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SQUIRE, SANDERS LOSES FOUR ATTORNEYS A four-attorney group from Squire, Sanders & Dempsey has decamped to Liner Yankelevitz Sunshine & Regenstreif’s fledgling San Francisco outpost. Partners Jonathan Kitchen and George Kalikman began working at Liner Yankelevitz on Jan. 1, along with two associates. Kitchen and Kalikman’s move comes after a brief two-and-a-half year stint at Squire, Sanders, which the pair joined in 2001 from Baker & McKenzie. Kitchen said the latest move was motivated by the opportunity to get in on the ground floor in running a San Francisco office. Los Angeles-based Liner Yankelevitz now counts 11 attorneys in its 3-year-old San Francisco office. “We joined the firm with the expectation to grow it to a more substantial presence,” said Kitchen.” He said he envisioned the office growing to 25 lawyers “in the next year or so.” Kitchen is a veteran litigator who practiced at Baker & McKenzie for 20 years. Kalikman specializes in bankruptcy law, and has been involved in cases including Enron, Metricom and At Home Corp. — Alexei Oreskovic SKADDEN, ARPS TO CLOSE ITS NEW JERSEY BRANCH NEWARK, N.J. — For close to two decades, the big multistate firms have been setting up shop in New Jersey to capture an increasingly larger portion of the state’s lucrative corporate legal market. Now one of those firms — the biggest in the nation, measured by gross revenue — is bucking the trend by closing its New Jersey branch. In June, Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom will shut its eight-lawyer Newark, N.J., office after 10 years and service its clients from its headquarters in Manhattan. “The firm’s decided that we can better serve our clients in New Jersey, and elsewhere, by consolidating our practice in New York,” says Robert Del Tufo, who opened Skadden, Arps’ Newark satellite in September 1993 after stepping down as New Jersey’s attorney general. Del Tufo and Robert Sheehan, the firm’s managing partner, cite advancing technology as a key reason why Skadden, Arps believes it can maintain its New Jersey business without a physical presence. Says Sheehan, “The question for us was whether with all the new technology, it was easier for us to service clients out of New York rather than maintain a small office.” Del Tufo, who has had an office on each side of the Hudson and now will work in midtown exclusively, also points to the convenience of the New York location. “From our Times Square office, we can get to the federal courthouse in Newark in 35 minutes.” Del Tufo, a former U.S. attorney for New Jersey, will continue as of counsel to the firm. He reached age 70 last year and will be leaving the partnership. But when the office at One Newark Center closes, not all its lawyers or staff will keep their jobs. Sheehan declines to say how many will make the move to New York. Certainly the withdrawal from the state doesn’t suggest that Skadden, Arps is having problems. The firm was just ranked first in global mergers and acquisitions for 2003 by both Bloomberg’s 2003 M&A Legal Advisory League Tables and by Thomson Financial. Moreover, Skadden, Arps also ranked first in M&A work involving New Jersey companies. The firm was ranked first in revenues of $1.31 billion for 2002 in the latest AmLaw 100 survey of top-grossing firms by The American Lawyer magazine, a Recorder affiliate. Orr also points out that Skadden, Arps is probably in a better position than many out-of-state firms to jettison a physical presence because so much of its work is in federal court. “I suspect they believe they can service their clients by a train ride, and with federal court there’s only three courthouses, all with train stops.” — The New Jersey Law Journal

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