Morgan Lewis to Add 227 Bingham Partners: Business of LawEllen Rosen
Don’t call it a merger.
After months of speculation, the partners at Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP voted Nov. 14 to admit 227 partners from Bingham McCutchen LLP, almost three-fourths of Bingham’s partners.
In a brief statement, Morgan Lewis said it will have close to 2,000 lawyers in 28 offices after the Bingham contingent arrives later this month. The new partners will make Morgan Lewis one of the biggest worldwide.
Nowhere in the statement did the firm use the words “merger” or “combination” which, presumably, was intentional. A spokesman, Elliott Frieder, declined to comment on the moves.
Morgan Lewis currently has close to 1,400 lawyers. It appears that about 400 associates and counsel will also be joining along with the 227 partners to achieve the 2,000 total. Frieder declined to say which partners wouldn’t be joining.
Bingham has about 700 attorneys, according to its website. The firm has 307 partners, 174 counsel and of counsel, 195 associates, and 19 “other professionals.” A Bingham spokeswoman, Claire Papanastasiou, also declined to comment on the changes.
The Nov. 14 vote is the culmination of a tumultuous stretch for Bingham.
Last year, the firm’s revenue dropped, according to the trade publication the American Lawyer, and a group of 11 securities lawyers left for Sidley Austin LLP. Other attorneys decamped as well, although the firm continued to add partners throughout 2013.
After the Morgan Lewis rumors began circulating this year, 63 lawyers from Bingham’s offices in London, Hong Kong and Frankfurt announced a move to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.
Morgan Lewis Chair Jami Wintz McKeon said in an interview last month that the firm emphasized integrating new lawyers brought from other firms. She oversaw the addition of 159 from the defunct Brobeck Phleger & Harrison in 2003, which she likened to cooking.
“You add flour slowly and keep stirring,” she said. It’s important, she said of lawyers, to “incorporate them into the culture.”
She didn’t return a call Nov. 14.
Morrison & Foerster Partner Hall Nominated to Become U.S. Judge
LaShann DeArcy Hall, a partner at Morrison & Foerster LLP, has been nominated by President Barack Obama to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, based in Brooklyn.
DeArcy Hall joined Morrison & Foerster’s New York office in 2010. With more than a decade of experience as a trial lawyer, she has represented Fortune 500 companies in complex commercial litigation.
While at Morrison & Foerster, DeArcy Hall also served on the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which has oversight of the state’s executive and legislative branches’ compliance with ethics and lobbying laws and regulations. She also was on the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission.
“LaShann is a highly regarded and respected lawyer, and it has been a privilege to work with her and be her partner,” said Larren Nashelsky, chair of Morrison & Foerster.
Dentons Adds Five Attorneys in New Jersey and New York Offices
Dentons US LLP has added a litigation team in New Jersey, along with a bankruptcy partner in New York.
Shawn Kelly and John Vales joined as partners in the Short Hills, New Jersey, office, along with managing associate Jonathan Henry and associate Erika Lopes-McLeman.
Kelly focuses on insurance coverage disputes and reinsurance cases. Vales’s litigation practice focuses on representing companies in the insurance, pharmaceutical and financial-services industries.
Giorgio Bovenzi joined the restructuring, insolvency and bankruptcy practice as a New York partner. Bovenzi, previously counsel at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, represents an international client base in business transactions involving credit, banking, regulatory, derivatives, bankruptcy and cross-border insolvency law in multiple jurisdictions.
Barnes & Thornburg Adds Litigator Peter Morris in Los Angeles
Peter Morris joined Barnes & Thornburg LLP as a litigation partner in Los Angeles.
Morris, previously a partner in the government-contracts, investigations and international-trade practice group at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, focuses on white-collar criminal-defense, complex business litigation, health-care matters and securities litigation.
He has also conducted internal investigations and defended companies and individuals in federal prosecutions.