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The newly merged Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has seen its share of changes in the past year, and it’s clear the firm is still in a state of flux. Last week its prized banking regulatory group jumped ship to Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw. The six-partner, 13-person group — which counts clients such as Swiss banks UBS AG and Credit Suisse Group, Israel’s Bank Hapoalim, and the Belgian Fortis — was one of the key practices that attracted Pillsbury to Shaw Pittman. Scott Anenberg, head of the group, says they were lured by Mayer, Brown’s international offices and broader financial services representation. And they’ll work closely with the recently beefed-up Securities and Exchange Commission practice Mayer, Brown snagged from Crowell & Moring last year. “It was somewhat serendipitous,” Anenberg says. Mary Cranston, Pillsbury chair, says she was sad to see the group go but expects to replace its members soon. Already, Pillsbury is gearing up for some newcomers of its own: a six-attorney lobbying group from Patton Boggs, the second major group to defect from the lobbying powerhouse in recent months. The crew — Florence Prioleau, former Rep. Gregory Laughlin (R-Texas), Peter Robertson, Joseph Trapasso, Thomas O’Donnell, and Elizabeth Vella Moeller — is long-awaited, since Shaw Pittman’s lobbying group, headed by former Sen. Connie Mack (R-Fla.), was conflicted out of the merger with Pillsbury last year. Despite Pillsbury’s decline in profits after the merger, and numerous troubles with integration, O’Donnell is not worried about the most recent defection. “The growing pains have been shaken out,” he says. But that wasn’t the end to the shake-ups at the firm. After eight years at the helm, Cranston announced Thursday that she is stepping down at the end of the year, although she’ll remain involved with firm strategy. “It was a personal decision,” Cranston, 59, says. “The next couple of years are going to be internally oriented as we really get the merger tweaked up. That is good training for a new management.”
Emma Schwartz can be contacted at [email protected].

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