Law Firm Abolishes Retirement Age of 70

November 13, 2007 ( - Partners in the law firm Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis have thrown out the firm's mandatory retirement age of 70.

A Legal Times news report said the firm felt the move was in keeping with the latest employment practices regarding older lawyers.

“Our management group for a while has believed that such provisions are a vestige of times past, that they are not rationally grounded,” Peter Kalis, the chairman and global managing partner of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart, told the Legal Times. “And that they are outside the mainstream of enlightened thinking about older lawyers and older workers generally.”

Last month, law firm Sidley Austin agreed to a $27.5 million payout to settle a lawsuit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission after the firm in 1999 forced out 32 partners – most of whom were over the age of 40 (See Sidley Austin Decides to Settle ADEA Suit ).

Kalis says the Sidley Austin settlement did not lead to his firm’s policy shift and the partnership has been considering the move since the beginning of the year.