Partner Issues, Real Estate

Paul Hastings Partner Defections: And Then There Were Six

Haynes Boone logo.jpgThe number of Paul Hastings real estate partners fleeing for Haynes and Boone keeps growing. Initially, Paul Hastings admitted that three of its real estate partners were leaving. But then Haynes and Boone sources confirmed that they were poaching four PH RE partners — including Steven Koch, the administrative head of Paul Hastings’s real estate practice.
Today, HayBoo is out with an announcement that they’ve picked up six PH partners, all in the real estate group. From the Haynes and Boone press release:

In a major expansion of its East Coast real estate, finance and real estate restructuring practices, Haynes and Boone, LLP announces the addition of six partners who bring a wealth of experience, particularly representing top-tier New York financial institutions, real estate funds and private equity groups.

Sources report that the additional two partners had tried to keep their pending defection secret from the general Paul Hastings public. Maybe they didn’t want to become the subject of a bidding war between the firms?
The other two names and more details after the jump.

Paul Hastings logo.JPGHaynes and Boone confirms that the other new hires are Lawrence Mittman and Carolyn E.
. As with the four partners we previously reported on, Mittman and Sullivan worked in Paul Hastings’s New York office.
The Haynes and Boone press release tells us about the practice focus of their new hires:

All six partners are making the move to the Haynes and Boone Finance Practice from the Paul Hastings New York-based real estate finance and restructuring practices. Four of the six are focused on real estate finance. They are Kenneth J. Friedman, Robert J. Grados, Steven Koch and Walter F. Schleimer. The other two – Lawrence Mittman and Carolyn E. Sullivan – concentrate on real estate restructurings. The group’s collective experience will be invaluable to Haynes and Boone clients for real estate finance, and as restructurings, workouts and bankruptcies continue to create opportunities.

Partner defections on this scale makes one wonder about what is going at Paul Hastings. Haynes and Boone essentially swooped in and stole a practice group. Defecting partner Robert J. Grados gives us a little insight on what the winning pitch was from Haynes and Boone:

Members of the incoming Haynes and Boone group said they were attracted to the firm for many reasons. “We’re intrigued by the firm’s goals for expansion,” said Mr. Grados. “But we are equally compelled by the fact that Haynes and Boone isn’t driven solely by metrics or numbers. It is apparent to us that the firm’s unique culture is a true partnership of great people. We wanted to be part of a vibrant firm with a bright future, and we believe that we’ve found it.”

I trust you noticed the not at all subtle digs at Paul Hastings. Grados was looking for a firm that “isn’t driven solely by metrics or numbers,” and one that is “a vibrant firm with a bright future.” Possible translation: PH only cares about money and doesn’t have a bright future.
You wonder if the metrics and numbers line will be rehashed over and over at people who are thinking of lateraling to Paul Hastings?
Do any Paul Hastings partners want to tell Grados that he is wrong? Please feel free to do so in our comments.
Earlier: Paul Hastings: Three Partners Told to Pack Their Bags
Haynes and Boone Picks Up Paul Hastings Real Estate Partners

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