Earlier this month, we wrote about the departure of over a dozen partners from White & Case to Latham & Watkins (which is once again in expansion mode). These defections took place mainly in London and the Middle East, outside our usual geographic focus; but they were sizable and dramatic, and therefore worth covering.
Am Law Daily described Latham’s poaching of White & Case lawyers as “among the more spectacular lateral raids of recent years.” As reporter Richard Lloyd breathlessly wrote, the moves “raise serious questions about White & Case’s London finance practice, its position in the Middle East market, and its relationships with such important clients as Deutsche Bank and Saudi Aramco, Saudi Arabia’s national oil company.” In other words: the ship be sinking?
Well, not so fast. White & Case is
rearranging the deck chairs taking decisive steps to beef up the offices that lost all that talent.
To help rebuild the London finance practice, New York-based global head of finance Eric Berg plans to spend half his time on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean for the foreseeable future, while Jake Mincemoyer, another finance specialist who was made partner at the start of the year, has moved from New York to the U.K. capital. The goal of the redeployment: fill the hole that opened when four White & Case finance partners–including local banking practice co-head Chris Kandel–in London jumped to Latham….
Elsewhere, Doug Peel has moved from Singapore to Abu Dhabi to head up the White & Case office there while energy partner Saul Daniel will temporarily relocate to Abu Dhabi from London. In Saudi Arabia Neal Grenley, executive partner of the firm’s New York office, is looking for a new local partner and New York partner Wendell Maddrey, head of the firm’s oil and gas practice, is currently in Dhahran, the home base of longstanding White & Case client Saudi Aramco.
Will these moves allow White & Case to preserve its market position, or are they “too little, too late”? Stay tuned.
Meanwhile, here on this side of the pond, White & Case just lost another partner, antitrust and competition lawyer Elaine Johnston, to Allen & Overy. Biglaw partners come and go, to be sure; but lately, it seems that more are going than coming at White & Case.
So what’s going on over at White & Case? If you have info you’d like to share, please email us (subject line: “White & Case”).
White & Case redeploys partners in wake of Latham departures [Legal Week]
Reeling From Latham Raid, White & Case Redeploys Key Partners [Am Law Daily]
White & Case loses another partner as A&O swoops in New York [The Lawyer]
Earlier: Musical Chairs: White & Case Loses Lawyers to Latham in London