When attorney Eugene D'Ablemont turned 70, the New York law firm where he had worked for four decades stripped him of his financial stake under a policy designed to encourage older partners to retire....
In January the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission sued Kelley Drye & Warren on Mr. D'Ablemont's behalf, accusing the law firm of violating age-discrimination laws. Three years ago, the EEOC settled a similar suit against Sidley Austin, which agreed to pay $27.5 million to 32 ex-partners, many of whom the agency claims were demoted because of their age.Because those cases ended in settlement, the issue of whether old rich partners are protected by age discrimination laws remains unresolved.
Even Indian Lawyers don't quit.
And are these geezers being selfish? Actually, I had no idea how much their salaries decreased after forced retirement:
Mr. D'Ablemont currently practices at the firm as a "life partner," receiving a pension and an annual bonus that has ranged from $25,000 to $75,000. He says the bonus amounts to between one-seventh and 1/20 of what he estimates he would have earned if he were still an equity partner.Boo hoo. I'm crying for your, grandpa. But, I shouldn't be mean. According to his estimates, he's out somewhere between $175K and $1.875 mill. From my general knowledge, I know that PPP can be somewhere between $900K and $3 mill. But when I went on-line to verify, I found out that the information is hidden behind a password. Feel free to access it and let me know if I'm wrong. So, in light of what I believe to be true, old partners are being screwed out of lots of money. So, to the extent that's true, I feel for him.
There's arguments for keeping the geezers flush with green. Often times, they are the rainmakers in the firm and their name on the letterhead can generate business because of their long and prestigious careers. On the other hand, they are not as productive as the kids:
Kelley Drye denies that allegation, adding, among other things, that Mr. D'Ablemont's billable hours in the past five years were on average one-seventh to 1/10 of what he billed earlier in his career.Well, it's hard to keep up with 50 years of technology. I still don't tweet or twit. Whatever.
So, there are law firms that see the writing on the wall, and are amending their retirement policies, like Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and K&L Gates.
Other law firms haven't, so upon reaching the mandatory retirement age, these lawyers are seeking jobs elsewhere. They aren't taking going away. That is apparent.
So, as always, I must address what impact this has on the legal industry and BIDER readers. This is more evidence that the legal industry is not growing. Visit any local courthouse and you'll see the lawyers coming in on walkers and canes... okay, I'm exaggerating. But I really meant it when I said that I had a boss that worked until he died of a heart attack on a bus. He had Alzheimer's and would ask me the same question 50 times in a day. "Did you schedule that EBT in the XYZ matter?" "Hey, Angel! Did you schedule that EBT yet?" "Angel, I was just thinking. We need to schedule that EBT in XYZ." Lawyers don't retire. They die.
So, where do you fit in? I'm not sure, but I know that the legal industry can't absorb us all.
This isn't really about old lawyers, but it's funny as hell.