Akin Gump, John Dowd, Musical Chairs, Thomas Goldstein

Musical Chairs: The Akin Gump Defections

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer Feld LLP logo.jpg“My Gump, my Gump, my lovely Akin Gump. Check it out….
What’s going on at Akin Gump? That seems to be what many of you are wondering, based on some comments posted to a recent open thread featuring the firm:

“What is happening to Akin Gump DC? I saw that a bunch of lit partners just left.”

“I’ve heard the same thing…. Akin appears to be losing tons of partners and the DC office is rumored to be in turmoil. It does, however, have Tom Goldstein, which is sure to attract gunners who think they’ll be arguing cases in three years.”

“I read somewhere that the changes at Akin are part of some larger strategic plan. Anyone know anything about that?”

As a matter of fact, yes — Kim Eisler does. He writes, over at Washingtonian:

Over the past few months, 950-lawyer Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has lost about 45 lawyers, including two of its rainmakers, Michael Madigan and Richard Wyatt Jr. Tensions are said to be high, with partners in the New York office unhappy that the Washington lawyers are not producing their share of revenue. To increase productivity, Akin Gump pushed out 5 percent of its lawyers who, in management’s view, were not generating enough income. The firm also closed its office in Taipei, one of 12 it maintained outside of Washington, and insiders predict the money-losing Beijing office will be next to go. The China offices have been expensive failures in the eyes of New York partners, who are pressing Washington to stop the bleeding….

The firm still has several stars, including criminal-defense lawyers John Dowd and Michele Roberts, Supreme Court litigator Tom Goldstein, and lobbying-practice head Joel Jankowsky, and is counting on them to pull Akin Gump out of its tailspin.

These boldface names are familiar to the ATL readership. John Dowd is the defense lawyer of Monica Goodling (and the former boss of the Akin Gump Escort). Tom Goldstein, the celebrated SCOTUS litigator, was a judge on ATL Idol.
To read more about comings and goings at Akin Gump, check out Eisler’s complete piece, available over here.
Clock Is Ticking for Strauss’s Firm [Capital Comment / Washingtonian]
Earlier: Fall Recruiting Open Thread: Vault 31-40 (2009)

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