New York’s highest court has agreed to hear a case concerning law firms’ ability to withhold capital contributions and compensation from departing partners.

The Court of Appeals granted leave at its Oct. 24 session to W. Edward Bailey, the former managing partner of intellectual property boutique Fish & Neave, and Kevin J. Culligan, a former management committee member. They are suing their old firm for allegedly trying to penalize them for defecting to another firm ahead of Fish & Neave’s November 2004 merger with Boston’s Ropes & Gray.