Cogs leave Big Firms every day without much fanfare. The automatic deposit of paychecks stops, their names are deleted from firm directories and their computers are reassigned to replacement Cogs. No biggie.

But when an equity partner leaves (and takes a few others along), the drama kicks into high gear. It is just not that simple to sever the ties that bind true “partners” to one another. When you mix in the really big bucks, you get a high-profile divorce no less scandalous than that of the former McCartneys.

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