An occasional look at how legal professionals cope with the pain and fear during a crisis economy.
So many firms are only looking for partners with books of business these days that when one office chief notes he’s looking to expand by adding senior associates, we say: Tell us more!
Rod Sorensen, who chairs the San Francisco office of Payne & Fears, is on the prowl for big firm senior associates and junior partners with an “emerging” book of business. By emerging he means not big enough to be portable to another big firm, but viable enough that it could grow at his 50-lawyer firm. “I’m not looking for someone who wants to negotiate with me a certain base compensation,” he told Legal Pad. “I want someone who wants to talk about their cut of the work generated.”
Sorensen, an employment attorney, says he’s proof that it can be done. He says he made partner at DLA in 2006 and left that year to join Irvine-based Payne & Fears because he felt that high rates and conflicts at the big firm kept him back. Since his move, Sorensen says, he’s tripled the value of his book (though he wouldn’t share dollar amounts). “I’m trying to find people like me.”
Rates at Payne & Fears run in the upper $300s and lower $400s per hour. The San Francisco office lists five lawyers now. He’d like to add one or two lawyers with employment, real estate and commercial litigation experience soon.
— Petra Pasternak