A legal recruiting firm can continue its pursuit of a roughly $490,000 fee for helping Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker hire a partner in London, a judge has ruled. Attorney Placements International LLC sued Paul Hastings in March after the firm refused to pay it a fee equal to 30 percent of the £1 million ($1.6 million) in base salary it was going to pay U.K. finance partner Conor Downey, who joined along with six other partners from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft in January 2009.

Paul Hastings moved to dismiss the complaint. It presented an e-mail showing that a partner in its Frankfurt office sent along a list of Cadwalader lawyers to consider that included Downey in December 2007, one year before Attorney Placements e-mailed the firm about hiring him. Paul Hastings also argued the recruiter did not comply with the protocol described in a November 2008 search firm agreement.