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Sutherland's Atlanta attorneys get a raise

March means bonanza time for Sutherland Asbill's Atlanta attorneys. They raised salaries for their associates, everywhere. The Atlanta office towed the line at the end. This is the latest Atlanta firm to raise starting associate pay from $115,000 to $130,000. Sutherland has about 120 associates in Atlanta.

In January, the firm raised salaries to meet the new minimum of $115,000 for new recruits. However, the firm has "not yet finalized" whether the Atlanta pay raise will be by $15,000 across the board. Sutherland's managing partner Mark D. Wasserman is hopeful the pay raise will "float pretty much through all the classes."

Effective March 1, the firm in its New York office raised starting pay to $160,000 while in Washington it is $145,000, and in Houston office it remains at $135,000. The firm is raising starting pay firmwide for its patent attorneys, whose salaries often run up to $160,000. With this move, Sutherland joins few other big Atlanta firms such as Troutman Sanders, Alston & Bird, and King & Spalding that have raised starting pay to $130,000.

Jones Day and DLA Piper already increased starting pay for Atlanta associates to $135,000, and last week Hunton & Williams bumped its starting pay to $145,000. In what seems like a wait and see situation, Wasserman wants the firm to compensate its lawyers at the market rate, and not just join others blindly.

Epstein Becker attorneys cross over to Schiff Hardin
Chicago-based Schiff Hardin hired four attorneys for their employee benefits & executive compensation group and corporate & securities group in the Atlanta office. The four transactional lawyers come from Epstein Becker & Green. Of the four, Preston C. Delashmit and Robert E. Lesser joined as partners, while Randolph R. Smith Jr. and Danielle R. Doerhoff joined as associates.

Lesser focuses his practice on general corporate matters, specializing in the design and implementation of employee stock ownership plans. Delashmit concentrates on corporate, securities, and venture financing, especially in mergers and acquisitions, particularly, leveraged-ESOP transactions, and technology-based transactions. The two associates, Smith and Doerhoff focus on corporate and securities, mergers and acquisitions (with a focus on leveraged ESOP transactions), international business transactions, and financing matters.

Meanwhile, the firm has also made itself proud by making it to the list for Multicultural Law Magazine's "Top 100 Law Firms for Diversity."

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