Case by Coudert Retirees against Major Law Firms Dismissed
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)

On Thursday, U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon dismissed a lawsuit filed in Manhattan in 2007 by 24 retired Coudert partners. The retired partners of the now defunct Coudert law firm sued together as Retired Partners of Coudert Brothers Trust. The Coudert retirees alleged Baker & McKenzie, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and Dechert of having orchestrated the demise of Coudert. They also alleged that each of the law firms owed them about $48 million in retirement benefits.

The plaintiffs alleged that the big law firms had unlawfully lured away lawyers from an ailing Coudert and devised a plan so that no assets remained to pay the retirees. The retirees also alleged that the law firms interfered with the Coudert partnership agreement by enticing and hiring active lawyers while the firm was failing financially.

Coudert was an international law firm founded in 1853 and was based in New York. At one time, Coudert had close to 650 attorneys. It filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after voting to dissolve in 2005. The real trustee (not the retirees) for Coudert in the Chapter 11 case is known to have filed actions against several law firms that took away Coudert partners when the firm was failing.


The trustee claimed that the estate of Coudert is entitled to millions because the leaving partners took away Coudert business with them to their new firms. In 2010, Baker & McKenzie settled the claims of the trustee with an agreement to pay $6.7 million to the estate.

In the instant action filed separately by the retirees, the court held that “Any accrued payments left unpaid were properly the subject of a claim against the Coudert estate in bankruptcy.” The judge held that the Retired Partners of Coudert Brothers Trust lacked locus standi to sue the three firms.

The attorney of the plaintiffs, Thomas Decea, said that he planned to appeal and did not agree with the decision.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!



Full-time Family Law Attorney (s)

USA-PA-Camp Hill

Boutique family law firm in Central Pennsylvania is seeking 1 or more associate attorneys interested...

Apply now

Assistant Director, Investigations Division


The Investigations Division of the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) seeks a motivated and commi...

Apply now

Staff Attorney


Staff Attorney Join a member-driven leader in a fast-paced, challenging and collaborative environ...

Apply now

Lead Attorney

USA-VA-Virginia Beach

Multi-state legal recoveries Firm seeks Lead Attorney to join its Virginia Beach, VA office. This is...

Apply now




Search Now

International Trust and Estates Attorney

USA-NY-New York City

New York City office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks an international trust and e...

Apply Now

Real Estate Attorney

USA-NY-New York City

New York City office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks a Real Estate Attorney with ...

Apply Now

Litigation Associate Attorney

USA-CA-Los Angeles

Los Angeles office of a BCG Attorney Search Top Ranked Law Firm seeks a litigation associate attorne...

Apply Now


To Top