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The proposed merger between San Francisco’s Pillsbury Madison & Sutro and New York’s Winthrop Stimson, which is scheduled to be completed by January 1, 2001, is bound to cause many changes for the two firms. The combined firm, which is to be known as Pillsbury Winthrop, will have over 850 lawyers and 15 offices. While change is inevitable, how will the merger affect attorneys’ lifestyles? Associates don’t seem worried. A Pillsbury associate reports that attorneys at the firm are “uniformly enthusiastic,” mirroring the reactions of associates at Winthrop. “[Attorneys at Winthrop] are excited about having more offices on different coasts and are especially excited about Pillsbury’s high tech practice,” states a Winthrop associate. “The merger gives us an opportunity to be more of an up-and-coming firm, more prepared for the future.” CULTURE CLASH? Both firms claim to be in sync with each other culturally. But will Pillsbury, which weighs in at 596 attorneys, dominate the 265-attorney Winthrop? John Pritchard, chairman of Winthrop and soon to be vice chairman of the new firm, doesn’t think so. “The two firms are pursuing a merger holding to a ‘one firm’ philosophy. It will be a merger of equals that are different and complimentary.” Pillsbury managing partner Marina Park is likewise not worried that Pillsbury’s culture will overwhelm Winthrop’s. “They are New York lawyers,” she remarks. “I’m sure they’ll speak up for themselves.” DAY TO DAY CHANGES Attorneys at Winthrop and Pillsbury do not foresee the merger bringing vast changes to their daily lives or practices. “In my practice we will keep on doing the same work,” notes Laura Watts, a senior tax attorney at Pillsbury. “The merger is really a huge relief, because we’ve been so busy lately and can definitely could use the help.” Pillsbury’s three-attorney satellite office in New York will join Winthrop’s office, and Park suggests that the Washington, DC offices of the two firms may be combined in the future. But the merger will not affect the personnel at most offices. Pritchard believes that there will be many noticeable changes for associates at his firm. “Winthrop attorneys will have more geographical support as well as support in practice areas, such as IT, that we haven’t had before,” says Pritchard. “We will be able to cultivate a much better high tech clientele than we could before.” SALARY/PARTNERSHIP Associates interviewed are not generally worried about the new firms’ treatment of salary and partnership issues. Salaries are slightly higher at Pillsbury, with third-year associates at the California firm raking in a base of $150,000 — $15,000 more than their New York counterparts. Park reveals that while the adjustments would not be immediate, “as soon as we reasonably can, we hope to bring salaries in line with each other.” Another difference between the two firms is their partnership promotion procedures. Pillsbury has a two-tiered partnership, one tier of which receives only a partial equity stake, while Winthrop only promotes its attorneys to equity holding positions. Despite earlier speculation, Pritchard states that all current Winthrop partners will become equity partners in the new firm. RECRUITING: SEPARATE AND TOGETHER The merger comes just over a month before most law schools reconvene for the school year, the prime recruiting season for law firms. According to Pritchard, both firms will recruit separately through the fall but will inform students of the planned merger. Park emphasizes the importance of making sure “law students understand our vision for the combined firm.” VIRTUAL HEADQUARTERS Following a new trend among large law firms, Pillsbury Winthrop “really won’t have a specific headquarters,” says Park. “[Chairman] Mary Cranston will be in our San Francisco office, [vice-chairman] John Pritchard will be in New York, and I’ll be in the Palo Alto office.” Despite the lack of a headquarters, continues Park, “most of the [firm's] operations will be driven out of the New York and San Francisco offices.” Watts, not fazed by the idea of a firm without headquarters, says, “In this age of technology, I think we can handle a virtual headquarters.”

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