As we’ve chronicled in these pages, the powerhouse firm of Weil Gotshal has been experiencing some upheaval. The big summer layoffs have been followed by a steady stream of partner departures, mainly from offices outside the power center of New York.
Many of the defections have taken place in Texas, but Weil’s Washington outpost has also been hard hit. Last month, that office lost three IP litigators to Greenberg Traurig. Said one of our sources, “IP was one of Weil D.C.’s most profitable practice groups. Expect downsizing or partner acquisition from another firm to compensate for loss.” And that wasn’t all. Earlier this month, BuckleySandler snagged Walter Zalenski, a prominent player in financial services regulatory law, from Weil.
Today brings news of another departure from Weil in Washington. Who is leaving now, and where is he going?
We’ve learned that Heath Tarbert, head of Weil’s Financial Reform Working Group and Financial Institutions Regulatory (FIR) Practice, is lateraling to Allen & Overy. Said a source, “Heath is beyond brilliant and has an incredible pedigree, but Weil simply didn’t support his efforts to develop FIR. His last day was last Friday.”
“Incredible pedigree” is no exaggeration. As you can see from his bio, which is still on the Weil website (and pasted on the next page in case it comes down), Tarbert has a plethora of degrees — including a B.S., a J.D., an S.J.D., and a D. Phil. — and impressive government experience. Before joining Weil, he worked at the White House Counsel’s office, the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, and the U.S. Senate Banking Committee. He clerked for Judge Douglas Ginsburg and Justice Clarence Thomas.
We understand that Heath Tarbert will be starting at Allen & Overy next month. The Washington office of A&O is growing — they moved into spacious new offices in September, with lots of room to expand — and Tarbert’s hiring is part of a planned expansion. He may be joined by other lawyers in the financial regulatory space, but not necessarily lawyers from Weil. Neither Weil nor Allen & Overy had comment for this story (but we wouldn’t be surprised to see a press release from A&O sometime next month).
Congratulations to Heath Tarbert on his move and to Allen & Overy on its new hire. Flip to the next page if you’d like to behold Tarbert’s résumé, which is as dazzling as a decked-out Christmas tree.