Law Practice Management

Finley Kumble's Questionable Legacy: Lateral Hires and Whopping Pay Spreads

Some of the worst practices by Finley, Kumble, Wagner, Underberg, Manley, Myerson & Casey died along with the firm 25 years ago.

But other questionable strategies have become more common, the American Lawyer reports.

One practice apparently no longer in use: Finley Kumble recorded its accounts receivable as cash by selling it to a dummy corporation, funded with loans from the law firm.

Other Finley Kumble practices that are now more widespread:

• Finley Kumble was aggressive in luring rainmakers with better offers, a practice frowned upon at the time. “As we know,” the American Lawyer says, “wooing talent is now an industry norm. “

• Finley Kumble paid its rainmakers significantly more than its lowest-paid partners; the spread was as high as 10 to 1. The American Lawyer looked at pay spreads at 70 large law firms last year and found the average was 10.6 to 1.

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