Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Conflicts Curtailing Counsel Career Changes?

From the Chicago Tribune comes an update: "Conflict of interest stops many Howrey partners from joining Winston & Strawn." Evidently, Winston could only bring on 15 of the 140 partners it hoped to. The article goes into specific detail, noting that both ethical conflicts (lawyers representing adverse parties in ongoing lawsuits) and business conflicts (lawyers representing marketplace competitors) threw several wrenches into their plans. In some instances, those conflicts only came to light after offers were made.

On a similar note, The Record opines: "Wilson's Departing Patent Litigators Chafing Over Conflicts?"
  • "James Otteson litigated patent cases at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati for 20 years before he got so fed up with conflict problems he left to start his own IP boutique. 'It became a huge problem for us,' said Otteson, who launched Agility IP Law last year. 'Conservatively in the last three or four years I was at Wilson, we lost about $30 million in business.'"
  • “And that loss of potential revenue, and potential compensation, explains in large part why so many Wilson patent litigators are leaving the firm, including six recently, former partners say."
Recall, it was this inability to take on lucrative clients that many point to as the genesis of partner defections from Howrey that accelerated the dissolution of the firm...

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