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Wake Up Call: Willkie Announces Spring Bonuses for Associates

March 22, 2021, 11:54 AM

In today’s column, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo hired a former federal prosecutor to help him deal with the growing number of sexual harassment complaints against him by women who’ve worked for him; DLA Piper’s global strategy and U.S. business helped it notch $3.13 billion in revenues in 2020 and an 8.8% gain in equity partner profits; U.K. elite firm Linklaters is offering voluntary buyouts to all its legal secretaries and business team personal assistants in London, as the firm plans to keep working at least partly remote post-Covid.

  • Leading off, Willkie Farr & Gallagher, which recently said it had three times more billion-dollar deals in 2020 than in 2019 with double-digit increases in revenue and profits for the year, said it’s handing out special spring bonuses to associates, ranging from $7,500 to $40,000 depending on year of seniority. The firm, which gave special fall Covid bonuses last year, is apparently the first firm to give spring bonuses this year. Associates will get the new money in two chunks, in spring and fall, this report says. (Above the Law)
  • DLA Piper posted global revenues of $3.13 billion in 2020, up 0.7% from 2019, as the pandemic reinforced its strategic position in the market, the firm’s global co-CEO Simon Levine said. The firm’s U.S. business helped increase its profits per equity partner by 8.8% to hit $2.12 million. During year, DLA Piper served as primary outside counsel to Pfizer advising on the release of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine and it advised T-Mobile in the company’s merger with Sprint. (American Lawyer)
  • Milbank’s restructuring and transactional practices help drive a 15.6% jump in its gross revenues last year to $1.235 billion, while profits per equity partner jumped 16% to $4.492 million. (American Lawyer)
  • U.K. elite firm Linklaters is offering voluntary severance packages to all its 225 legal secretaries and business team personal assistants in London. According to a report, the firm said the voluntary program is part of its effort to find “innovative ways” to adapt to its shift to working from home during the pandemic. (RollonFriday) Linklaters and Freshfields, another elite London-founded firm, recently said they’d decided to allow lawyers to continue to work from home for up to 50% of the time, post-pandemic. (RollonFriday) (TheLawyer.com)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • The U.K.’s main lawyers’ watchdog agency is investigating a record number of complaints of workplace sexual harassment and inappropriate sexual behavior. (Financial Times)
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo has hired criminal defense lawyer Rita Glavin, a former Seward & Kissel partner, to represent him as sexual harassment allegations pile up against him, the New York Post reported. Glavin was a federal prosecutor under the Bush and Obama administrations. In 2019, Glavin was named by a federal judge as special prosecutor in a case involving Steven Donziger, an environmental lawyer who helped win a $9.5 billion judgment against Chevron in Ecuador and was later accused of criminal contempt. (New York Post) (NYT)
  • Pennsylvania’s largest pension system, the $62 billion Pennsylvania Public School Employees’ Retirement System, hired Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and Womble Bond Dickinson to investigate an accounting error that may have cost taxpayers at least $25 million, according to reports. (PENN Live) (Philadelphia Inquirer)
  • Federal prosecutors can garnish over $700,000 from retirement accounts of a former Sullivan & Cromwell partner who failed to make restitution payments on close to $2.8 million he owes after his conviction on four misdemeanor tax charges, an appeals court ruled. (New York Law Journal)

Laterals, Moves, In-House

  • Mintz said trial lawyer John Dougherty, former global life sciences practice co chair chief at DLA Piper, joined the firm’s litigation practice as a member in Boston. He arrives most recently from Haug Partners, which he joined after 25 years at DLA Piper, where he was also patent litigation co-chair. At Haug, Dougherty was co-chair of the life sciences practice, an executive committee member, and Boston office founder and managing partner. (Mintz)
  • Foley & Lardner brought on intellectual property lawyer Dahna Pasternak as of counsel in its chemical, biotechnology & pharmaceutical practice group in its Silicon Valley office; K&L Gates added a former Morgan Lewis and Greenberg Traurig health-care lawyer, Matthew Miller, as a partner in its recently opened Nashville office. He arrives with an unspecified number of associates from Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis. (KLGates.com)

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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