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R.I.P. Dickstein Shapiro, Troubled Law Firm Closes for Good
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Dickstein-Departure-Article-201601051157

Photo courtesy of National Law Journal.

Summary: Troubled law firm Dickstein Shapiro closes its doors for good.

After years of layoffs, defections, and rumors of possible mergers, the troubled law firm Dickstein Shapiro has closed for good, Washington Business Journal reports.

  
What
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The now shuttered firm’s website states that they are “no longer engaged in the practice of law.” It also stated that 100 of its New York and Washington DC attorneys are now at Blank Rome LLP .

Screen Shot 2016-02-19 at 11.44.55 AM

Dickstein Shapiro’s recent website notice.

In February, it was reported that 107 lawyers left Dickstein Shapiro for Blank Rome. Ninety-four attorneys went to Washington D.C. and 13 to New York. This gave Blank Rome a total of 620 attorneys over fourteen offices.

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Now Blank Rome has tripled in size of its DC Office. According to Biz Journal, Blank Rome is “adding insurance coverage and a government contracts practice group, expanding its intellectual property group, and adding depth to core areas such as corporate and finance, real estate, and litigation.”

Blank Rome managing partner Alan Hoffman told the publication they wanted to grow the Washington DC office to better serve their clients.



Current and former equity partners were informed via Fedex that the firm was unable to pay them their share. Andy Zausner confirmed to The Washington Post that he lost equity but was undecided on what to do about it.

Zausner did not share how much he lost but confirmed it was “substantial.”

JDJournal had covered Dickstein Shapiro’s troubles for years. In 2009, we reported that in November the firm sent a company wide memo that 3% of associates and 10% of its staff would be cut for economic reasons. Another layoff followed suit as well as a salary freeze. Despite its economic woes, however, the firm was able to stay afloat for a few years more but continued to experience woes. For instance, in 2013, the firm hired J. Dennis Hastert, a Republican House Speaker, to rebuild the firm’s lobbying practice, but he resigned abruptly after he was indicted on bribing charges. In 2014, Michael Nannes stepped down as chairman of Dickstein Shapiro amidst talk of the firm’s financial problems and cut staff.

In December, we shared that Bryan Cave, Locke Lord, and Perkins Coie were rumored candidates for a possible merger, but ultimately Dickstein Shapiro decided to close its doors. In 2012, there was also a merger discussion with the firm, Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw, Pittman.

Dickstein Shapiro was formed in 1953 and had offices in Washington DC, Los Angeles, and New York. In its heyday, it had approximately 400 attorneys on staff.

Ira Lee Sorkin of Mintz & Gold famously defended Bernie Madoff while an attorney at Dickstein Shapiro. He was with Dickstein Shapiro for 23 years and had positive memories of his time there.

“I was there 23 years,” Zausner said to The Washington Post. “It’s a law firm that had a bunch of really, really excellent lawyers in it.”

Source: Washington Business Journal 

Source: The Washington Post



 

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