Mergers and Acquisitions, Musical Chairs

Musical Chairs: Greenberg Traurig Snags a Major Player from Cadwalader

Dennis Block

Big news out of New York today: Dennis Block, a leading mergers and acquisitions attorney, is on the move. Known for being extremely successful — but notoriously difficult to work with — Block is stepping away from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and bringing his huge book of business to Greenberg Traurig.

This Brooklyn Law School graduate proves that you don’t need to go to a T-14 school to have a great career. Block has served as counsel on several big time affairs, including Pfizer’s $68 billion Wyeth takeover, and JPMorgan’s Bear Stearns buyout.

Let’s learn more about Block’s past, and see what Cadwalader has to say about this partner’s defection….

Before we get to Cadwalader’s comments, we should let you know that this isn’t Block’s first time at the lateral rodeo. After spending three decades at Weil Gotshal and accumulating a book of business rumored to be worth more than $15 million, Block left the firm in 1998 to make a new home at Cadwalader.

Ouch, that had to sting, but it must sting even more for Cadwalader, because in 2008, Block’s book of business was said to have been valued between $40 and $70 million.

As mentioned above, Block always brings his “A” game to the table when counseling clients. This older gentleman might look like a pushover, but New York Magazine suggests he is anything but that:

He is soft-spoken until a call interrupts our early-morning chat. Then his tone becomes one of intense authority — impatience and control. “What the f*ck is that?” he hisses, hunched over the phone. “That is the stupidest f*cking thing I ever heard. Listen, goddammit, this is the way it’s going to happen . . .” It’s $500 an hour’s worth of legal lash, well spiced with profanity — and a Block signature.

So, what does Cadwalader have to say about Block’s plans, and does the firm have any information on his new position with Greenberg Traurig? The New York Time’s DealBook reports:

The specifics of Mr. Block’s deal with Greenberg Traurig are unclear. He will chair the firm’s global mergers and acquisitions practice and is to join the firm next week.

“Dennis Block is a very talented lawyer,” said Adam Segall, a spokesman for Cadwalader. “He has made many valuable contributions during his 13 years with Cadwalader. We appreciate these contributions and wish him well in his new endeavors.”

Click here to see Greenberg Traurig’s press release on the firm’s acquisition of Block’s talents. We hope that the firm is prepared for Block’s colorful style of negotiation.

Leading M.&A. Lawyer to Join Greenberg Traurig [DealBook / New York Times]
Cadwalader Senior Partner Block Jumps to Greenberg Traurig [Am Law Daily]

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