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CHICAGO — Morgan Lewis & Bockius hired a group of 11 labor and employment attorneys from Baker & McKenzie to build up its Dallas office, bringing that practice area of the firm to Texas for the first time. The group of lawyers includes six new partners, led by Ronald Manthey, and five associates, all of whom most recently were in Baker & McKenzie’s Dallas office, Morgan Lewis said in a press release. The other partners are Ann Marie Painter, Joel S. Allen, Paulo B. McKeeby, Ellen Perlioni, and Melissa M. Hensley. While Morgan Lewis has employment benefits and employee stock ownership plan transaction attorneys in its Dallas office, the firm didn’t have lawyers there from its labor and employment group, which focuses on employment-related litigation, general counseling and non-competition agreement issues, among other things, said Steven R. Wall, the Philadelphia-based partner who leads the firm’s labor and employment practice. “The one area of the country where we wanted to be and where we were not was Texas,” said Wall, speaking of the group. The team led by Manthey, 54, claims clients such as American Airlines, Citigroup Inc., and Blockbuster Inc., the firm said. The firm opened the Dallas office in 2004 and will now have about 26 lawyers in the office, including the new group from Baker & McKenzie. The firm has 1,420 attorneys overall and the labor and employment group has about 280 lawyers.

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