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Patricia M. Hynes, a former name partner at the firm now known as Milberg Weiss Bershad & Schulman, is leaving that firm to become senior counsel in the New York office of British law firm Allen & Overy. Perhaps the most prominent lawyer to leave Milberg Weiss since its May indictment, Hynes joined the firm in 1982 after 15 years as a federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, where she rose to become Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney. She became a name partner in 1993 when the firm adopted the name Milberg Weiss Bershad Hynes & Lerach. Through the 1980s and 1990s, she led a number of major cases against brokerages and investment houses like Drexel Burnham Lambert and PaineWebber on behalf of municipalities and individual investors who claimed they were misled into overly speculative investments. Hynes became of counsel at Milberg Weiss in 2000 to focus more on pro bono and public affairs. In 2003, she became chair of the board of directors for the Legal Aid Society, in which capacity she oversaw a restructuring that allowed the organization to narrowly avoid bankruptcy. The firm changed its name again at the time of its 2004 split into New York-based Milberg Weiss and San Diego-based Lerach Coughlin Stoia Geller Rudman & Robbins. Allen & Overy partner Pamela Rogers Chepiga said earlier this week that Hynes, a former colleague in the Southern District, could have a “deep impact” on the firm’s U.S. litigation department that was still at an early stage of growth. The British firm launched a New York litigation practice in 2003 as part of its plan to expand in the U.S. market. Milberg Weiss senior partner Melvyn I. Weiss praised Hynes and wished her well in a statement. “Pat is a talented and tireless advocate, and while we will miss her here, we are confident she will continue to contribute to the causes of deserving clients, our city and our nation,” he said. “Pat remains a close friend and confidant.” A number of partners have left Milberg Weiss since the firm and name partners David J. Bershad and Steven G. Schulman were charged by Los Angeles federal prosecutors with scheming to pay illegal kickbacks to class action plaintiffs. The firm and the two men have pleaded not guilty.

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