Lawyer Pay

Sonnenschein Faces $9 M Suit by Ex-Lawyer

A $9 million pay dispute between Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal and a former partner may soon be scheduled for trial.

Douglas Rosenthal contends Sonnenschein owes him the money for big successes in two cases, Legal Times reports in a story reprinted by New York Lawyer.

Rosenthal claims the law firm underpaid him even as it earned about $37 million in fees in the lawsuits. The first was against Libya for the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, and the second against Microsoft for alleged antitrust violations.

Rosenthal claims his compensation after winning the Libya case was only $389,663 in 2003 and $450,151 in 2004, while average profits per partner were $648,536 and $721,452 for those years.

Rosenthal filed his breach of contract suit in 2005 in Washington, D.C., superior court.

The law firm has countersued, claiming Rosenthal breached his contract by taking clients with him to his new firm, Constantine Cannon in Washington, D.C., despite stating his intention to retire.

Leslie Corwin of Greenberg Traurig told Legal Times that Rosenthal may have a difficult case.

“It’s all about how the partnership agreement reads,” Corwin said. “We as partners all work 24/7 with the understanding that our compensation will be set by others. It’s part of practicing in a major law firm.”

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