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Counting the Hours There’s a credit crisis brewing in the recent merger of Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae, and it has nothing to do with banks or mortgages. Though the firms have officially joined to become Dewey & LeBoeuf, the two sides are largely operating independently until the end of the fiscal year. That could cause a problem because, as it stands, associates on the Dewey side get credit for hours spent on client development, and associates on the LeBoeuf side do not. And in order to be eligible for bonus consideration, associates at both firms must bill 2,000 hours a year. LeBoeuf’s Washington managing partner, Ralph Ferrara, says that he expects his associates to be “client-oriented” and that spending time on business development is part of being a well-rounded attorney. Still, he says, “What I have never done is to say that a business development hour counts equally with a pro bono hour or a billed hour.” On the Dewey side, hours are broken down into two categories: billable and accountable. But Alan Wolff, the firm’s Washington managing partner, says both kinds of hours are essentially treated the same. Client development and pro bono work are categorized as “accountable” only for bookkeeping purposes. “Accountable hours count toward any bonus target,” says Wolff. Hours spent on client development have to be partner-approved for an associate to get credit, but Wolff says it is “relatively rare” that an associate gets turned down. Legal recruiter Dan Binstock of BCG Attorney Search says the contrast between the sides’ treatment of client development “highlights differing philosophies towards the manner in which these activities are viewed and rewarded.” He adds that, based on feedback he has received, “it still remains to be seen whether or not this difference foreshadows deeper philosophical differences.”
Fab Freddie At this point, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia Wilma Lewis has a r�sum� that resembles a tapas platter of the legal profession. She’s had a taste of the public sector, as the U.S. attorney for the District, and of the private sector, as a general litigation partner in the Washington office of Crowell & Moring. And now she is the managing associate general counsel of litigation at Freddie Mac. “I had never ventured into the corporate world before, and I found that to be something I was very interested in doing,” says Lewis, who started at Freddie Mac on Oct. 15 after spending the previous six years at Crowell. She replaced Hyacinth Kucik, who was promoted to vice president and deputy general counsel of litigation. Though she “enjoyed Crowell & Moring very much,” Lewis says, her career change is rooted in a problem she had with private practice in general: “I decided I would like to do more practicing of law and less business of law.” More to the point, Lewis said she was turned off by the amount of time she had to spend on client development and other aspects of business development. As she did at Crowell, Lewis will handle a variety of litigation at Freddie Mac, including employment, fraud, antitrust, and contractual matters. She will also have input in hiring outside counsel. Crowell’s chairman, Kent Gardiner, says Freddie Mac is not a client of the firm’s, in part because the agency that oversees it, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, is a client. Gardiner adds that he wishes Lewis “would have stayed forever” at Crowell, but that he understands “people of that star power are courted.”
Check, Please It’s common to regret having too many cocktails the morning after a big night out, but McDermott Will & Emery partner Margaret Warner is in a battle over booze she consumed nearly a year and a half ago. Last week, the New York Post reported that Warner had expensed a pricey bar tab to the WTC Captive Insurance Company — the insurance fund set up by Congress to cover claims against New York City stemming from 9/11. Warner, the partner-in-charge of McDermott’s Washington trial department and a member of the firm’s management committee, is outside corporate counsel to the insurance company. She is not litigation counsel. According to the Post, Warner billed the $1 billion fund for $1,390 worth of “drinks and dinner.” The tab was from June 2006. In an e-mail, a spokesman for the fund stated to Legal Times that it was “perfectly appropriate” for the WTC insurance company to reimburse its outside counsel for dinner meetings. “The expenses for the meal in question, where several people met to discuss important WTC Captive-related issues, clearly fall within that category,” the spokesman concluded. At the dinner, counsel for the fund were meeting to discuss an immunity motions hearing that had recently occurred. Still, it is not the insurance fund’s policy to reimburse counsel for alcoholic beverages, and the spokesperson indicated the fund will be reimbursed for that portion of the tab. McDermott’s Washington managing partner, Bobby Burchfield, says Warner is “well known in the community to have outstanding character and integrity.” He says one of her expenses, for $138, “appears to have been invoiced in error.” In addition to reimbursing the fund for that amount, Burchfield says the firm will “conduct a thorough review to ensure that no other errors have been made.”
Keeping Score is Legal Times ‘ weekly column devoted to legal business. Got a tip? Contact Senior Editor Douglas McCollam.

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