California firm O’Melveny & Myers has launched a temporary measure to buy-out partners over 50 years old. Legal Pad interviewed one of the over-50 set who took advantage of the offer, Masood Sohaili, who promptly jumped to another firm. “Everything lined up perfectly,” Sohaili told Legal Pad. “I was thrilled about the opportunity at Manatt, and I was thrilled that I was able to take the retirement - everything worked out great.”
According to Legal Pad “One knowledgeable but anonymous observer familiar with how L.A. law firms’ finances work speculated that the firm probably took a look its profitability curve and “maybe found out that the older guys aren’t sprinting, but trotting.”
Production is not the only reason to look at moving older partners out of a firm, or at least out of management. Older partners do not always have a long-term view for their practice or for the firm, which creates a conflict of strategy that can be deadly. There are some firms that do not allow any partners into management if they are over 55, because of this conflict.