Boies Schiller Flexner, a legal powerhouse with offices across the world, has seen about a hundred lawyers leave the firm in the past year. Several issues have contributed to the exodus and have been blamed on decisions made by the founders. The prominent American law firm, whose original partners have helmed cases for major corporations and politicians, are now facing a talent crunch as attorneys are leaving in hordes.
Founder David Boies is well known for his representation of the U.S. government in 2001 in the landmark antitrust case against software and hardware giant Microsoft and for helping to gain a victory that overturned California’s ban on gay marriage.
Founder Jonathan Schiller is renowned for representing corporations and sports teams and other huge entities across the nation. Some of his major clients include Goldman Sachs and the New York Yankees.
Although it was once a prestigious U.S. firm with lawyers vying to join in, Boies Schiller Flexner is now losing its sheen as lawyers are leaving the firm including talent at the second and third tier as they are dissatisfied with the decisions made by the founders. These decisions include the following:
- Boies has agreed to work with disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein as well as Elizabeth Holmes who is facing fraud charges.
- The use of racist language and the “n” word at a party by Josh Schiller that was thrown by another of the firm’s lawyers and no action was taken against him upset many lawyers.
- Nepotism as Aaron Schiller, boss of architecture company Schiller Projects, got special treatment and a contract to design the Hudson Yards headquarters in NYC. The open plan design made it difficult for attorneys to have confidential briefings with their clients.
A former Boies Schiller partner told CNBC that the prestigious firm kept naming new people as managing partners, but they kept leaving as it was just a name and there was no transition and David, and Jon were “deciding everything.”
CNBC also spoke to Matt Schwartz, a co-managing partner, who said that four new managing partners — Natasha, Sigrid, Alan, and he “run the day-to-day operations.” They do so “under the guidance and oversight of the executive committee” which consists of founders David Boies and Jonathan Schiller.