The group — which Howrey characterized as “most of the construction practice” from Thelen — includes Thelen Chairman Stephen O’Neal, construction practice head John Heisse II, D.C. office managing partner Andrew Ness, San Francisco partner David Buoncristiani (who handles matters for client Bechtel), Los Angeles partner Robert Thum and D.C. partner David Dekker. Most of the 18 partners and about 25 associates and of counsel are in San Francisco and D.C., and the rest are in New York and Los Angeles.
Hmm… Thelen attorneys, Chairman Stephen O’Neal, Howrey — where have I heard that before?
Oh yeah! You’ll remember that the Recorder initially broke the story on O’Neal’s flirtations with Howrey.
Immediately after Thelen dissolved, we mentioned possible options for the firm:
Option 1 is the plan they have arguably been pursuing: breaking up the firm practice group by practice group to interested parties. As we reported yesterday, this is the best option to save associate jobs. However, that plan is dependent on Thelen’s banks signing-off on the plan and maintaining their line of credit. Did Stephen O’Neal’s aggressive and ultimately public pursuit of his own lifeboat at Howrey scuttle that option? Once everybody is told that the managing partner could be leaving in ten days, why would other potential suitors compete for full Thelen practice groups? Instead, it’s easier to wait for an official dissolution and cherry-pick the rainmakers. This is what happened to Heller.
I’ll pause until the Thelen people stop screaming and hitting things.
Read about other Thelen landing places, after the jump.
Reed Smith is another firm profiting from Thelen’s demise. Check out the pun-aided press release from the firm:
Reed Smith LLP, one of the 15 largest law firms in the world, experienced a power surge today, with the addition of a 14-member group from Thelen, headed by renewable energy law pioneer Ellen L. Bastier.
These attorneys also come from San Francisco. Kudos to the new hires.
But, to quote Bill Simmons paraphrasing The Wolf, let’s not start licking each others’ popsicles just yet.
So stay tuned.
Breakfast at Howrey’s Sealed Moves of Thelen Construction Lawyers [The Recorder via Law.com]
Reed Smith’s Renewable Energy Practice Ramps Up [Reed Smith]