Robert Bennett’s decision to leave Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom after two decades of generating headlines sounds like bad news for one of Washington’s highest-grossing law offices. But lawyers are split over whether the loss will have much of an impact.

Bennett, whose list of past clients reads like a history of political scandal, is planning to move to Hogan & Hartson after a partnership vote this week, the Washington-based firm announced on Sept. 3. Coming with him will be fellow veteran litigator Carl Rauh. The news took other white-collar defense lawyers by surprise, and some interpreted it as gloomy for the Washington office of New York-based Skadden.