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For most attorneys involved in Bingham McCutchen’s acquisition of much of Swidler Berlin, the first few months will be spent learning names and getting acquainted with new colleagues. But for Bingham’s Barry Rosenthal and his new (formerly Swidler) partners Kenneth Lore, Susan Duvall, and David Butler, the merging of the two firms’ D.C. offices is a reunion of sorts — and a reminder of a previous and unsuccessful partnership. The four had formerly worked together in D.C. at Brownstein, Zeidman & Lore, and all four had a hand in events that led to that firm’s break-up. Once 70 lawyers strong, Brownstein’s slide began in 1995 shortly after Rosenthal was voted off the firm’s management committee in favor of Duvall. Rosenthal then bolted from the firm for Bingham along with six other real estate attorneys. Just a few months later, Lore, a name partner, left for Swidler along with Duvall and seven other real estate lawyers. In the spring of 1996, Butler, a litigator and Brownstein’s former managing partner, also jumped to Swidler. Lore would go on to become head of the firm’s real estate group and take a seat on the management committee. Meanwhile, Rosenthal became co-chairman of the real estate group at Bingham, a title he still holds. But the legacy of Brownstein’s bust-up won’t affect their new marriage, according to Lore. “Barry and I have communicated very well, and I think we’re going to work together very well,” he says. So who’s going to be the boss this time around? A Bingham spokesman says leadership of the real estate group will be decided in the coming weeks.
Jason McLure can be contacted at [email protected].

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