A former London-based Chadbourne & Parke partner is demanding the return of $127,000 in capital, claiming Chadbourne should have repaid her the money within weeks of her departure for Andrews Kurth in late September.
The ex-partner, international arbitration lawyer Melanie Willems, sued Chadbourne in London Mercantile Court on Oct. 30. According to her claim, Willems borrowed $127,000 from Citibank in May 2010—weeks after joining the firm’s London office from Howrey—in order to meet Chadbourne’s capital contribution requirement. Chadbourne agreed to return the capital “as soon as reasonably practicable” following her termination, according to language from the firm’s partnership agreement that Willem quotes in her claim.
Now, Willems is demanding payment from the firm, saying “It would have been ‘reasonably practicable’” for Chadbourne to repay the capital on the day she officially left the partnership, Sept. 27, or “shortly thereafter.”
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