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Wake Up Call: Willkie Said to Pay $75K Lateral Referral Bonuses

Feb. 3, 2022, 1:43 PM

In today’s column, Perkins Coies’ revenues and profits per equity partner expanded 15% last year; some Washington law firms are expecting a boom in government contracts work; Polsinelli moved its three-year old Miami office into bigger premises.

  • Leading off, in the latest salvo in the legal talent war, Willkie Farr & Gallagher is paying $75,000 referral bonuses to associates who help the firm recruit experienced corporate laterals. In Houston, Willkie is also offering up to $200,000 in signing bonuses to certain qualified mid-level lateral associate candidates, this report says. (Business Insider)
  • Perkins Coie said intellectual property and tech work fueled 15.3% growth in its revenues in 2021 to reach $1.15 billion. Its profits per equity partner rose 15.8% compared with 2020 to reach $1.66 million, early data show. (American Lawyer)
  • Washington law firms are expecting better results in 2022 than they posted last year. (Reuters) Some D.C. firms are expecting a surge of government contracts-related work stemming from the $1 trillion federal infrastructure bill. (National Law Journal)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • Kansas City, Mo.-based Polsinelli said its new 23,617 sq. ft. office in downtown Miami has 21 attorneys but can accommodate up to 60. (Daily Business Review)
  • Diversity is improving in the U.K. legal profession but too slowly, says a report. (Times of London)
  • Aaron Mostofsky, the 35-year-old son of a Brooklyn Supreme Court justice, technically faces up to combined seven years in prison after pleading guilty to civil disorder and other offenses during the Jan. 6 Capitol riots. (New York Law Journal)

Laterals, Moves, In-house

  • Steptoe & Johnson LLP snagged trial lawyer Elyse Echtman as a partner in its commercial litigation group in New York. She joins after close to 24 years at Orrick, lately as leader of its complex litigation and dispute resolution practice; Steptoe also added corporate and M&A attorney Jim Modlin as a partner in New York. He was deputy general counsel at EY and earlier a partner at Hughes Hubbard & Reed; Locke Lord grabbed a four-litigator group in Los Angeles, including two partners arriving from Glaser Weil: Amin Al-Sarraf, who becomes head of the firm’s entertainment industry group, and Rory Miller, head of private equity litigation for California. Partner Eric Herzog arrives from Norton Rose Fulbright. (
  • Big London firm Mishcon de Reya said Spanish lawyer Juan Costa Climent, a former finance and trade minister and EY Global partner for climate change and sustainability, joined the firm as sustainability policy director; the head of Hogan Lovells Paris banking and finance litigation practice, Julien Martinet, left with a team of six associates and trainees to launch his own boutique in the city, Swift Litigation. (Global Legal Post)
  • Orrick hired two energy and technology partners for its energy transition team. Buy-side renewables expert Teresa Hill arrives in Seattle from K&L Gates, and M&A and project development specialist Julia Balas arrives from Morrison & Foerster; MoFo hired corporate partners Michael Glaser and Mike LaPlante from Perkins Coie in San Francisco for its emerging companies and venture capital practice; Nixon Peabody appointed real estate financing and development partner Sonia Nayak as its Los Angeles office managing partner; Dykema appointed corporate attorney Nick Monaghan as managing member of its San Antonio office; Eversheds Sutherland brought in Fried Frank transactional tax attorney Xenia Garofalo as a partner in its federal tax practice in Washington. (
  • Florida-based Meland Budwick, PA brought in former New Jersey federal prosecutor Barry Kamar as a trial partner. He arrives recently from Westfleet Advisors in New York and was at Paul Weiss earlier in his career; Haynes and Boone said former Snell & Wilmer chief operating officer David Boden joined as its new COO in Dallas; Palo Alto, California-based Hercules Capital’s new general counsel and chief compliance officer is former Bain Capital Credit associate GC Kiersten Zaza Botelho. She was earlier in-house at BlackRock and an associate at Skadden Arps. (Corporate Counsel)

Legal Education

  • Elite law schools dominate a recent top 10 ranking of schools producing environmental lawyers, but some smaller schools, including Lewis & Clark Law School and University of Texas School of Law, also make the list. (OnlineU)

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer in New York at; Darren Bowman at