Michael Michetti

During 2011, Paul Hastings has been picking up partners. We previously mentioned their acquiring two prominent leveraged finance lawyers, Michael Michetti and Rich Farley, from Cahill Gordon. Additional hires, including Michael Baker from Shearman & Sterling and Steven Park from Finnegan Henderson, are listed on the PH website.

Like any large firm, however, Paul Hastings loses partners too. We’ve just learned of two partners who are ankling PH for Nixon Peabody.

Let’s find out who they are, get the backstory on their departures, and also obtain the 411 on some PH staff layoffs….

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(Plus Paul Hastings staff layoffs.)

Back in March, we wrote about the mysterious departure from Cahill Gordon of leveraged finance partner Michael Michetti. Now, three months later, we can report that the Michael Michetti mystery has been solved: he is joining Paul Hastings, which just trumpeted his arrival in a press release.

Michetti is not the first former Cahill partner to join Paul Hastings in 2011. Just last month, Rich Farley, another leveraged finance partner, hopped over to Paul Hastings.

On the whole, Cahill has been flourishing as a firm — and sharing the bounty with its associates. Recall the firm’s recent mid-year bonuses, which were very well-received.

But do the departures of Messrs. Farley and Michetti reflect trouble in paradise? Let’s hear some of the scuttlebutt….

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Recent news about Cahill Gordon has been very positive. In December, the firm announced year-end bonuses that made Cravth’s widely-adopted year-end bonus scale look paltry by comparison. Cahill can afford to be generous: last month, Am Law reported that the firm enjoyed record profits and revenue in 2010, with profits per partner last year of $3.23 million.

(This has caused some to wonder whether Cahill will be paying spring bonuses, like Cravath and many other firms. In light of the spring bonus phenomenon, how does Cahill compensation compare to Cravath et al.? One Cahill source suggests Cahill is still ahead, but we’d love to see the numbers run by someone who knows the full Cahill scale. Feel free to send us an email, or comment on this post.)

The most recent news out of Cahill, though, is strange rather than glowing. Last week, a prominent partner was escorted out of the building by security and removed from the Cahill website. A firm-wide email then went out informing all staff that he was no longer a member of the partnership. (We haven’t seen this email, but feel free to send our way.)

So who’s the Cahill Gordon partner in question?

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