New York Office Most Affected by White & Case Layoffs

New York took the biggest hit in the round of associate layoffs disclosed Tuesday by White & Case. Firm spokesman Nicholas Clarke declined to provide an office-by-office breakdown of the 70 lawyers and 90 staff who were let go, but said that New York, White & Case’s largest office, had seen the most cuts. The firm’s London office and U.S. locations including Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Palo Alto, Calif., were also affected. “We are living in a time of unique economic challenges, and well-managed, successful businesses, including White & Case, must assess their operations in light of current market realities,” Chairman Hugh Verrier said in a statement. “We believe this is a necessary step to adjust to the global economic downturn and to ensure a strong, long-term future for the firm.” The layoffs represent about 3 percent of the headcount at White & Case, one of the world’s largest law firms with around 2,000 lawyers in nearly 40 offices around the world. Mr. Clarke said the layoffs were spread among practices, with no particular group targeted for cuts. White & Case does boast a significant banking practice, which would have been hit hard by the ongoing credit crunch. The tough economic times have already produced significant layoffs at a range of firms including Clifford Chance, McKee Nelson and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. - Anthony Lin

Character Committee Interviews Set for Monday

The Committee on Character and Fitness for the Appellate Division, First Department, is scheduled to interview candidates on Monday. See Court Notes on page 12 for a list of appearances.

Judge Sentences Ex-Lawyer to 16-Month Maximum

Larry Bronson, the former criminal defense attorney who pleaded guilty in January to helping a client illegally structure money transactions to avoid reporting requirements, was sentenced yesterday to 16 months in prison, the maximum recommended under federal guidelines. Mr. Bronson, originally charged with assisting “La Cosa Nostra in its criminal activities” and obstructing justice on its behalf, appeared in the courtroom of Eastern District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis with an unlikely advocate, former Eastern District U.S. Attorney Alan Vinegrad. Now a partner at Covington & Burling, Mr. Vinegrad argued for a downward departure. One factor suggested by Mr. Vinegrad – Mr. Bronson’s propensity for “financial generosity” – not only failed to sway the judge, but instead provoked his ire. “How can you stand in front of me, counselor, and tell me about all the good things he’s done when he hasn’t met the most fundamental obligation of this country?” Judge Garaufis said, referring to Mr. Bronson’s unpaid tax debt of over $200,000. “I really take issue that you can be Robin Hood with someone else’s money.” – Mark Fass

Fordham Law Nears Goal With New Gifts

At the midpoint in its $100 million fund-raising drive, Dean William Treanor of the Fordham University School of Law announced yesterday the largest single alumni gifts in its history: $5 million each from T.J. Maloney (class of 1979), president of the private equity investment firm Lincolnshire Management, and Thomas A. Moore (1972), a senior partner at Kramer, Dillof, Livingston & Moore. Mr. Treanor said the new gifts, which bring the total collected so far to $74 million, “represent a profound commitment to Fordham Law School and demonstrate the importance of philanthropy during a time of financial uncertainty.” Fordham Law’s fund-raising drive, among the largest in U.S. legal education, will support new centers and a new building. The fund-raising drive began with the school’s centennial in 2005 and ends in 2013. The next event is set for tomorrow evening, with dinner at the New York Public Library. - Thomas Adcock

Personal Notes on Lawyers

Christopher “Kip” Hall has joined DLA Piper as a partner in the litigation group. He was head of the civil securities litigation initiative at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.

Mira London Martinez has joined Fish & Richardson as counsel. She was a law clerk to Eastern District Judge David G. Trager.

Maureen O. Helmer, former chair of the New York State Public Service Commission, has joined Hiscock & Barclay as a partner and co-chair of the regulatory practice.

Ieuan Jolly has joined Loeb & Loeb as senior counsel in the advanced media and technology department. He was an associate at Thelen.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has elected six New York attorneys to the partnership: David Aman, bankruptcy; Adam Fleisher, corporate; Joon H. Kim, litigation; Glenn P. McGrory, corporate; Christopher Moore, litigation; and Sean A. O’Neal, corporate. Also, private equity attorney Elizabeth Lenas has been promoted to counsel.

Proskauer Rose has elected two New York attorneys to the partnership: Steven D. Hurd, labor law, and Jennifer R. Scullion, litigation. Also, Reid E. Arstark, a corporate attorney, has been promoted to senior counsel.

Pace Law School has named Vikki Rogers, a lawyer with experience in international commercial arbitration and international sales law, as director of its Institute of International Commercial Law.

Marc L. Hamroff, managing partner of Moritt Hock Hamroff & Horowitz in Garden City, has been elected to serve on the board of directors of the Long Island Region of the American Heart Association.