Dewey Provides a Home for Another BigLaw Partner Nearing Retirement
Sullivan & Cromwell partner James Carter was facing the prospect of being forced out of his law firm when he reached its mandatory retirement age of 67, but he wasn’t ready to give up law practice.
Carter, an international arbitration and dispute resolution expert, jumped to Dewey & LeBoeuf, one of the few large law firms without a mandatory retirement policy, the American Lawyer reports in a story reprinted by the New York Lawyer. “I like to think my experience and expertise provides an advantage to Dewey,” Carter told the publication.
The two firms that merged to create Dewey had more restrictive policies requiring partners who did not want to retire at age 65 to get an exemption from the management committee. Still, the predecessor firms had made news by hiring a couple of high-profile lawyers facing mandatory retirement at other law firms, the story says.
Dewey & LeBoeuf dropped mandatory retirement altogether—and it has benefited the law firm, according to Jeffrey Kessler, an executive committee member who leads Dewey’s global litigation department. “Experience and expertise is a precious commodity, and we believe clients appreciate this as well,” he told the American Lawyer. “While working past 65 is not suitable for all partners, there are individuals, like Jim Carter, who continue to perform at the highest possible level well past this age.”