By Casey Sullivan
NEW YORK, Oct 3 (Reuters) - Joseph Bachelder, a prominent
lawyer known for representing executives in lucrative employment
matters, has joined the New Jersey law firm McCarter & English
as special counsel in its New York office, the firm announced on
Among other Wall Street executives, Bachelder represented
Stan O'Neal, the former CEO and chairman of Merrill Lynch & Co,
in collecting on a $161.5 million golden parachute when O'Neal
was forced to resign from the bank in 2007. In 2002, Bachelder
also represented telecommunications analyst Jack Grubman in
negotiating his $32 million severance package when he resigned
Bachelder's move to the nearly 400-lawyer McCarter &
English has shuttered his 10-lawyer New York executive
compensation and employment boutique, the Bachelder Law Firm,
which he had founded in the early 1980s.
The deal further expands McCarter & English's executive
compensation practice, which it began beefing up in 2009 when it
recruited a large group of lawyers from the now defunct
financial services litigation law firm Pollack & Kaminsky. The
New Jersey-based firm is known for a range of practices
including litigation, insurance, labor and employment and
In case Bachelder, who is 79, chooses to retire, the move to
McCarter & English would also serve to transfer some of
Bachelder's clients to the New Jersey firm. But Bachelder on
Wednesday said he had no intention of retiring anytime soon and
that despite his title of special counsel, he would work
full-time, five days a week.
Daniel Pollack, a trial lawyer and managing partner of
McCarter & English's New York office who recruited Bachelder,
did not disclose the financials of the deal but noted there had
been no agreement between McCarter & English and Bachelder about
the length of his tenure at the firm. He said he had
aggressively recruited Bachelder since joining McCarter &
English, and that he had worked together with him on a variety
"We hope he stays for the next 25 years," said Pollack. "If
lawyers half Joe's age had half his energy, they would be very
Jerome Cohen, who was an of counsel at the Bachelder Law
Firm, is also joining McCarter & English, with the title of
special counsel, specializing in tax issues in compensation
programs. A spokesman at McCarter & English declined to provide
an age for Cohen, who began to work at the firm, along with
Bachelder, on Oct. 1.
The eight other lawyers employed at the Bachelder firm have
either relocated or found work at other law firms.
One of Bachelder's highest-ticket recruits came in 2009,
when the firm hired former Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz
corporate lawyer Michael Katzke, who specialized in executive
pay and severance packages. Katzke had left Wachtell Lipton in
2007 for a career in social work, but two years later returned
to the law at the Bachelder firm.
As of Wednesday, Katzke had left the Bachelder firm and
started his own solo practice in New York, continuing to advise
clients in employment matters, according to Bachelder and a
source with knowledge of the matter.
Katzke declined to comment.
McCarter & English, a 160-year-old law firm, grossed $211
million in 2011, rank 132 in the U.S. law firms listed in The
American Lawyer. The firm's profits per partner at that time
were pegged at $590,000.
Follow us on Twitter @ReutersLegal | Like us on Facebook