Partner pay watch: Sidley's Richard Weiner, Biden pick for bank director

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Signage is seen outside of the law firm Sidley Austin at their legal offices in Washington, D.C., U.S., May 10, 2021. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Lawyer nominated for U.S. director of European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
  • Past work included Exxon and Nippon Steel matters

(Reuters) - Richard Weiner, a longtime Sidley Austin partner, disclosed receiving $3.4 million in partnership income from the law firm since the start of 2021, according to a newly released ethics form he filed as part of his nomination to serve as U.S. director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

Weiner, a global investment and trade partner in the firm's Washington, D.C., and Brussels offices, provided legal services to clients including Exxon Mobil Corp, Russian energy pipe manufacturer TMK PAO and Japanese company Nippon Steel Corp, his form showed. His practice has regularly involved energy and environment clients.

Many U.S. nominees and top officials are required to submit financial disclosures, which can offer a window into compensation schemes at some of the nation's largest law firms. The forms record income received from the prior calendar year up to the form-submission date.

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Weiner's nomination is pending before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. He did not immediately respond to a message on Thursday seeking comment.

He previously served as national co-chair of Lawyers for Biden, during Joe Biden's campaign for the White House.

Biden nominated Weiner on Aug. 3 to serve on the London-based European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, established in 1991 and owned by more than 70 countries, the E.U. and the European Investment Bank. The reconstruction bank was set up to help eastern Europe's former communist countries to move toward market economies.

The bank said in May it was moving to raise more funds for reconstruction in Ukraine after Russia's invasion.

Profits per partner at Sidley rose last year to about $3.7 million, according to a report from legal industry publication The American Lawyer in January.

Weiner's form said he expected his 2022 partner share to be between $1 million and $5 million.

Chicago-based Sidley, with more than 2,100 lawyers, was among the large U.S. firms racing to match the rising pay scale for midlevel and senior associates.

The 2021 salary for directors at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development was about $194,000, according to the bank's most recent financial report.

A Trump-era U.S. director of the bank was business owner and manager J. Steven Dowd, who worked in trade and shipping. An Obama-era director was Scott Allen, a private investor and former investment banker who served as a managing director of credit and rates at J.P. Morgan Securities LTD.

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