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.