(Photo: Sailing Dutchman via Wikimedia Commons)

Cleveland-based Tucker Ellis—formed in 2003 from the remnants of defunct Am Law 200 firm Arter & Hadden—announced this week the opening of its second new Midwestern outpost of 2016.

Among those joining Tucker Ellis’ new office in St. Louis are Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker’s local managing partner and insurance litigator Brian Huelsmann, who brings with him five associates from his former firm. One of them, Julie Brown, has joined Tucker Ellis as counsel.

Huelsmann left his role as a partner at HeplerBroom in January 2015 to launch Wilson Elser’s 27th office in Edwardsville, Illinois, a city located in St. Louis’ eastern suburbs, just across the Mississippi River. Huelsmann was unavailable Tuesday to discuss his decision to leave Wilson Elser just 20 months after joining the firm, which in recent months has experienced an exodus of partners.

Wilson Elser, which has also been active on the lateral hiring front this year, did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Huelsmann’s departure.

Huelsmann said that the “opportunity to open the Tucker Ellis office in St. Louis and join forces with a nationally recognized trial firm with a diverse practice and client base, as well as a reputation for excellence, was too good to pass up.”

Tucker Ellis’ new office in the Gateway City is the firm’s eighth nationwide. In March, the firm opened another office in Chicago after hiring Sidley Austin toxic tort and product liability litigation partners Sherry Knutson and James Mizgala.

While the roughly 200-lawyer Tucker Ellis is a full-service firm, its new St. Louis office will initially focus on litigation in the mass tort, medical device, pharmaceutical and product liability sectors.

“We had a number of long-term clients come to us and say, we’d like you to be in the region—there is a lot of litigation there, it’s serious litigation, and we want your type of lawyers there helping us out,” said Tucker Ellis managing partner Joseph Morford in an interview.

Morford noted that Tucker Ellis did not work with a recruiter or consultant in making its hires from Wilson Elser. The firm instead did its own research on available lawyers of interest in the area, he said. Like many large firm leaders eager to tout their latest additions, Morford cited Tucker Ellis’ “culture” as aiding in the recruitment of new hires over the years from Am Law 200 firms.

The National Law Journal, a sibling publication, reported a decade ago that Tucker Ellis adopted a closed compensation system after it was formed from the ashes of bankrupt Arter & Hadden. (Tucker Ellis was known as Tucker Ellis & West until early 2012, when former name partner Kim West left the firm’s San Francisco office for British firm Clyde & Co.)

Aside from St. Louis, San Francisco, Cleveland and Chicago, Tucker Ellis also has offices in Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Houston; and Los Angeles. Morford said Tuesday that the firm’s latest laterals in Missouri represent a “natural extension of [the firm's] Chicago opening in March” and that the firm is keen on expanding its presence in both Midwestern cities.

Given the ample amount of litigation filed in St. Louis and Chicago, offices in those regions were needed to serve clients of Tucker Ellis’ nationwide trial practice, Morford said.

Along with Huelsmann and Brown, other Wilson Elser lawyers joining Tucker Ellis include associates Patrick Barkley, Bianca Chapman, Madeline Fogel and Scott Hunsaker. According to the firm’s website, some of its clients include AB Electrolux, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer Inc.

“Brian Huelsmann is a consummate professional,” Wilson Elser said in a statement. “We appreciate all that he has done for the firm and wish him and his team well.”

Cleveland-based Tucker Ellis—formed in 2003 from the remnants of defunct Am Law 200 firm Arter & Hadden—announced this week the opening of its second new Midwestern outpost of 2016.

Among those joining Tucker Ellis ‘ new office in St. Louis are Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker ‘s local managing partner and insurance litigator Brian Huelsmann, who brings with him five associates from his former firm. One of them, Julie Brown, has joined Tucker Ellis as counsel.

Huelsmann left his role as a partner at HeplerBroom in January 2015 to launch Wilson Elser ‘s 27th office in Edwardsville, Illinois, a city located in St. Louis’ eastern suburbs, just across the Mississippi River. Huelsmann was unavailable Tuesday to discuss his decision to leave Wilson Elser just 20 months after joining the firm, which in recent months has experienced an exodus of partners.

Wilson Elser , which has also been active on the lateral hiring front this year, did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Huelsmann’s departure.

Huelsmann said that the “opportunity to open the Tucker Ellis office in St. Louis and join forces with a nationally recognized trial firm with a diverse practice and client base, as well as a reputation for excellence, was too good to pass up.”

Tucker Ellis ‘ new office in the Gateway City is the firm’s eighth nationwide. In March, the firm opened another office in Chicago after hiring Sidley Austin toxic tort and product liability litigation partners Sherry Knutson and James Mizgala.

While the roughly 200-lawyer Tucker Ellis is a full-service firm, its new St. Louis office will initially focus on litigation in the mass tort, medical device, pharmaceutical and product liability sectors.

“We had a number of long-term clients come to us and say, we’d like you to be in the region—there is a lot of litigation there, it’s serious litigation, and we want your type of lawyers there helping us out,” said Tucker Ellis managing partner Joseph Morford in an interview.

Morford noted that Tucker Ellis did not work with a recruiter or consultant in making its hires from Wilson Elser . The firm instead did its own research on available lawyers of interest in the area, he said. Like many large firm leaders eager to tout their latest additions, Morford cited Tucker Ellis ‘ “culture” as aiding in the recruitment of new hires over the years from Am Law 200 firms.

The National Law Journal, a sibling publication, reported a decade ago that Tucker Ellis adopted a closed compensation system after it was formed from the ashes of bankrupt Arter & Hadden. ( Tucker Ellis was known as Tucker Ellis & West until early 2012, when former name partner Kim West left the firm’s San Francisco office for British firm Clyde & Co. )

Aside from St. Louis, San Francisco, Cleveland and Chicago, Tucker Ellis also has offices in Columbus, Ohio; Denver; Houston; and Los Angeles. Morford said Tuesday that the firm’s latest laterals in Missouri represent a “natural extension of [the firm's] Chicago opening in March” and that the firm is keen on expanding its presence in both Midwestern cities.

Given the ample amount of litigation filed in St. Louis and Chicago, offices in those regions were needed to serve clients of Tucker Ellis ‘ nationwide trial practice, Morford said.

Along with Huelsmann and Brown, other Wilson Elser lawyers joining Tucker Ellis include associates Patrick Barkley, Bianca Chapman, Madeline Fogel and Scott Hunsaker. According to the firm’s website, some of its clients include AB Electrolux, Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer Inc.

“Brian Huelsmann is a consummate professional,” Wilson Elser said in a statement. “We appreciate all that he has done for the firm and wish him and his team well.”