Former Associate Sues Orrick Over Partnership Promise

A former senior associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has sued the firm for fraud and breach of contract, charging he was promised but then denied promotion to the partnership.

In a suit filed Friday in Manhattan Supreme Court, Patrick J. Hoeffner, a former associate in San Francisco-based Orrick's New York intellectual property practice, claims partners William Anthony, Robert Isackson and Robert Cote promised in 2002 to make him a partner because they feared he would leave the firm and take a client, Conductus, Inc., with him.

"Driven by greed to obtain the millions of dollars in revenue from the Conductus litigation, Defendants engaged in a scheme to keep Plaintiff and the Conductus litigation at Orrick," the suit charges. The scheme allegedly centered on a contract promising Hoeffner a review for partnership in 2004, with oral assurances that the review would be a "rubber stamp."

But instead of being promoted at Orrick, he was asked to leave the firm at the end of last year.

Hoeffner, a 1996 graduate of St. John's University School of Law, is now seeking more than $100 million in damages. Along with the firm, Anthony, Isackson and Cote are all named as individual defendants, as is John MacKerron, then head of Orrick's New York office.

Details here from the New York Law Journal via