Greenberg Traurig didn't have any Philadelphia lawyers who focused on emerging markets and venture capital work, and David Gitlin is well known locally for his practice in that area. So the firm jumped on the opportunity to hire Gitlin away from Blank Rome in May.
Greenberg had tried to hire Gitlin back in 2009 when his former firm, Wolf Block, was dissolving, but Gitlin had already committed to Blank Rome. A few years later, Greenberg Traurig opened a Tel Aviv office and Gitlin's substantial work with Israeli clients and those doing work in Israel again seemed like the right fit for Greenberg Traurig. This time, Gitlin was interested in making the move.
While with Blank Rome, Gitlin was a leader within the firm's Israel client services team, representing Israeli companies looking to do business across the globe and global companies looking to do business in Israel.
Gitlin said Greenberg was the first international law firm to open an office in Israel since the country opened its doors to foreign attorneys. He said Blank Rome had no plans to open an office in Israel.
Gitlin said clients in his M&A practice also increasingly look to hire a firm with a geographic footprint in all of the necessary locations to complete a deal as opposed to hiring multiple firms. Greenberg had been expanding internationally and within the United States in the last few years, he said. At Blank Rome, Gitlin said he felt like he was losing ground on his Israeli and international M&A practices because Blank Rome did not have enough of an international practice.
James C. Haggerty
James Haggerty's move in April from Swartz Campbell to a small firm that reconstituted itself as Haggerty, Goldberg, Schleifer & Kupersmith was eyebrow-raising not just because of the departure of a longtime firm leader from Swartz Campbell but because of the practice Haggerty planned to create.
The lifelong defense attorney and one of the best-known lawyers representing insurance companies in cases related to motor vehicle law was going to be a plaintiffs attorney.
Haggerty acknowledged to The Legal that his brother's passing from brain cancer in 2007 changed his perspective, prompting him to think about spending "the last 10 years or more of my career representing plaintiffs."
"I thought it would be a good time to make a change," he had said.
Haggerty is well respected by his colleagues at other firms for his insight into insurance law in Pennsylvania.