Our listing of the top lateral moves of 2012 could not be more diverse when it comes to practice area and firm type. And for the first time, we have listed lateral attorneys who left the Pennsylvania market for other locations their departures too significant on the local legal community for their mentions to be barred by our typical in-state focus.
This year's list includes litigators and corporate partners moving to the world's largest law firms, a plaintiffs lawyer switching shops, a former law firm head going in-house and a defense lawyer switching to the plaintiffs bar. Practice areas include public housing, products liability, labor, commercial litigation, health care, class actions, government relations and insurance defense, among others.
There were certainly a number of group moves that made our top 10 list this year, but not nearly as many as last year, when eight of the top 10 moves were large groups of attorneys. In 2012, the one-off or two-person team was the more likely thing to see in the Pennsylvania market, while area firms focused their larger growth outside of the state.
The following is our list of the top lateral hires of 2012, presented in alphabetical order:
Steven P. Berman, Penny S. Indictor, Stuart D. Poppel and Group
Steven P. Berman quietly led his team of public housing attorneys from Greenberg Traurig on July 1 to start their own firm, Berman Indictor & Poppel.
Berman left along with Greenberg Traurig shareholders Penny S. Indictor, Stuart D. Poppel and Jeanine Dankoff and associate Melissa Flanagan. Since starting the firm, Ballard Spahr partner Michael Taichman-Robins also joined the boutique.
Berman and his team are one of a few groups of lawyers in the city that have created a substantial practice around representing real estate developers who are investing in housing projects that have a public finance component such as a government subsidy or tax credit.
With the rest of the real estate market soft over the past few years, Berman and his team have kept busy in a countercyclical area of the real estate industry that is expected to stay busy for the next several years. Focusing almost solely on this specialized practice rather than getting into too much traditional commercial real estate work allows the group to charge higher rates.
Berman and some of his team were among The Legal's top lateral hires in 2006 for their move in 2005 from Ballard Spahr to Greenberg Traurig. Berman himself had a seven-figure practice at the time that those in the industry say has not diminished over time.