Four high-profile partners from Vinson & Elkins LLP, a Texas-based international law firm, have joined the growing family of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP, a Los Angeles-based firm with over 1,000 lawyers. Gibson Dunn announced that the four newly-hired partners will be based at the firm’s Dallas office, which is now undergoing a major expansion. The four partners who departed from Vinson & Elkins are: Jeffrey Chapman, a former M&A partner and member of the management committee; William Dawson, the former head of litigation and regulatory department; Robert Little, a former corporate partner and Michael Raiff, a former litigation partner who serves is also a media practice leader. Another partner from Vinson & Elkins, Robert Walters, is also reported to joining Gibson Dunn.
Joseph Dilg, managing partner at Vinson & Elkins, said that the firm respects the decision of their former partners. He noted that Walters, Chapman, Dawson, Little and Raiff have contributed a lot to the growth of Vinson & Elkins. “Rob Walters was a fine partner with V&E for many years. For the past three years, he has had a close association with the firm in its representation of Energy Future Holdings in various matters. Bill Dawson, Jeff Chapman, Mike Raiff, and Rob Little have been good colleagues and partners, and we wish all of them well in their future endeavors.”
Chapman revealed that he has been approached by several firms over the past few months but he decided to go with Gibson Dunn. He cited that one of the reasons behind his decision is his close relationship with M. Sean Royall, a co-chair of Gibson Dunn antitrust and trade regulation practice in Dallas. “Certainly I evaluated the future of both firms–V&E has an extraordinary bench of fine leaders–but the real key for me was working with this group of lawyers on as good a platform as I could. This was really more about Gibson Dunn than it was about V&E, but I will miss [my colleagues] there. They’ve been great partners of mine for a long time and I will miss them.”
Walters attributed his decision to Gibson Dunn’s litigation and antitrust practices. He added that the presence of leading litigators such as Theodore Olson, Theodore Boutrous, Jr., Orin Snyder and Randy Mastro made him attracted to the firm. “I think this move is a recognition of Texas and the third coast. There’s a vibrant economy [down here] and I think that’s why they’re investing in us and taking this chance.”