Musical Chairs

Musical Chairs: Another Partner Leaves Skadden

Skadden logo.JPGLost in yesterday’s Quinn kerfuffle was the fact that Skadden has officially deferred its class of 2010 associates to 2011. That move will help stem the influx of fresh talent into Skadden,
But what about the all of the talent leaving Skadden? Friday, we learned that David Fox and Daniel Wolf were leaving Skadden for Kirkland & Ellis. Today, the word is that restructuring partner D.J. (Jan) Baker is leaving Skadden for Latham & Watkins. AmLaw reports:

The lateral move comes on the heels of two lateral departures from Skadden’s M&A practice reported on Friday — partners David Fox and Daniel Wolf have joined Kirkland & Ellis.
But Skadden executive partner Eric Friedman sees no connection between Baker’s lateral move and that of Fox and Wolf. When asked whether the three departures allude to any larger issues at Skadden, Friedman simply responds, “none whatsoever.”

Anybody in the mood for some positive spin? Let’s take a look at some after the jump.

How should a firm respond when partners keep leaving? Try this on for size:

Friedman framed Baker’s move in the context of past departures from the firm’s restructuring practice. “We are a bit of an incubator of high-quality restructuring talent,” Friedman says. “We have had other restructuring partners leave over the years and go and do other things.” He adds, “This is very typical of the industry.” (As previously reported here, one of those restructuring moves happened in December, when practice co-head Timothy Pohl announced his departure to join Lazard.)
Friedman also says Baker’s departure will have minimal impact on Skadden’s restructuring practice, highlighting that the firm has more than 100 restructuring lawyers in New York, Los Angeles, London and Wilmington, Del. Recently, Skadden has handled restructuring matters involving Circuit City Stores Inc., Hartmarx Corp. and Delphi Corp. “The strength of our practice is something we are very proud of,” Friedman says.

As a commenter is fond of saying:

You guys are all idiots.

Meanwhile, getting a big time bankruptcy partner is good news for Latham & Watkins. Hopefully, remaining Latham associates will get a morale boost from this move.
Another Partner Loss for Skadden, This Time to Latham []
Earlier: Musical Shockwaves Chairs: Skadden Rainmakers Defect to Kirkland & Ellis
Skadden Summers: Welcome to the New Market Class of 2010 start dates pushed to 2011.

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