.. It wasn’t the first time he had switched jobs following misconduct allegations. Morrison & Foerster hired him in 2003, soon after he paid a settlement to a female lawyer who accused him of sexual harassment at his longtime firm Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, a Stroock spokesman confirmed.
Law firms stand out in a corporate landscape where rainmakers accused of bad behavior often receive second and third chances, according to interviews with dozens of lawyers, legal recruiters, consultants and leaders at some of the country’s largest firms.
.. Firms’ sole assets are lawyers and their client relationships. As demand for work from the biggest law firms has softened since the financial crisis, poaching top partners has become one of few ways to boost revenue.
.. Many firms ask about prior complaints in new-hire questionnaires but do nothing to vet the answers, lawyers say. Firms rarely ask partners for references at their old firm, for fear of alerting competitors a star lawyer is in play.
.. “It can be particularly difficult to find out about misconduct in the legal industry,” said Christine Chung, a partner at New York-based law firm Selendy & Gay who has been involved with hiring lateral partners from big law firms for almost a decade. “If the person left the old firm for a bad reason, you may not figure it out.”
.. Women who worked with Mr. Tanenbaum in the past two decades at Stroock and Morrison & Foerster said in interviews he created an uncomfortable work environment by giving them impromptu shoulder massages, kissing them on the forehead and, according to some at Morrison & Foerster, asking them to “spin around” for him while commenting on their bodies and clothing
.. Mr. Tanenbaum’s spokesman said he denied giving massages and that he touched colleagues’ foreheads with his hand or forehead if they said they might have a fever. Mr. Tanenbaum asked female colleagues to turn around if he saw an “interesting detail on the side and back of a new dress” and complimented men and women on their appearance because clients expected them to be dressed appropriately, the spokesman said.