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Faced with Mandatory Retirement, Two Mendes & Mount Partners Form Boutique with 22 Others

Posted May 18, 2010 11:31 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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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.”

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