Debevoise & Plimpton management told trusts and estates lawyer Jonathan Rikoon earlier this year that the firm no longer wanted to support private client work, according to The Am Law Daily.
“I’ve been cocooned in one practice for so long, it was a great surprise that there was a large number of firms that were interested in our practice,” Rikoon said Monday. Rikoon eventually found a new home at Loeb & Loeb. The firm has added Rikoon and partner Cristine Sapers and a group of seven lawyers. They will join the firm beginning in April.
“There’s a lot about the business of practicing law that, really, I never learned,” Rikoon said. “As either an employee or partner at a lockstep firm, one can actually get complacent. I probably got too complacent.”
A statement was issued by a firm spokesman from Debevoise that said: “Debevoise supports the group in this process and will be working closely with them to ensure a smooth transition for clients.”
The official start date at Loeb for Rikoon and his group is April 15. He and his group will join a team of 45 trusts and estates lawyers who work for the firm in its New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. offices. The practice group leader in New York, Bruce Wexler, said, “Trusts and estates is a core practice of the firm,” Wexler says. “It’s an area we identified years ago as something we wanted to focus on, and it’s just been a fabulous area for us.”
The other lawyers switching to Loeb with Rikoon include Liora Brener, a Debevoise associate who joins Loeb as senior counsel, and associates Rachel Demeny, Cheryl Testa Espinoza, Jillian Owens, and Louise Ding Yang.