The firm had concerns from the start. In July 2003, Donald Gross was angling for a job in Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld’s Korea shop. His interviewer, then-partner Michael Kaye, sensed that he was more interested in building the practice than maintaining it.

“He struck me as being somewhat naive about what law firms are all about. … For instance, I’m not sure he has an appreciation for the intensity of a big U.S. law firm,” Kaye wrote in a memo after the interview, according to court documents filed earlier this month in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

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