side apartment for $1.6 million. Now, “because they now spend most of their time with family in Northern California and are building a house in the Napa Valley” — sounds like a nice life, doesn’t it? — they are selling the apartment.

The asking price: $5.7 million. Even accounting for inflation and the costs of their renovation, it seems that the Pomerantzes made a wise investment (assuming the co-op sells at or near the asking price, as places are starting to do again here in NYC).

So what do you get for almost $6 million?

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Lawyerly Lairs: Pomerantz’s Palatial Park Avenue Pad”

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