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Hunton & Williams has added 20 attorneys from Shaw Pittman’s insurance group to its McLean, Va., office, including practice co-founders Walter Andrews and Lon Berk. The departures from Shaw Pittman come just three weeks after the firm announced its merger with San Francisco-based Pillsbury Winthrop. At the time, Pillsbury and Shaw Pittman indicated that the combined firm would shed approximately 100 lawyers, and the two firms’ insurance practices were said to have significant client conflicts. “In a merger this size, there are going to be conflicts,” said Pillsbury spokeswoman Crystal Rockwood. Thomas Cawley, managing partner of Hunton & Williams’ 45-lawyer Tysons Corner office, said that the new group’s leverage, its partner-to-associate ratio, was particularly attractive. Leaving along with Andrews and Berk are partners Paul Janaskie and Edward Grass. They are accompanied by 15 associates and one counsel. Cawley said that the new group is “a natural complement to the patent and toxic tort litigation that we’re already doing.” A spokeswoman for Shaw Pittman did not immediately return a call. Last week, Frank Winston, also a co-founder of what had been Shaw Pittman’s 23-attorney insurance group, announced that he and two associates were departing to join the insurance practice of Steptoe & Johnson’s D.C. office. Wednesday’s move comes just a day after Hunton announced that it had added seven energy lawyers to its D.C. office. Four of the energy attorneys come from the D.C. office of Balch & Bingham. Two were energy attorneys in the Washington office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld. The firm also added William Cooper, formerly counsel to the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected].

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