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BCG News - 10/13/03

10/13/03

Former Brobeck partners blame Clifford Chance

for their firm's demise
Even when it's over, it's not really over. The departure of Tower Snow from Brobeck, Phleger, and Harrison, where he was the senior West Coast partner to Clifford Chance, was big news when it occurred, but more than a year later, it could become even bigger news. Former Brobeck partners filed a lawsuit against Snow and Clifford Chance for $140 million dollars, claiming that both parties acted duplicitously when Snow moved to his new firm. Among the claims is that Clifford Chance intentionally sought to destroy Brobeck with their advertising strategies and by hiring away their personnel. The Brobeck partners further argue that Snow transferred sensitive material to Clifford Chance. Clifford Chance issued a statement denying any wrongdoing on their part and vowed to fight the charges. Legal Week, 10/10

BCG News - 10/13/03

Shaw Pittman shuts down their corporate practice in London
The departure of two key partners from its London office and failure to gain the kind of clients they had hoped for has caused Shaw Pittman, to discontinue that office's corporate practice. Two corporate associates remained after the departure of the last corporate partners, but have since left the firm. The office is now left with 9 attorneys, most of which handle outsourcing matters. The Lawyer, 10/13

Coudert Brothers LLP loses a branch, gains a possible merger partner
Following the departure of all four partners from its Milan branch to British firm DLA, Coudert Brothers, is already actively seeking alternatives for a new Italian practice. In what sounds almost like a sure thing, Coudert Brothers is currently negotiating with 15-attorney Italian firm Cannata Pierallini, for a merger that could happen as early as the beginning of next year. Cannata specializes in aviation law, but handles corporate and litigation work, as well. Coudert may also bring on additional attorneys to diversify their Italian practice if this merger goes through. Plans for a merger in 2001 between the two firms never materialized when a German firm merged with Coudert, providing its now-departed Milan office, but both sides are more hopeful that things will be completed this time around. Legal Week 10/9

Skadden, Arps Closes its Reston, VA Office
With the technology market up in the late 90's, many firms headed to Northern Virginia to take advantage of the tech industry that flourished in the area. Many firms, including national powerhouse Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, decided to set up shop in Reston, Va, to best take advantage of the new economy. With the tech bust, however, so went the law firms, as Skadden Arps shut down its Reston office in September. The five attorneys who worked at the office were spared from the downsizing, however, as every attorney will be relocating to the firm's Washington, D.C. office. Washington Post, 10/9/03

Connecticut firm Wiggin & Dana merges with small New York firm
Wiggin & Dana, a 155-attorney law firm based out of New Haven, CT recently announced that Howe & Addington, a New York firm consisting of 6 attorneys, including 4 partners. Howe & Addington will serve as Wiggin's New York office, retaining the same office and staff, but practicing under the name of their merger partner. Wiggin's merger move is motivated by the exposure that comes with a New York branch, in addition to the benefits of being able to better represent clients in the area and increasing their efforts at expansion. Wiggin & Dana eventually plan to expand the New York office. Firm Press Release, 10/1/03

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