* Antitrust lawyer A. Paul Victor, to Dewey Ballantine (litigation department), from Weil Gotshal.
Per the Antitrust Review: “Part of the reason for leaving Weil after 38 years is that he is about to reach Weil’s mandatory retirement age of 68.”
* Structured products and derivatives lawyer Joseph Suh, to Schulte Roth & Zabel, from McDermott, Will & Emery.
Government to Private Sector:
* Agostino Cangemi, former GC and deputy commissioner for New York City’s Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications, to Greenberg Traurig (governmental affairs).
A Random Walk Down the Blogosphere [Antitrust Review]
Dewey Ballantine Adds A. Paul Victor as Antitrust Partner [Dewey Ballantine (PDF)]
Firms Adding NY Partners [NYLawyer.com]
Hey, there’s a new firm on the block — or maybe it’s an old firm? Think of it as a movie remake, a Broadway revival, or the Simon and Garfunkel reunion concert.
Former federal judge John S. Martin (S.D.N.Y.; black-and-white pic), and prominent criminal defense lawyer (and ex-U.S. Attorney) Otto G. Obermaier (color pic) — who formed a white-collar criminal defense firm back in 1972 — are reuniting. Martin is leaving Debevoise & Plimpton, where he has been of counsel (and billing out at $1,000 an hour). Obermaier is leaving Weil, Gotshal & Manges, where he developed a thriving white-collar practice.
Their new firm, Martin & Obermaier, will rent space from the firm of another superstar lawyer: Robert G. Morvillo, the famed white-collar criminal specialist, who has had many high-profile clients over the years. Martin and Obermaier were once law partners with Morvillo, back in the 1970s.*
Obermaier and Martin aren’t exactly spring chickens: Obermaier is 70, and Martin is 71. They’re kind of like the Jack Lemmon and Walter Mathau of the criminal defense bar — just not dead.
But they obviously have a wealth of experience and connections. And they intend to focus their practice on private arbitration of commercial disputes, which can be super-lucrative for ex-judges and elder statesmen of the bar. At their former Biglaw homes, Obermaier and Martin’s ability to do this kind of work was limited by client conflicts; at their new firm, they will probably have more business than they can handle.
Good luck, gentlemen! Not that you’ll need it.
* Yes, Robert Morvillo represented Martha Stewart. And yes, Martha Stewart was convicted and shipped off to Camp Cupcake. But as the old saying goes, “You can’t make chicken salad out of chicken s**t.”
Martin & Obermaier Redux [WSJ Law Blog]
Two Old Buddies (and Leading NY Lawyers) Reunite To Launch Small Firm [NYLawyer.com]
- Arent Fox, Biglaw, Cravath, Crowell & Moring, Davis Polk, Dorsey & Whitney, FTC, Kirkland & Ellis, Musical Chairs, Paul Hastings, Weil Gotshal, Wilson Sonsini
The latest news on the most notable moves within the profession:
Government to Private Sector:
* Seth Silber, to Wilson Sonsini (as counsel), from the FTC. (Quips our tipster: “What a lovely week to join that particular firm!”)
New Office Openings:
* Crowell & Moring — aka “Cruel & Boring”*** — is opening a New York office. They’ve grabbed litigator William McSherry, from Arent Fox, and patent lawyer Janet McLeod, from Dorsey & Whitney, to kick things off.
* The exceedingly profitable, Houston-based Susman Godfrey is opening a New York office, headed by name partner Stephen Susman.
Lateral Private Sector Moves:
* Bankruptcy guru Paul Basta, to Kirkland & Ellis, from Weil Gotshal & Manges.***
* Patent litigators Joseph O’Malley and Bruce Wexler, to Paul Hastings (NY), from Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto.
*** “Cruel and Boring” is just a silly nickname for Crowell & Moring that we’ve heard around town. We have no idea as to whether it has any factual basis. We just think using nicknames for law firms is fun.
Other law firm nicknames we’ve heard: Weil Gotshal & Manges = “We’ll Getcha & Mangle Ya” (self-explanatory); Cravath Swaine & Moore = “The Death Star” (self-explanatory); Davis Polk & Wardwell = “The Teahouse on Lexington Avenue” (for their penchant for hiring
geishas attractive Asian-American females — don’t get mad at us, we didn’t make it up).
(Feel free to add more law firm nicknames in the comments to this post.)
On The Move [Antitrust Review]
Basta Says Hasta to Weil Gotshal [WSJ Law Blog]
DC Firm Opens NY Office [NYLawyer.com]
Houston Firm Opens Manhattan Office [NYLawyer.com]
Firm Adds NY Patent Litigators [NYLawyer.com]
* A juror in the Vioxx case that resulted in a $32 million verdict against Merck took interest-free loans from the plaintiff in the case. Hmm… [Associated Press]
* Another dispatch from ConflictsLand: McKesson wants Duane Morris disqualified from representing two Georgia residents against a McKesson sub. [Fulton County Daily Report]
* We were only joking when we said that a class action by Blackberry addicts was “only a matter of time.” It’s getting less funny by the minute. [WSJ Law Blog]
* Who knew that Weil Gotshal lawyers were so attractive? That was supposed to be the niche of Davis Polk (nicknamed “House of the Hotties” by our law school class). Hey, how big is Weil’s ERISA department? [New York Times]
- Biglaw, Cleary Gottlieb, Cravath, Davis Polk, Kirkland & Ellis, Latham & Watkins, Simpson Thacher, Skadden Arps, Sullivan & Cromwell, Vault rankings, Wachtell Lipton, Weil Gotshal
Each year, just in time for fall on-campus recruiting season, Vault releases its prestige rankings of the nation’s biggest law firms. Here’s a report on the results of the latest survey, from The Recorder:
In big law, prestige is important. And an annual survey from career-oriented Web site Vault attempts to gauge just how impressive it is to work at the country’s top firms by asking more than 15,000 associates to rank their prestige factor.
The top ten firms were: Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz; Cravath, Swaine & Moore; Sullivan & Cromwell; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom; Davis Polk & Wardwell, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett; Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton; Latham & Watkins; Weil, Gotshal & Manges; and Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Executive summary: New York firms rule the roost. Nothing new there.
But lawyers at Latham & Watkins, based out in La-la-land, were happy with their top 10 finish:
“It’s certainly important and it is impressive that Latham has the reputation it has,” said Kimberly Posin, a fourth-year associate in Latham’s Los Angeles office. “Clients look to and appreciate the prestige factor.”
It’s also a key factor for law students who are interviewing at various firms and scouring the rankings to help make decisions, she said.
Within the firm itself, it was fun to get the e-mail detailing the results.
“It’s something that’s nice to talk about,” Posin said, “[to] call our friends at competing firms and say ‘Look at this.’”
Calling your friends to brag about how your firm is more prestigious than their firm? Isn’t that a tad obnoxious, Kimberly?
Top 100 Law Firms [Vault]
Associate Survey Finds NY Firms Win Bragging Rights [The Recorder]