Clifford Chance offered to pay an ex-associate $350,000 to settle a lawsuit in which she accused the firm of discriminating against her, firing her and then making it difficult for her to land work at other firms, according to confidential settlement records obtained by The Am Law Daily.
The plaintiff in the case, Caroline Memnon, originally sued both Clifford Chance and Sullivan & Worcester in early 2008, a year after Sullivan fired her and nearly six years after Clifford Chance asked her to resign, court records show. Memnon settled with the firms late last year, but she has moved to re-open the cases, according to court records. Memnon, who declined to comment when reached by phone Thursday, claims in court papers now under seal that her former lawyers at the firm Doman Davis coerced her into settling against her will during a hearing in late November 2009. In the sealed papers, Memnon says she suffered an anxiety attack at the hearing, resulting from the time constraint imposed by the judge moderating the hearing to reach a settlement and the pressure from her attorney to accept one; she says she agreed, under duress, to the $350,000 settlement without thinking it through.