Biglaw, Federal Government, Lateral Moves, Musical Chairs, Partner Issues, Partner Profits

Musical Chairs: More Partner Defections Hit Dickstein Shapiro

This year to date has not brought much happy news for Dickstein Shapiro. In April, we covered associate and staff reductions at the firm. In May, the Am Law 200 rankings revealed a 20 percent drop in revenue at Dickstein. In June, the firm fell out of the Vault 100.

In 2013, Dickstein Shapiro experienced the most partner departures of any Am Law 200 firm. And this week brings word of additional partner defections.

Who are the lawyers in question, where are they going, and how big a deal is their departure?

One source of ours described this as a “heinous hit” for Dickstein Shapiro. Here’s a report from Politico:

Thirteen lawyers and lobbyists from Dickstein Shapiro — including three former members of Congress — are defecting to K Street rival Greenberg Traurig.

Dickstein public policy practice head Andrew Zausner is headed to Greenberg to chair that firm’s government law and policy practice, Greenberg announced on Wednesday. He’s bringing a dozen others from Dickstein with him — including former Sen. Tim Hutchinson and ex-Reps. Pete Hoekstra and Albert R. Wynn.

What led these 13 lawyers and lobbyists to make the jump? Andrew Zausner explained it this way:

The world has changed. Clients want the kind of broad yet unified and efficient presence that Greenberg Traurig can uniquely deliver. We were also drawn to the opportunity to build upon the fine platform here at a time when disciplined management, independent thinking, and real value are increasingly hard to find.

Is Zausner implying that his former firm of Dickstein Shapiro was not able to provide such a “broad yet unified and efficient presence”?

We reached out to Dickstein Shapiro for comment. Here’s what the firm had to say, through a spokesperson:

We wish our former colleagues the best. Dickstein Shapiro continues to serve clients through our market-leading Public Policy and Political Law practice, led by Dennis Hastert, the longest serving Republican Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Scott Thomas, one of the longest serving Commissioners and a four-time Chairman of the Federal Election Commission. They are joined by former U.S. Senator Joseph Tydings and former White House Deputy Counsel to the President, Henry Cashen. Biz Van Gelder will continue to lead our Congressional Investigations practice, and Fred Lowther brings his extensive experience in the energy sector as an advisor and former General Counsel and his experience as a former Director of the Office of Energy Programs at the White House, to the group as well. Coupled with the strongest State Attorneys General practice in the country, Dickstein Shapiro remains committed to providing the highest-caliber strategic advice and legislative counsel for our clients.

That does sound like a strong line-up. So calling the departures to GT a “heinous hit” might be a bit overdramatic.

That said, they aren’t good news for Dickstein either. As noted by the Legal Times, last year Dickstein took the #22 spot among the Washington lobbying groups ranked on the National Law Journal’s Influence 50 list, while Greenberg didn’t make the cut. For the 2014 rankings, look for Dickstein to fall and Greenberg to climb. Thirteen lawyers and lobbyists is a not-insignificant number.

Congratulations to Greenberg Traurig on its latest additions. If you have information you’d like to share with us about either Dickstein Shapiro or Greenberg Traurig, feel free to email us or text us (646-820-8477).

Greenberg Traurig Snags Government Law Team From Dickstein [Legal Times]
13 K Streeters cross the street [Politico]
Andrew Zausner Leads Dickstein Shapiro Public Policy & Law Team to Greenberg Traurig
[Greenberg Traurig (press release)]

Earlier: What’s Going On At Dickstein Shapiro?
The 2014 Am Law 200: Survival Of The Fittest
The Nation’s 100 Most Prestigious Law Firms

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