Biglaw, Cozen O'Connor, Dewey & LeBoeuf, Dorsey & Whitney, Lateral Moves, LeBoeuf Lamb, Musical Chairs, Partner Issues

Dewey Have A Way To Stop The Partner Hemorrhaging? Energy Lawyers Exit

Last week, we discussed the effort by Dewey & LeBoeuf to hold on to departing partners by enforcing its 60-day notice requirement. Partners that leave without complying with the requirement can miss out on profit distributions.

Alas, the response of many partners seems to be, “So what?” Yesterday brought word of about eight partners leaving Dewey. And since our story this morning about Dewey’s tax-time troubles, even more defections have been announced.

So who are the latest lawyers to leave, and where are they going?

It’s getting hard to track all the action, but we’ll do our best. Here’s our understanding of the latest news.

1. Hunton & Williams. As we noted in an update on this morning’s post:

Hunton & Williams just announced that it’s adding six Dewey lawyers to its global energy practice: Bud Ellis, Kevin C. Felz, Michael F. Fitzpatrick Jr., Steven C. Friend, Steve R. Loeshelle, and Peter K. O’Brien. All were partners at Dewey except for Felz, who was counsel. You can read the Hunton press release here.

Energy is a hot area (as reflected in all of the recent lateral movement). Bud Ellis previously served as co-head of Dewey’s utilities, power and pipelines industry group.

But Dewey appears undaunted. The firm issued a statement to the WSJ Law Blog:

As we have said in the past, although the new direction that the firm is taking was approved and is supported by the overwhelming majority of the firm’s partners — as might be expected at a firm with 300 partners — some didn’t like the change… Changes we have enacted have strengthened our firm across the board and it is showing up in our finances, professionals and new business we are winning. Current departures aside, Dewey & LeBoeuf retains one of the world’s leading energy practices spanning virtually every aspect of the sector across the globe. It has been an important component of the firm’s practice for decades and remains as such.

2. Pillsbury Winthrop. The Hunton six aren’t the only energy lawyers leaving Dewey. From Am Law Daily:

[I]n New York, Pillsbury has grabbed former Dewey partners Catherine Hood and J. Anthony Terrell, corporate and securities lawyers who often work for energy clients….

Pillsbury chair Jim Rishwain says the new hires fit his firm’s broader plan to “build a powerhouse energy firm across all fronts.” Pillsbury lawyers have worked with and tried to recruit Hood and Terrell for “quite some time,” Rishwain adds, noting that the rash of defections from Dewey in recent months was probably a factor in the pair’s decision to finally come aboard.

Rishwain kindly refrained from gloating at greater length about Dewey’s troubles. “I’m sympathetic to what’s happening, more than anything else,” he said to Sara Randazzo of Am Law.

Today’s departures come on the heels of yesterday’s report of three energy lawyers heading over to Cozen O’Connor: former Dewey partner Michael Klein and two former Dewey associates, Ahren S. Tyron and Joshua L. Belcher. Klein and Tyron will join Cozen as members of the firm.

3. Dorsey & Whitney. Litigator William Primps, who joined D&L predecessor firm LeBoeuf Lamb back in 1974, has moved over to Dorsey (the New York office).

Do you know of imminent Dewey departures that have not yet been announced? If so, please email us. Thanks.

More Dewey Drama As Energy, Corporate Partners Exit [WSJ Law Blog]
Dewey Losses Accelerate; Eight More New York Partners Head to the Exits [Am Law Daily]
Latest Dewey Losses Span the Globe, Push 2012 Departure Figure Above 60 [Am Law Daily]

Earlier: Dewey Know How To Do The Taxes?
Dewey Have Trouble Holding On To Partners? There’s an App for That
Musical Chairs: Energy Lawyers in Motion
Musical Chairs: Energy Lawyers Going From MWE to CWT

(hidden for your protection)

comments sponsored by

Show all comments