Houston firm announces record-breaking bonuses
Houston commercial litigation boutique Gibbs & Burns is paying bonuses to its associates equal to their annual salaries. Though its salary structure does not match the current market highs, this is a unique compensation strategy. The bonus structure is based on the overall success of the firm and is not linked to billable hours. Senior associates have received bonuses equal to two times their annual salaries in the past 12 months. The firm's non-attorney staff also received bonuses matching several months' pay. In addition, the firm is planning to offer increases in salaries.

Butler Snow strengthens Memphis office
Adding four attorneys to its Memphis office, Butler, Snow, O'Mara, Stevens & Cannada is now the biggest firm in the city. With a progressive growth history, starting with one lawyer in 1998, the recent addition has augmented its strength to 39 attorneys in Memphis. Out of the four, three lawyers were earlier with Armstrong Allen, including Charles Crawford, Amy Pepke, and Jason Yarbro. The fourth, Effie Bean, is moving in from Thomason, Hendrix, Harvey, Johnson and Mitchell. The new entrants would add to the firm's expertise in commercial, healthcare, corporate, and real estate litigation.

Hefter is new partner at Orrick
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has recruited highly regarded commercial litigator Michael Hefter as a partner in its New York office. Formerly a partner with Dewey Ballantine, Hefter is a trial lawyer with wide-ranging experience in high-stakes litigation and has successfully represented clients in the energy, banking, and healthcare sectors.

Armstrong Allen finally merges with Adams and Reese
Armstrong Allen has finally merged with regional player Adams and Reese. The merger became effective May 1, 2006. Adams and Reese has opened an office in Memphis, with 15 attorneys formerly with Armstrong Allen, enhancing its national litigation and transactional practices. The merger is also predicted to give the firm's regional practice a boost, which is already booming due to a 2005 merger with Nashville's Stokes Bartholome.

Morgan Lewis expands its employment practice
Morgan, Lewis & Bockius continues to expand its Southern California presence with new recruitment in its Los Angeles office. Carla Feldman joins the firm as a partner in its Labor and Employment Law Practice Group. Having handled more than 100 jury trials, Feldman brings with her 20 years of litigation experience in various aspects of employment law, including sexual harassment, gender discrimination, race and national origin discrimination, reasonable accommodation, and breach of employment contract.

White & Case grows its restructuring practice
Sandeep Qusba, previously a partner at O'Melveny & Myers, has joined White & Case's insolvency practice as a partner in its New York office. Qusba specializes in out-of-court restructurings, bankruptcy, acquisition of distressed companies, and bank financings. He has also represented agent banks and creditors in some of the largest Chapter 11 proceedings in recent years.

Reed Smith taps Linklaters partner
Reed Smith has appointed Kevin Hall as a partner in its New York office. Previously, Hall worked with Magic Circle firm Linklaters as a partner and focused his practice on asset finance and banking matters. In his new role, Hall will join the firm's financial services group, working closely with the London and Paris offices.

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