Update: The firm confirms these names. We've been on the phone with one of the committee members and will have a story tonight on Cal Law, and in tomorrow's Recorder.
Well, we found out who the partners on Thelen’s three-member wind-down committee are. Probably. We haven’t heard back from the lawyers in question, or the firm’s spokesman — the firm has generally been politely tight-lipped about developments around the dissolution, which was announced on Wednesday.
But a reliable source tells us they’re David Graybeal, Douglas Davidson and Thomas Hill, and some further poking around leaves us pretty sure they're the team. None of the trio responded to e-mails yesterday, and we're waiting to hear back from the firm. (We'll update here as needed.)
So who are these guys? Follow the jump ...
Hill is the managing partner of operations at Thelen and heads the firm's labor and employment practice. He's Chairman Stephen O'Neal's right-hand man. The two of them make up the "office of the chair," which included Julian Millstein — of Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner — until he stepped down to head the technology and sourcing practice in early September. In a Cal Law story that looked at “remaining gems” in the partner-depleted firm, he was identified as a standout.
Davidson is the co-chairman of the corporate and securities practice and managing partner of the New York office.
Graybeal is a co-chairman of the firm’s business and finance practice. He ran for vice-chairman of Thelen in 2003 and again in 2005, when O'Neal was elected chairman. In 2003, Graybeal lost against Mark Weitzel, who took his lucrative practice and three other Thelen partners to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe this summer. In 2005, Michael Elkin won the vice chairmanship against Graybeal. Elkin left Thelen for Winston & Strawn in early 2007.
A number of current Thelen attorneys declined to comment on the committee members. One former attorney, speaking anonymously, found some irony in Hill being on the committee. “The guy responsible in large part for driving the firm generally, and the L.A. office specifically, into the ground is now overseeing the process for depriving staff of wages and vacation,” the attorney said.
In announcing the launch of its dissolution vote, Thelen said it had asked its banks to pay employees 60 days’ severance, but the banks would only grant half that. In the release announcing the dissolution vote, the firm said it “is seeking to pay its employees 60 days' salary under federal and state WARN Acts” and “all accrued vacation pay.”
— Niraj Chokshi