Age discrimination: claim settles
Kelley Drye – which has 303 lawyers and 131 partners – has also pledged not to reduce partner remuneration based on age and will now implement training sessions to avoid age discrimination.
The firm’s previous retirement policy required equity partners to release their interests when they reached 70; at that stage they would become ‘life partners’ and receive annual payments. Some partners, like Mr D’Ablemont, continued to practise and were therefore entitled to receive a bonus.
The commission took exception to this policy, maintaining that older lawyers were paid less than their younger colleagues, even if they continued to work.
Cost of settlement
In a statement to the Am Law Daily, managing partner James Kirk said: ‘The firm has not discriminated or done anything wrong, and the amounts of the monetary settlement payments that cover more than a decade from 2001 through 2011 are consistent with our belief.’ He added: ‘Our decision to settle the case was dictated by the fact that the cost of continuing the case would have far exceeded the cost of settlement.’