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Wake Up Call: Bracewell’s ‘Busy’ Energy Work Fuels 2020 Gains

March 15, 2021, 1:04 PM

In today’s column, the city of Minneapolis agreed to pay George Floyd’s family $27 million; DLA Piper boosted base compensation for associates working in offices outside of major U.S. markets; a U.K. legal publication reported allegations that a Willkie London partner “bullied” at least four associates into quitting the firm.

  • Leading off, Bracewell said “super busy” global energy work helped boost its revenues 3.9% to $295 million in 2020. The firm said its profits per equity partner rose 7.4% to $1.616 million for the year, during which its finance, restructuring, and capital markets practices, and labor and employment litigation matters were also strong. It attributed a 3.5% drop in its total head count to 327 lawyers to planned retirements and said its only Covid austerity measure was a delay in the start date for most of its incoming class of associates. (Texas Lawyer)
  • Legal blog Above the Law reported that DLA Piper, which did not offer special Covid bonuses to associates last year, announced a base compensation increase for its associates working in U.S. offices outside of major U.S. markets to match pay levels for national market 1 level. The firm’s memo said the level for associates in U.S. market 2 and market 3 offices will rise to $190,000 for first year (2020) associates going up to $350,000 for associates that started at the firm in 2012. “We believe this step best reflects who we are as one of the leading national law firms,” the memo says. (Above the Law)
  • U.K. legal publication RollonFriday reported that “several” unnamed sources told it that “bullying behavior” by a Willkie Farr & Gallagher partner in the firm’s London office drove at least four associates to quit the firm. The sources said that despite multiple complaints and incidents management has taken no meaningful action. The publication said Willkie in a statement declined to comment on internal personnel matters but said it took the allegations “extremely seriously.” (RollonFriday)
  • The chief judge for New Jersey’s federal courts delayed jury trials, again, until June 1, citing a slow administration of Covid-19 vaccinations to the general public. (New Jersey Law Journal)
  • The city of Minneapolis agreed to pay $27 million to the family of George Floyd, the Black man whose death in police custody last May set off nationwide protests. (NPR)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • California’s State Bar said it has been investigating embattled trial lawyer Tom Girardi since December and plans to file disciplinary charges alleging he misappropriated client funds and refused to obey a court order. (The Recorder)
  • Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr., who is overseeing a criminal investigation that poses one of the biggest legal threats to former President Donald Trump, won’t seek re-election. Prosecutors in Vance’s office asked former Trump personal lawyer Michael Cohen to return for what would be his eighth interview in their probe of Trump. (Bloomberg News via BLAW)
  • French lawyer Elodie Tuaillon-Hibon, who calls herself a “feministe,” is representing women in sexual assault cases against high-profile figures such as actor Gérard Depardieu and Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin. Tuaillon-Hibon cites as one of her heroes American lawyer Gloria Allred, who has represented women in cases involving Donald Trump, Bill Cosby and other celebrities. Profile. (WaPo)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Otterbourg P.C. named finance partner James M. Cretella to be chair of the firm’s alternative and specialty finance practice group, based in New York; Haynes and Boone added finance lawyer John O. Sutton Jr. as a partner working out of its Fort Worth and Dallas offices. He was previously a partner at K&L Gates and represents banks, commercial financiers, and investment funds in asset-based lending and structured finance transactions involving real estate, aircraft, hospitality, shipping and other industries. (

Legal Education

  • A Harvard Law professor, whose title is “Mitsubishi Professor of Japanese Legal Studies at Harvard Law School,” has caused outrage with his paper “Contracting for Sex in the Pacific War.” The paper contends that Korean women forced into sexual slavery to provide “comfort” to Japanese military in occupied territories before and during World War II were actually willing sex workers with labor contracts. ( (Above the Law)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at; Darren Bowman at