Law Firm Insider: 3/8/11

Get the latest news on what's happening in the Best Law Firms.


It was a busy week in the legal world, with many lawyers defecting from Howrey as the embattled firm's remaining partners consider the firm's future. In other news, several firms have made aggressive, multilawyer acquisitions.

Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw & Pittman took 15 members of Howrey's construction litigation team, including six partners. The lawyers will join the firm's Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington D.C., and New York offices. Former co-chair of Howrey's construction litigation team John Heisse will join Pillsbury's San Francisco office, while his fellow co-chair, Andrew Ness, will join Jones Day, as will eight other Howrey partners. In a related move, Jones Day has hired Richard Maggio from Pillsbury. 

More Howrey departures as the firm faces an uncertain future – Scott Hataway joins Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker's antitrust practice. In Chicago, Jill Berkeley and Seth Lamden move to Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg's insurance practice. One of Howrey's more important partners, Roger Klein, joined Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton's corporate practice group. In London, Shaun Goodman and Sarah Jordan join Kirkland & Ellis International's European antitrust and competition practice group. In Brussels, Morrison & Foerster added Tom McQuail to its antitrust and competition practice, and Ezra Levine to its financial services practice. Dewey & LeBoeuf has added antitrust expert Roxann Henry to its D.C. office. Prospective Howrey Bootcampassociates have been told the summer program has been canceled, according to Above the Law.

DLA Piper hired a new partner in Madrid this week – former criminal court magistrate Enrique Bacigalupo will join the firm's litigation department.

Three Kirkland & Ellis partners, Robert Buday, Nathaniel Marrs, and Gary Axelrod, have left to join Latham & Watkins' finance department in Chicago. All three are known for their expertise in real estate private equity.

Former California Supreme Court justice Carlos Moreno is returning to private practice with Irell & Manella, where he'll work litigation, appellate, ADR, class action defense, and internal investigations cases. Manella spent 25 years as a judge, the last 10 with California's Supreme Court.

In Belgium, Yves Tavernier has left DLA Piper for De Wolf & Partners. Tavernier becomes a partner in the firm's corporate finance and international contracts practice.

In other DLA Piper news, the firm announced that on May 1 it will officially integrate its Australian partner DLA Phillips Fox, which will become DLA Piper Australia.

Ashurst is opening a new office in Rome. Hires from Italian independent firm NCTM include Francesco De Gennaro, Demenico Gullo, while Carmine Bruno joins from Dewey & LeBoeuf's real estate practice.

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer elected 20 new partners from within the firm, the promotions are set to take effect May 1.

Bullivant Houser Bailey is closing its Sacramento office, with 12 of its lawyers joining Locke, Lord, Bissell & Liddell. Locke Lord also hired two partners from DLA Piper – Grace Poe and Samuel Stempel will join the firm's national real estate and finance practice in Chicago.

NPR is reporting that former senator and democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has hired Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom's Gregory Craig to represent him in a federal probe into his campaign finances. Craig was formerly White House Counsel under Obama before joining Skadden.

Drinker, Biddle & Reath has hired 11 lawyers from Reish & Reicher in Los Angeles. The new lawyers, which include Reish's former employee benefits and compensation practice, will officially join the firm March 16.

Finally, Mayer Brown has hired Keith Andruschak away from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. Andruschak will join the firm's banking and finance practice and insurance industry group in New York.

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Corrected on : An earlier version incorrectly implied that eight partners from Pillsbury had joined Jones Day. The eight came from Howrey.