Wednesday, March 9, 2011

And now, Houston Defections

Hank Petri and Janelle Waack to Novak Druce + Quigg.  They don't want to go to Winston & Strawn, either.

This makes a lot of sense, particularly on Waack's part.  Waack does a lot of patent interference work, which Novak is very well known and respected for.

Anyone else headed out the door in Houston?


  1. It should be interesting to see what happens if the Houston office doesn't go to Winston. The offers to the other partners in the other offices are pretty dependent on Houston joining . You would think thay with firms like Latham and Cadwalder in Houston paying big $$ to laterals, that even if the Houston goes to Winston, it won't be long until another firm comes in and makes them a more substantial offer.

  2. copying & pasting a comment from may 2010 on Above the Law. Winston has been rife with reducing compensation, stealth lay-offs, etc. Be glad you didn't just aboard Winston's sinking ship:

    "It wasn't only associates who got the shaft at Winston. Income partner are also getting bent over by Winston's executive committee and their changes in compensation goals after the fact (not to mention those that were let go). Here are the facts. Two years ago (2008), Winston gave lowest tier income partners a base bonus of around $40,000 for 1850 hours of billable time.

    Last year (2009), Winston after-the-fact instituted a 1950 billable hour (which comes out to about $1M in billings for the firm) minimum or $750k in origination credit with a base bonus of $25,000. There were income partners who missed 1950 by less than ten hours and were not awarded a bonus.

    This year, after assuring the ranks of income partners that the bonus pool and criteria for bonus would remain the same (this came from the head of the compensation committee after a report stated that Winston was cutting income partner compensation by almost 15% from the previous year). Instead of abiding by its statements, Winston instituted, again after-the-fact, a 2000 billable hour minimum for a base bonus of $15,000.

    This, as well as the severe cuts to associate compensation, was undertaken in order to raise capital partner profits as high as possible.

    So, even though partnership is almost impossible to attain at Winston now, you actually end up worse off as an income partner, as your total compensation is only slightly higher than a senior associate, but you are required to pay all your own benefits, self-employment taxes, and a mandatory retirement contribution that is more than 10% of your total compensation."

  3. another comment from ATL

    "As an 8th year associate I made $280,000. As a first year income partner, I made $300,000. The $20,000 doesn't cover my benefits and tax increases. On top of that, we are required to contribute $32,000 to a mandatory retirement account. So, you end up with less disposable dollars as an income partner than a senior associate.

    What was represented was that a decent bonus would make up for that hit in salary. We now know that was a lie."

  4. and another:

    "as a recent evacuee from W&S, I can personally attest that 90% of the equity ps there ego-maniac pricks. the layoffs/salary cuts/changing of the rules after the game has begun is "business necessity" simply to keep said ego-maniacs' PPP at or above prior year's PPP. to all that remain: abandon ship as soon as you can!!!! save yourself before you are sacrificed on the alter of someone else's ego-driven bottom line!!!"

    sounds like Howrey and Winston have a lot in common. Both dying firms run by vain and greedy managment. Run for the hills!!!!!

  5. Houston office has conflicts with Winston. Looks like they are going elsewhere.