Jeffrey Steiner and seven corporate and finance partners have jumped from Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner to DLA Piper, indicating a major retrenchment of Thelen's merger with Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner two years ago.
In 2006, San Francisco's Thelen Reid & Priest merged with New York's Brown Raysman Millstein Felder & Steiner to give the merged law firm a bicoastal presence.
Also earlier this month, four energy and project finance partners decamped to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.
The seven partners moving with Steiner to DLA Piper are Marc B. Friedman; Jason R. Goldstein; R. Kenneth MacCallum; Robert S. Mower; Rand B. Peppas; Robert M. Unger; and Scott A. Weinberg.
Except for Mower and Friedman, who will practice from DLA's London location, all will join the law firm's New York office. They are expected to start in September. Steiner will become co-chairman of DLA Piper's U.S. finance group.
The news of Steiner’s move Monday was followed by a press release from Thelen Reid, announcing that it was shortening its legal name to Thelen, effective Sept. 9.
"The name change ... will better reflect the firm’s 80-year history as one of the world’s premier law firms," the press release stated. The release did not mention the departure of the name partners. The firm said that the name change was part of last year’s decision to implement a new "Thelen" logo for purposes of branding and marketing.
Steiner was chairman of Thelen Reid's real estate practice and co-chairman of its business and finance practice. He represents investment banks and institutional lenders in structured finance transactions, with an emphasis on real estate. The group of attorneys also focuses on workouts and restructuring.
Roger Meltzer, global chairman of DLA Piper's corporate and finance practice, called the move "a great strategic fit."
He added: "They have a view on the world that's very outward looking. They felt their existing platform did not allow them to have access to those kinds of opportunities."
With structured finance, capital markets and corporate finance work dwindling from the downturn in the U.S economy, DLA Piper has sought more deal work abroad. The group from Thelen Reid is expected to direct much of its attention to overseas markets.
Earlier in August, Raysman, a litigator and technology transactional attorney, moved to New York's Otterbourg Steindler Houston & Rosen. In June, Brown, a technology litigation practitioner, went to Baker Hostetler in New York.
In March, the firm let go of 26 associates and 85 staff members. In the NLJ 250 survey for 2007, the firm reported that it had 600 attorneys. Its Web site now lists 469, a 22 percent decline.
Thelen Reid was not immediately available for comment.