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Kevin DeBr�, the partner who heads Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison’s technology group in Southern California, is leaving the firm to join the Los Angeles office of Kelley Drye & Warren. DeBr�, who joined Brobeck as an associate in 1995, will launch Kelley Drye’s new firmwide technology group and also lead its emerging companies practice in Los Angeles. “It’s a tremendous opportunity to be a national practice leader of a new technology group,” DeBr� said. “Kelley Drye is making a significant commitment in the technology practice when others are maintaining the status quo or shrinking.” DeBr� said he will be building a technology team and doesn’t know if anyone will join him from Brobeck. His team at Brobeck consists of two partners and three associates, down from 11 attorneys at its peak about two years ago. Brobeck did not return calls seeking comment. DeBr� submitted his 30-day notice to Brobeck on Monday. His resignation is the latest in a string of partner losses for Brobeck. Last week the co-chair of Brobeck’s mergers and acquisitions group, Eric Simonson, joined Manhattan’s Kaye Scholer. Simonson was the sixth partner to leave the firm’s New York office in the past few months. Last month James Elacqua, the head of Brobeck’s IP group, took 10 partners with him to New York’s Dewey Ballantine. The defections followed the mass departure of associates and partners to Clifford Chance. “It’s a domino factor,” DeBr� said. “The press gets legal recruiters into a feeding frenzy. Interesting opportunities are presented to people that have compelling practices and books of business.” With the addition of DeBr�, New York-based Kelley Drye plans to build a technology group to complement its telecommunications practice based in Tyson’s Corner, Va. “Technology is where the future is,” said Kelley Drye Managing Partner Merrill Stone. While the market now “is taking hiccups, we want to be well positioned” for the future. Kelley Drye ranked No. 101 on American Lawyer magazine’s list of 200 top grossing firms for 2001. The 335-attorney firm had gross revenues of $161 million and profits per partner of $625,000, just below Brobeck’s profits of $660,000 last year.

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