Sidley Austin Brown & Wood, now fighting a suit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over the Chicago firm’s alleged age discrimination against partners, said it is seeking separate counsel for a former firm administrator who described a mandatory partner retirement policy in a 1999 letter to the Social Security Administration.

The EEOC had moved last week to disqualify Sidley’s defense counsel at Chicago’s Grippo & Elden from also representing the letter’s author, retired financial director William B. White. The agency claimed White’s letter “flatly contradicted” Sidley’s argument that it has never had a mandatory retirement policy and the firm’s lawyers therefore had a strong interest in showing that White made a false statement.

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