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Wake Up Call: Fox Rothschild Offers Buyouts to 300 Staff

June 18, 2021, 12:35 PM

In today’s column, a half dozen-plus more firms matched the Davis Polk scale for associate pay; this year Kirkland’s bankruptcy practice has lost around 20 lawyers as the economy improves; New York elite firms have lost hundreds of associates; a former Hogan Lovells global chair took a job in-house at the corporation managing the British monarch’s property assets.

  • Leading off, Philadelphia-based Fox Rothschild offered voluntary buyout packages to around 300 legal assistants in May as part of a reorganization of how secretarial roles are assigned to specific practice groups, taking effect June 21, a report says. Fox’s move comes as a year-plus of remote working has caused Big Law firms to revaluate their work arrangements. (Daily Business Review) Meanwhile, a report based on LinkedIn data says some 270 associates have left Big Law firms in New York this year. (Reuters)
  • Now that Cravath and other compensation leaders have matched Davis Polk’s scale for associate pay hikes, many more firms have followed suit. WilmerHale, Munger Tolles, Paul Hastings, U.K. elite firm Allen & Overy, Fish & Richardson, Debevoise & Plimpton, Morgan Lewis & Bockius; and new insurance recovery boutique Cohen Ziffer Frenchman & McKenna, are among the latest to match the standard, which runs from $202,500 to $365,000 per year, depending on year of seniority.

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Kirkland & Ellis’s roughly 200-lawyer bankruptcy practice has lost as many as 20 partners and associates as the improving economy causes a slowdown in bankruptcy filings, the Journal reports. Some junior partners left because they found out they weren’t going to get promoted. (WSJ)
  • A Miami federal bankruptcy court ruling among other things bars lawyers from financing Chapter 7 bankruptcy fees; Miami-Dade courthouses are fully reopening June 21. (Daily Business Review)
  • A former Orrick partner in Cote D’Ivoire and former RMA Capital general counsel in Casablanca are among four lawyers who co-founded a law firm in Africa, starting out with offices in four cities. (LinkedIn.com)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Former Hogan Lovells global chair Nicholas Cheffings has a new job in-house at the Crown Estate, the independent commercial business of assets owned by the British monarch. Cheffings joins as interim group head of legal and company secretary, while Crown Estate’s general counsel, Rob Booth, is headed for a new leadership job within the organization; American Century Investments named financial institution in-house veteran John Pak to replace general counsel Charles Etherington, who’s retiring at year’s end. Pak’s a former Willkie associate and most recently the GC at BNY Mellon Investment Management; MicroVision, Inc., a maker of interactive display technology, appointed former longtime Wilson Sonsini special counsel Drew Markham as general counsel. (MicroVision)
  • King & Spalding recruited former California federal prosecutor McGregor Scott as a partner in the firm’s special matters and government investigations team, based in San Francisco and Sacramento. He was previously a partner and practice vice chair at Orrick; Alston & Bird hired former federal cyber and national security prosecutor Kellen Dwyer as a partner in Washington and co-chair of its national security and digital crimes practice. Dwyer, while at DOJ in 2018, unintentionally leaked federal charges filed against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange; Sheppard Mullin got veteran Dechert white collar defense partner Michael Gilbert, a former federal prosecutor, as a partner in New York in its government contracts, investigations and international trade practice. (SheppardMullin.com)
  • DLA Piper’s affiliated firm in Brazil, Campos Mello Advogados, hired real estate attorney Maria Eduarda Bérgamo as a partner in Sao Paolo; Steptoe & Johnson LLP grabbed Sullivan & Cromwell litigator Liz Cassady in Washington as a partner; Clark Hill added two tax & estate planning attorneys in the firm’s San Antonio office: Richard Tye as of counsel and Matthew Lovell as senior attorney. (ClarkHill.com)

Technology

  • Big Four accounting firm EY is launching an entity management platform that can help global companies manage contract risks across their complex structures. (Artificial Lawyer) Wilson Sonsini-backed contract management startup Lexion raised $11 million. (Legaltech News)

Legal Education

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Darren Bowman at dbowman@bloomberglaw.com

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