Law Firms Dealing With Mandatory Retirement Policies
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The recent discrimination suit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against Kelley Drye & Warren because of its mandatory retirement policy has brought the controversial mandate back into focus. The Washington Post touched on the subject in a report out Monday.

In the story, Greenberg Traurig partner Leslie Corwin called the provision “one of the biggest issues facing the legal profession and other professional service firms today.”

When the American Bar Association recommended law firms end mandatory retirement policies back in 2007, several firms heeded the advice, according to the report, including Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Pillsbury, and K & L Gates. Kelley Drye joined the ranks last week when it announced it had dropped its mandatory retirement policy in the face of the EEOC lawsuit.


According to the report, only 38 percent of firm leaders who have set retirement ages felt it should be enforced. The story goes on to note industry experts believe firms are liable “to pay the price when partners forgo retirement benefits to defect to competing firms and take their clients with them.”

The New York Law Journal lists several New York firms that still have mandatory retirement. They include Cravath, Swaine & Moore, which has a retirement age of 65; Weil Gotshal & Manges has 68 as its mandatory retirement age; Paul Weiss lists the age at 70; and at Willkie Farr, the age is 65.

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