BIG STEPS - Cravath and Wachtell—two very rich firms. This year’s Am Law 100 report shows that a boom in M&A helped push profits per equity partner at Wachtell to $6.53 million, while Cravath enjoyed PEP of $4.62 million. Both firms, which are relatively small, also are standouts because of their lockstep compensation model. But, as Christine Simmons reports, growing competition from global firms and other Wall Street elites such as Sullivan & Cromwell raise the question: Will lockstep remain the right step?

DOWNTIME - A group of nearly 250 financial institutions, facing attempts by the trustee of the Bernie Madoff fund to claw back allegedly ill-gotten gains, can take a breath for now. As Colby Hamilton reports, the Second Circuit has granted a stay while they see if the U.S. Supreme Court will take up two questions—one on the reach of federal bankruptcy law and the other on conflicts relating to international law. The writ of certiorari is due in July.

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