Four local Paul Hastings partners have left for other firms.
Finance lawyers Chris Molen and J. Craig Lee joined King & Spalding on February 1. Litigator J. Allen Maines joined Holland & Knight and employment lawyer John Wymer started an Atlanta office for the Denver firm Sherman & Howard.
Wymer, a veteran of several large law firms, said he wanted greater leeway in running his practice and liked the idea of starting something new. "One of the main reasons is to have some flexibility in the rates charged to clients," he said. "Sherman & Howard gives the partners a lot of authority and discretion to make the best business judgments they can -- and they have a Chambers-rated labor and employment practice."
"The idea of building something from the ground up -- not just being a cog in the wheel -- is the chance of a lifetime. It's something I've dreamed about that I haven't been able to do until now," Wymer said.
Wymer, 63, said he's been at big firms for most of his adult life, working at Paul Hastings in the 1980s, then Powell Goldstein, then King & Spalding and then back to Paul Hastings in 2006.
He'd known some of the Sherman & Howard lawyers, including Raymond Deeny, for almost 30 years, and when he decided to try something different he got in touch.
"They were interested, yet skeptical," Wymer said. "As we got to know each other, we saw that it was a perfect relationship in terms of my philosophy and how they do business."
Sherman & Howard has about 190 lawyers and its roots in Denver go back 120 years. Atlanta is the 11th office for the firm, which has four other offices in Colorado, including the ski resort towns of Vail, Aspen and Steamboat Springs, plus locations in Las Vegas and Reno, Nev.; Phoenix and Scottsdale, Ariz.; and St. Louis.
"When you get the opportunity to add someone like John Wymer, you look at it very seriously," said Sherman & Howard's managing member, Michael Sanchez. "The law business is a people business more than a geographic location business."