Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy doesn’t lose too many partners to rival firms. But for Paul Wessel, the former head of Milbank’s compensation and benefits group, the opportunity to lead a similar practice at Weil, Gotshal & Manges—and rejoin several former colleagues from Dewey Ballantine in the process—was too good to pass up.
According to filings made in Dewey’s Chapter 11 case, Wessel has agreed to chip in $10,396 to a partner contribution plan that is expected to bring in some $70 million to help pay back creditors owed a staggering $600 million. The settlement deal, which will see roughly 444 former partners contribute between $5,000 and $3.37 million each as a means of protecting themselves from future Dewey-related liabilities, still needs to be approved as part of a final Chapter 11 plan.
Wessel, who currently serves as chairman of the executive compensation subcommittee for the ABA’s business law section, is happy to be reunited at Weil with Aiello and a handful of other former Dewey colleagues. But he also savors his time at Milbank, where his notable assignments included being part of a team that advised Catalyst Health Solutions last year on its $4.4 billion sale to pharmacy benefits manager SXC Health Solutions; professional services firm Towers Perrin on its 2009 merger of equals with Watson Wyatt Worldwide; and Sovereign Bancorp on its $2.9 billion sale to Spanish banking giant Banco Santander in 2008.
"It was a great place to work for the past six years," Wessel says.