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The co-head of the bankruptcy practice at Weil, Gotshal & Manges has left to launch a new practice group for Dewey & LeBoeuf. Martin Bienenstock, one of the nation’s best-known bankruptcy lawyers and the partner who led Weil, Gotshal’s representation of Enron Corp. in its 2001 Chapter 11 filing, will head the business solutions and governance group for Dewey & LeBoeuf and also serve on the firm’s executive committee. Bienenstock is the first high-profile partner to be recruited by Dewey & LeBoeuf, the product of a recent merger between New York firms Dewey Ballantine and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae. He will be joined at his new firm by Weil, Gotshal bankruptcy partner Judy Liu and associate Timothy Karcher, who is joining Dewey & LeBoeuf as a partner. The loss of Bienenstock follows the departure in March of four prominent Weil, Gotshal bankruptcy partners to Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. But Weil, Gotshal Chairman Stephen Dannhauser denied last week that the firm was losing ground in the bankruptcy arena, where it has been regarded as pre-eminent for many years. “As other firms try to build practices, they’re always going to look at the firm that wrote the playbook,” he said. Dannhauser characterized the parting with Bienenstock as amicable and pointed out that the firm still had 23 partners in its bankruptcy group, including stars like Marcia Goldstein, who will become sole chair of the practice, and Jeffrey Tanenbaum and Harvey Miller, the former practice chair who returned to the firm earlier this year after a stint at Greenhill & Co., an investment banking boutique.
Anthony Lin is a reporter with the New York Law Journal , an ALM publication.

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