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Debevoise & Plimpton Eliminating Trusts and Estates Group

The law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton has eliminated its trusts and estates practice, according to The New York Times.

William D. Zabel, a partner from Schulte Roth & Zabel, said, “It saddens me to see a great law firm terminate its estates department. Although I don’t know the reasons for this decision, it would seem to be a byproduct of the economics of our society, making the law into more of a business than a profession. That saddens me even more.”

The presiding partner at Debevoise, Michael W. Blair, said that the firm is getting rid of its trusts and estates practice and that the eight lawyers who call the practice home are working to find jobs elsewhere. In a statement, Blair said the following:

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“Debevoise supports the group in this process and will work to ensure that in this transition the needs of the firm’s clients continue to be served.”

A former Debevoise partner and current president of Pace University, Stephen J. Friedman, said the following about his former firm’s decision:

“It’s sometimes necessary to make a decision that’s in the best interest of the firm but can hurt individual partners and associates,” he said. “That’s not a happy experience, but it’s sometimes the right thing to do.”

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