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Merger talks flipped to jumping ship when five lawyers at Foley & Lardner moved to Jorden Burt last week. “We were trying to expand into Miami,” says Richard Choi, a former partner at Foley & Lardner, about his first meeting 18 months ago with James Jorden. “I was trying to pitch them Foley . . . but they finally got me to go over there.” Jorden, the firm’s managing partner, says he recruited Choi because of the lawyer’s regulatory background and that the other Foley attorneys bring “additional bench strength.” Partners Gary Cohen and Thomas Lauerman and of counsels Marvin “Chip” Lunde III and Peter Panarites round out the new group. The defections leave Foley & Lardner without a strong financial services presence in D.C., despite its merger with securities-based Freedman, Levy, Kroll and Simonds in 2001. Richard Weiss, Foley’s managing partner, says he expects to grow Foley’s market regulation practice in D.C.
Anna Palmer can be contacted at [email protected].

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