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BCG News - 2/2/04

2/2/04

Fish & Richardson lures San Diego biotech practice group away from Heller, Ehrman

Over 20 attorneys, technical specialists, scientific advisors, and other staff members of San Francisco-based Heller, Ehrman, White & McAuliffe defected to Boston-based Fish & Richardson last week. All of the former Heller, Ehrman legal professionals will be joining Fish & Richardson's San Diego office, led by Dr. Stephanie Seidman, co-founder of the rapidly-expanding San Diego office of Heller, Ehrman. The acquisition further enhances Fish & Richardson's prominence in the biotechnology field, as they now have almost 100 biotech professionals nationally and more than 60 attorneys in San Diego. Heller, Ehrman now has approximately 60 attorneys in San Diego, as well. Firm Press Release, 1/28/04

BCG News - 2/2/04

Morgan Lewis's securities brokerage team in Miami defects
The Miami office of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius took a hit last week as its nine-attorney securities brokerage team left the firm to start a new office in Fort Lauderdale for New Jersey-based Bressler Amery & Ross. Two partners - Keith Olin and Bennett Falk - and one of counsel attorney lead the group that also includes six associates and eleven support staffers. Olin will serve as the new office's managing partner, and expressed an interest in hiring more attorneys to join the South Florida practice. New York Lawyer, 1/28/04

Labor & employment firm Fisher & Phillips merges with South Carolina firm
Fisher & Phillips, a labor and employment firm exclusively dedicated to representing employers, recently gained two offices in the Carolinas and fourteen attorneys through a merger with Ellzey & Brooks. Ellzey & Brooks, also a labor & employment firm focused on representing management, was based in Columbia, SC, with offices in Charlotte, NC and Atlanta, GA, all of which will join Fisher. The merger gives Fisher & Phillips a presence in 12 different cities, with 145 attorneys, as well as a boost in their expansion efforts, which are likely to continue. Firm Press Release, 2/2/04

Piper Rudnick hires seven real estate attorneys away from Pillsbury Winthrop
The Los Angeles office of Piper Rudnick more than doubled the size of its real estate department with the announcement that seven attorneys will be joining the firm within 20 days. Five partners and two associates, all from the Los Angeles office of Pillsbury Winthrop, will bring a roster of impressive national real estate clients to a firm that is seeking to expand both its Los Angeles office and its national real estate capabilities, given the recent boom in real estate law. Firm Press Release, 1/27/03

New York labor & employment firm closes doors after 75 years
Benetar Bernstein Schair & Stein announced that it will shut down its operations at the end of this month after 75 years of serving New York's business community in labor and employment law matters. The move has allowed the firm's attorneys to join the practices of two larger firms by opening New York area satellite offices. Three partners and one associate from the dissolving firm will open the New York satellite of Ford & Harrison, one of the five largest labor and employment firm in the country with over 130 attorneys. The other firm benefiting from the close will be Syracuse's Bond, Schoeneck & King, which will be adding two partners and one associate from Benetar Bernstein, as well as ten attorneys moving laterally from Rains & Pogrebin. Bond, Schoeneck's new additions will be opening new offices for the firm in Long Island and Manhattan. Firm Press Release, 1/29/04

Dewey Ballantine opts to not promote any associates to partner
In an effort to prevent the firm's partnership ranks from becoming too bloated due to a rash of lateral hirings, partners at Dewey Ballantine decided not to allow any associates into their vaunted company this year. The firm has hired 41 lateral partners over the past two years in addition to promoting 11 associates to the partnership last January, which now totals 151 attorneys. In order to maintain the firm's profitability, current associates in the partner track will not receive consideration in January, when the firm usually announces partners, but may consider some in the summer. The firm is also doing away with its lockstep bonus structure in favor of a merit-based system, according to Legal Week. Legal Week, 1/29/04

KLegal will disband formal network of firms
Following the announcement that international professional services provider KPMG would no longer be affiliated with KLegal, its network of associated law firms, due to Sarbanes-Oxley complications, the legal network has decided to disband, as well. This move also seems designed to evade the complications of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, as the former KLegal firms hope that their independent status will again allow them to work closely with KPMG. Although disbanding, the independent firms intend on maintaining relationships amongst each other. Legal Week, 1/30/04

Allen & Overy adds 18 in Italy
Allen & Overy's recent acquisition of an 18-attorney team in Italy has provided the firm a major boost in its European tax capabilities. All 18 attorneys will join Allen & Overy's 200-plus attorney Italian practice in either the Milan or Rome offices. The attorneys, led by partners Andrea Manganelli and Francesco Parisi, formerly worked at German firm Haarmann Hemmelrath & Partner, but had left that firm to open an independent practice before beginning negotiations with Allen & Overy. Legal Week, 1/29/04

Weil, Gotshal further expands DC antitrust practice
Following the hiring of almost a dozen antitrust attorneys from Clifford Chance last October, Weil, Gotshal & Manges has announced that it has added two more high-profile partners to that practice group. Ann Malester and Steven Bernstein, both formerly of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition, will be joining the firm. Malester served as the deputy director of the FTC before she left after 26 years with the government agency. New York Lawyer, 1/30/04

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