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Chicago-based Lord, Bissell & Brook has asked four of its 15 Atlanta associates to leave the firm. All had nonpartnership arrangements that the firm says didn’t work well. Deborah A. Ausburn, Kendall T. Jones, David J. Myers and Susan D. Hargus got the news on April 11, says Chicago partner Lyle W. Sparks, chairman of the firm’s legal personnel committee. Michael J. Athans, managing partner of the firm’s Atlanta office, says the associates’ unique working arrangements proved to be unsuccessful for the firm. “We tried some different arrangements last year,” he says. Those arrangements “didn’t work out,” he adds. For example, when the firm hires a contract lawyer for a specific project, Athans says, it’s difficult to integrate the associate into another area once the project ends. Jones, a part-timer paid $100,000 a year, says the firm is trying to jettison part-time lawyers because of financial pressures. Jones, who has been with the firm since January 2000, had a billable requirement of 30 hours per week. The Atlanta office of Lord, Bissell & Brook represents underwriters Lloyd’s of London and Chubb Insurance Co. The insurance work doesn’t pay as well as litigation or corporate work, and that limits the firm’s ability to make a part-time position such as hers profitable, Jones says. Ausburn had been a full-time contract associate at Lord Bissell for almost two years. “I was hired as a contract attorney to work for a specific project and the project is gone,” she says. Myers, who has practiced law for 15 years, says the layoffs were due to profitability. The firm explained to him that “off-track arrangements as a whole were not working,” he says. Hargus did not return a telephone call inquiring about her departure. Sparks says the firm asked the associates to leave immediately after the firm’s annual performance reviews were completed last Wednesday. W. Kevin Snyder, who left Lord Bissell in September for Parker, Hudson, Rainer & Dobbs, says he had heard about the departures. Snyder estimates that he was the 12th or 13th associate to leave within a year. Lord Bissell’s Atlanta office, Snyder explains, lacks diversification in its practice groups. The firm primarily provides “high-quality insurance work,” he says. Associates who tire of insurance work or desire a more varied practice area frequently seek jobs elsewhere, Snyder says. Athans acknowledges that Lord Bissell’s Atlanta office has experienced some associate attrition. He attributes part of it to increased salaries for first-years. He adds that the firm increased first-year associate salaries to $100,000 last year. Lord Bissell will replace the associates, Sparks says. “I wouldn’t say we’re going to hire the same kind of attorneys,” he adds. “We have the workload to support full-time [associates].” There are more than 270 attorneys in the firm’s offices, says Sparks. Lord Bissell has other offices in Los Angeles, New York, Rockford, Ill., and London. K&S HIRES SEVEN FOR N.Y. TRADEMARK GROUP By raiding yet another New York law firm, King & Spalding has added a trademark group to its office there. Two partners, one counsel and four associates joined the firm last week. All were formerly with the New York intellectual property boutique Nims, Howes, Collison, Hansen & Lackert. Partners Clark W. Lackert and Keith E. Sharkin will lead the trademark group. Former Nims partner Thomas H. Curtin joins King & Spalding as counsel. The four associates are Edwin J. Lubin, Seana H. Smith, Larry H. Tronco and David M. Viscomi. In February, King & Spalding’s New York office gained three lease finance partners from the New York office of Watson, Farley & Williams. K&S’ New York location added four former Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft litigation partners to its ranks. James H. Wildman, managing partner of King & Spalding’s New York office, says the firm’s business plan is to expand the New York office by adding groups of lateral attorneys. “The groups we’ve been bringing in have all been part of a strategic effort,” Wildman says. He adds that the New York outfit wants to broaden its IP practice. The Nims lawyers brought clients United Parcel Service of America Inc., Dell Computer Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing Co. (“3M”) and H.J. Heinz Co. with them to King & Spalding, says Wildman. There are 35 or 40 intellectual property attorneys in the firm’s four offices, says Bruce W. Baber, team leader for King & Spalding’s intellectual property practice. Of those lawyers, he adds, 25 are trademark practitioners. King & Spalding’s New York office now has about 105 lawyers, Wildman says. Overall, the firm has more than 625 lawyers in New York, Washington, Houston and Atlanta. The Nims firm now has about 12 attorneys. POLLEYS RETIRES AS ATTORNEY FOR COLUMBUS-MUSCOGEE COUNTIES After nearly 20 years as the city and county attorney for Columbus and Muscogee County, Ga., Eugene H. “Hardy” Polleys Jr. is retiring. “I just added all the numbers up and decided it was a good a time as any,” Polleys, 62, says. He’s referring to the length of time he’s practiced law in Columbus. On Jan. 1, 1982, he started as Columbus city attorney and Muscogee County attorney. Before that, he was assistant city attorney for Columbus for 10 years. Prior to his tenure with the city law department, Polleys was an assistant district attorney for Muscogee County for more than two years. The City of Columbus and Muscogee County governments are consolidated, Polleys says. “They get two for the price of one,” he jokes. “But they don’t pay me for it.” According to the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer, the governments became consolidated in 1972. City and county government leaders have not yet chosen a replacement for Polleys, he says. Briefly … The fourth annual Legal Runaround is scheduled for April 28 in Piedmont Park. The event includes a competitive 5K race, a 1-mile fun run/walk and a Tot Trot. The money raised for the Legal Runaround goes to the Atlanta Bar Foundation’s Police Scholarship Fund. The fund provides college scholarships to children of Atlanta police officers killed or critically injured in the line of duty. For more information, call (404) 832-6210. The 2001 “And Justice for All” State Bar of Georgia Campaign for the Georgia Legal Services Program (GLSP) kicked off on Monday with a goal to raise $325,000. Campaign contributions go to the GLSP to provide free civil legal assistance to low-income Georgians. Contributions can be sent to: State Bar of Georgia Campaign for GLSP, P.O. Box 78855, Atlanta, GA 30357-2855. For more information, call (404) 206-5175.

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