Only a couple of days after Dewey & LeBoeuf warned its employees that it might close its doors, more top partners at the firm left for new locations on Tuesday. Dewey has now lost close to half of its partners since the 2012 calendar year began. The partners have left the firm due to delayed compensation, debt issues and a criminal investigation of former chair Steven Davis. The departures from Tuesday included five partners who were led by Richard Climan, who is a mergers and acquisitions attorney in the Silicon Valley. Climan’s mergers and acquisitions team was hired by Weil, Gotshal & Manges, according to the firm.
DLA Piper also added 10 partners from Dewey, including Berge Setrakian from New York and Joseph Tato, who was the chair of Dewey’s global project finance and infrastructure finance group. Joseph Lavelle will also be leaving Dewey to join DLA Piper. Lavelle worked in Washington as a patent litigator. Venable hired two of Dewey’s real estate partners in Gordon Davis and Suzanne St. Pierre. Peter Britell will be added as well. He worked as Dewey’s global real estate and construction chair.
The London and Houston offices of Dewey lost three of its energy partners to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. One of those partners is the former chair of the global oil and gas industry sector group at Dewey, John LaMaster. Bracewell & Giuliani will be adding five energy partners from Dewey. Those partners include John Klauberg, the former head of Dewey’s utilities, power and pipelines global industry sector group. Catherine McCarthy will also be leaving. She was the co-chair of the energy regulatory department.
Also announced on Tuesday was the departure of Jonathan DeSantis, a partner in the capital markets practice, who is joining Shearman & Sterling. James Carter is leaving for Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr to work as a special counsel. Carter worked at Dewey as an international arbitration lawyer. Simon Briggs left Dewey for Dechert and their corporate and securities practice in London. A report was confirmed on Tuesday by Morgan, Lewis & Bockius that said they were going to hire 10 partners from the London, Moscow and Almaty offices of Dewey.
The hires of Tato and Setrakian at DLA Piper is a major coup for the firm because the two are expected to bring in anywhere from $40-$50 million in business per year. Freshfields and Kirkland & Ellis lost out to Weil Gotshal in hiring Climan and his team, which has represented Dell and Illumina recently.