Four real estate partners are leaving Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker to join the New York office of Haynes and Boone. The Dallas-based firm confirmed it had hired Kenneth Friedman, Robert Grados, Steven Koch and Walter Schleimer as part of what it characterized as a significant expansion of its East Coast real estate and finance practices. Haynes and Boone says more New York lateral hiring moves will be announced in the next several days. Koch was administrative head of Paul Hastings’ real estate group.

Paul Hastings declined to comment on the departures. Terry Conner, Haynes and Boone managing partner, said in a statement that his firm had worked with the group on many projects in the past. “We really like the fact that they have worked together for years and share our philosophies of client-focused service and teamwork,” he said. Real estate practices citywide have been under pressure due to the economy. But Conner said the new partners’ “practices have been consistently strong over the years and have been resilient even in the current downturn.”