Partner Settles Bias Suit Against Her Law Firm, Proskauer


A law partner who sued her firm, Proskauer Rose, for $50 million over allegations of gender discrimination and unequal pay has settled the case.

Attorneys for Connie Bertram, who headed the labor practice in Washington, and the firm submitted a joint stipulation of dismissal on Aug. 10, according to court records. Details weren’t disclosed.

Bertram sued last year alleging she was underpaid in relation to her male colleagues and that she was excluded from projects after complaining about it.

She also alleged the firm’s hostile treatment caused her to take medical leave to deal with psychological and physical symptoms of emotional distress.

Bertram’s attorney, David Sanford, declined to comment.

A Proskauer spokesperson said the “matter has been resolved,” but offered no additional comment.

Proskauer previously denied all of Bertram’s allegations, calling them “meritless.”

Bertram’s suit is part of a wave of suits brought in recent years against Big Law firms by female attorneys alleging gender bias. Unlike previous lawsuits that have alleged harassment or denial of partnership promotion, many of the recent suits have centered around pay equity.

Also, it’s somewhat startling that Bertram, the head of Proskauer’s labor and employment law practice, alleged that she herself was the subject of discrimination. It’s also unusual that she’s remained at the firm since filing the lawsuit in May 2017.

Sanford chairs the plaintiffs firm Sanford Heisler Sharp, and has led the charge on several gender discrimination suits against Big Law firms, including pending cases against Morrison & Foerster and Jones Day.

—With assistance from Gayle Cinquegrani

To contact the reporter responsible for this story: Stephanie Russell-Kraft at srussellkraft@gmail.com

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom P. Taylor at ttaylor@bloomberglaw.com