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Disgorged profits: Partnership terms to manage the impact of Jewel v Boxer

Law firms should assess the short and long-term impact of entering into a Jewel waiver, say Randy Evans and Shari Klevens

23 August 2013

No case in recent history has impacted the portability of rainmakers at US law firms more than Jewel v Boxer.1 Since then, law firms and their partners have debated exactly how, and more importantly whether, to mitigate its impact.

This issue creates one of the few occasions in which the collective interests of a partnership differ from those of its individual partners. As a result, whether and how to respond to Jewel liabilities depends on each firm’s and partner’s goals and interests.

Jewel v Boxer

In Jewel, the law firm Jewel, Boxer and Elkind was dissolved by the mutual agreement of its four partners. The partners formed two new firms: Jewel and Leary; and Boxer and Elkind. Three associates employed by the old firm were employed by Boxer & Elkind.

At issue in Jewel was t...

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