Sanford Heisler, LLP Adds Female Former Partner of Chadbourne & Parke LLP as Second Named Plaintiff and Class Representative in $155 Million Gender Discrimination Class Action

Posted October 27th, 2016.

Complaint Adds Six Individual Defendants

Abbe Lowell, Head of Chadbourne’s Litigation Department, Seen On Videotape

Amended Complaint Alleges Lowell Defaced Kerrie Campbell’s Office Wall With Mocking Cartoon Imagery And Tore Down Nelson Mandela Quotation

For more information contact: Jamie Moss, newsPRos, PR Counsel, Sanford Heisler, LLP; 201.493.1027

(New York City, Oct 27, 2016)—Less than two months after Chadbourne & Parke Partner Kerrie Campbell filed a $100 million gender discrimination class action suit on behalf of female partners at the firm, Jaroslawa Z. Johnson, a female former managing partner at Chadbourne’s Kiev office, joined the case as a second class representative in the Amended Complaint, filed today in the Southern District of New York.

Ms. Johnson alleges that the firm discriminated against female partners in pay and promotion and retaliated against Ms. Johnson when she complained about these practices.

The Amended Complaint adds six named individual defendants, including Abbe Lowell, Chadbourne’s Head of Litigation.  The Amended Complaint alleges that Mr. Lowell was videotaped removing and replacing material on Ms. Campbell’s office wall after Ms. Campbell sued Chadbourne. Mr. Lowell can be seen placing a card with a cartoon of a fat man in a bowler hat on Ms. Campbell’s office wall and stealing a postcard.  That postcard, the Amended Complaint alleges, contained a quote by icon for equality Nelson Mandela: “It will forever remain an accusation and a challenge to all men and women of conscience that it took as long as it has before all of us stood up to say: ‘enough is enough.”

In addition to Abbe Lowell, who is based in the firm’s D.C. office, the other individuals now named as defendants are all located in Chadbourne’s New York City office and are current or former members of the Firm’s Management Committee. Current members are Andrew Giaccia, the Firm’s Managing Partner; Lawrence Rosenberg, Howard Seife, and Paul Weber. Marc Alpert is a former member of the Firm’s Management Committee.

Jaroslawa Z. Johnson, the second named Plaintiff, is currently CEO of a regional private equity firm. From 2003 to 2013, Ms. Johnson was Managing Partner of Chadbourne’s Kiev office. Johnson produced more than $24 million in revenues for Chadbourne during her time at the firm. However, as was true for Kerrie Campbell, the male-centric leadership of Chadbourne & Parke did not recognize these accomplishments. Even though Ms. Johnson ranked ninth in revenue production, Chadbourne ranked her 67th in “points,” which meant that she earned much less than male partners who produced a fraction of her business. Additionally, Chadbourne awarded Ms. Johnson low merit bonuses or none at all.

Ms. Johnson did not accept this discriminatory treatment quietly. Each year she complained about the inequality in payment when compared to male partners. The Amended Complaint alleges that Chadbourne retaliated against Plaintiff Johnson by reducing her points. Furthermore, the firm’s leadership refused to take Ms. Johnson’s additional managerial duties into account in her point allocation.

“Gender discrimination seems to be Chadbourne’s modus operandi,” stated David Sanford, Chairman of Sanford Heisler and lead counsel for new Plaintiff Jaroslawa Z. Johnson and original Plaintiff Kerrie Campbell. “The pay differential and retaliation that Chadbourne imposed on Ms. Johnson confirms that Ms. Campbell’s case is no outlier, but rather reflective of a firm-wide atmosphere that encompasses a range of serious instances of gender discrimination against female partners at Chadbourne.”

Mr. Sanford also noted that, “any doubt about Chadbourne’s attitude toward its female lawyers is dispelled by the outrageous actions of Defendant Abbe Lowell, head of Chadbourne’s Litigation Department.” “These actions by Abbe Lowell,” said Sanford, “are a clear example of patent disrespect for and retaliation against women who demand equal treatment at Chadbourne.”

Both Plaintiffs request a trial by jury.

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