Law Practice Management
Faced with Mandatory Retirement, Two Mendes & Mount Partners Form Boutique with 22 Others
By Debra Cassens Weiss
May 18, 2010, 04:31 pm CDT
A mandatory retirement policy is being cited as one reason for the formation of a new boutique law firm with offices in New York and Los Angeles.
Twenty-four lawyers, including seven partners, are leaving Mendes & Mount, most of them from the firm’s aviation practice, the New York Law Journal reports. Their new firm, Fitzpatrick & Hunt, Tucker, Collier, Pagano, Aubert, will focus on representing aircraft product manufacturers in product liability suits, the story says.
Partner Ralph Pagano told the New York Law Journal that the mandatory retirement age was a factor for two partners who left. Mendes & Mount has a mandatory retirement age of 65, he said, and that forced one lawyer in the group to give up his partnership and become a contract partner. The same lawyer had to give up his position as head of a practice group three years ago at the age of 62 because of a “step down” policy that was also going to affect a second departing partner, Pagano said.
Anthony Spain, the chairman of Mendes & Mount, told the New York Law Journal in an e-mail that the firm “continues to have a strong and viable aviation practice group.”