Brobeck is a mighty firm with plenty of good lawyers, and firm management is downplaying the impact of the loss of the group to London-based Clifford Chance. “It’s probably better we parted company,” firmwide Managing Partner Richard Parker said.

But Snow & Co., which includes numerous firm leaders and most of the San Francisco securities litigation group, certainly leave a bloody hole in Brobeck’s side. The departure has led to the airing of the firm’s dirty laundry in embarrassing detail. And the anger, hurt feelings and wounded pride of the lawyers left behind isn’t going to make Parker and Chairman Richard Odom’s job any easier.