Fewer Associates Made Partner In 2009
Across the board major law firms are promoting fewer associates to partner. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom selected only 8 new partners in April, compared to 25 last year. Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton selected only four new partners in 2009, which is half of 2008's count. Latham & Watkins slashed promotions by 2% and Ropes and Gray had a third less promotions compared to 2008, with eight new partners.
According to consultants, these trends are indicative of the recession's impact on law firms. Profits are dropping as demand for legal services drops.
''The bar has been raised on what it means to become an equity partner and to stay an equity partner,'' said Dan DiPietro, advisory head of the Citi Private Bank law firm group.
Polten & Hodder Split After 'Scandalous' Judgment
Toronto firm Polten & Hodder has split in response to a recent judgment against partner Eric Polten. In his decision, Justice David Brown ruled that Polten attempted a ''naked cash grab'' against two former clients, both of whom were elderly women.
Brown also claimed that Polten had marked up a 'scandalous' million-dollar legal tab which amounted to more than the value of the estate.
''The decision speaks for itself. Justice Brown is a well-respected judge,'' said Hodder. ''I am hoping this is something that is not going to affect my practice adversely.''
Hodder also stated that he represented the business-law sect of the firm, and that his sect had no involvement in the aforementioned case.
Terrence M. Fay Joins Thompson Hine-Bolsters Firm's Environmental Practice
Terrence M. Fay has joined Thompson Hine LLP as a partner at the firm's Columbus office. Fay will be a member of the firm's environmental group. His primary focuses are on civil and criminal environmental litigation, public contract litigation and environmental counseling in real estate and corporate transactions.
Fay is a former assistant attorney general for Ohio and former chief civil attorney of the Environmental Enforcement Section of the Ohio Attorney General's office. He has nearly 30 years of experience in environmental and public law.
''I'm very pleased to join Thompson Hine,'' Fay said. ''The firm's focus on client service excellence is admirable and their environmental practice has an impressive reputation.''
A recent nationwide survey of corporate counsel found, for the third year in a row, that Thompson Hine LLP ranks as one of the country's best law firms in client service.