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Arthur Pressman, one of the nation’s best-known franchise litigators, who counts McDonald’s, Dunkin’ Donuts and 7-Eleven as clients, is leaving Pittsburgh-based Buchanan Ingersoll along with fellow partners Craig R. Tractenberg and Washington, D.C.-based Andrew P. Loewinger to join 600-attorney Nixon Peabody. Pressman, who gave notice Thursday, resides in Cape Cod and will work out of Rochester, N.Y.-based Nixon Peabody’s Boston office, while Loewinger will be stationed in its Washington site. Tractenberg, along with some associates, will open a Philadelphia office for Nixon Peabody. Constantine “Dean” Fournaris, the fourth partner in the group, decided not to go to Nixon Peabody and instead chose Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll, which had also been talking to the entire group before Pressman made his decision. Fournaris, 36, will provide Ballard Spahr’s franchise group with a litigation component. Pressman originally joined Buchanan Ingersoll as part of a seven-lawyer franchising group in January 1998. He had previously worked at Abraham, Pressman & Bauer, a firm he helped to found in 1973. Pressman began his career as a general litigator at Pepper Hamilton after graduating from Temple University’s School of Law in 1971. In addition to the aforementioned clients, he also represents Subway, Houlihans, Baskin-Robbins and Manhattan Bagel. “I had a great experience at Buchanan Ingersoll, but I’ve had friends at Nixon Peabody’s franchise practice for years and the analysis I made was that it was a better opportunity [for the practice group],” said Pressman, who will also maintain a Philadelphia office. “It’s got almost 650 lawyers. It has a national footprint. And it’s a firm that places a high priority on relationships between partners. So I liked the firm in terms of its vision and its values.” Tractenberg, who contributes a regular franchise law column to The Legal Intelligencer, concentrates in franchise-related bankruptcy issues while Loewinger handles international franchise work. The group going to Nixon Peabody will include three or four associates. Nixon Peabody chairman Harry Trueheart said that the franchise lawyers at his firm have close relations with the Pressman group through handling cases with and against each other. He added that there were also practice synergies. As for the new Philadelphia office, Trueheart said that Tractenberg and franchise practice chairman Robert Calihan were scouting for potential office space and that the site will also include room for possible expansion — though he said Nixon Peabody does not have a set strategy for this market. “The plan we have is to get Craig and the others settled and to go from there,” Trueheart said. “Our desire to open a Philadelphia office came from the need to accommodate our franchise people. We don’t have expansion plans now, but I’m sure we’ll explore our options.” With the Philadelphia addition, Nixon Peabody has 14 offices, with large offices in Rochester, N.Y.; Boston; San Francisco; New York; and Washington, D.C. Other sites include Albany, N.Y.; Buffalo, N.Y.; Long Island, N.Y.; Manchester, N.H.; Providence, R.I.; Northern Virginia; and Orange County, Calif. According to the latest AmLaw 100, which considers financial data from 2001, Nixon Peabody ranked 67th with a gross revenue of $244 million and profits per partner of $430,000. Fournaris said that he chose Ballard Spahr over joining Pressman at Nixon Peabody because of its reputation in the region where he practices and the opportunity to play a leadership role with its 15-attorney franchise practice. Benjamin Levin has been the partner in charge of the firm’s franchise practice since his firm, Levin & Hluchan, merged into Ballard Spahr three years ago. Levin doubles as managing partner of the firm’s Voorhees, N.J., office. In its Philadelphia office, Ballard Spahr added Edward DeMarco three years ago from Mesirov Gelman Jaffe Cramer & Jamieson. Both Levin and DeMarco, though, focus on transactional matters, while Fournaris brings a litigation background. “We spoke to all four of the partners, and we would have been delighted to have all of them join us,” Ballard Spahr chairman Arthur Makadon said. “But we are also delighted that Dean decided to join us after Arthur and the rest of the group chose Nixon. Dean is young, has all the right instincts and brings a client following. And being a litigator, he gives our franchise practice a whole other venue to explore.” Buchanan Ingersoll chairman William Newlin said that the firm has a great deal of respect for Pressman and the rest of the group but that franchise represents a “smaller niche practice” at the firm. He said Buchanan will remain a major player in the franchise world with partners in Florida, Pittsburgh and San Diego. With the four partners leaving, the firm has 17 people listed as franchise lawyers. But there are two associates in Philadelphia and three in Washington, D.C., working in the franchise group and some, if not all of them, will most likely join the partners at Nixon Peabody. The Buchanan Ingersoll Philadelphia office has undergone some major changes in the past several years with a number of partners coming and going. With the franchise group departures, the firm has 70 lawyers in Philadelphia, an office that has been built with high-profile additions such as real estate partner Kevin Silverang in 1997, the Pressman group in 1998, a corporate group led by partner Douglas Coopersmith in 1999, health care partner Thomas Tammany in 2000, a five-partner litigation group led by Howard Scher in 2001, intellectual property lawyers Robert Koons and Charles Bruton in 2002 and, most recently, a three-partner labor and employment group led by Allan Dabrow in 2003. The firm has also lost key people such as litigator Alan Kessler in 1999 and a 10-lawyer labor and employment group in 2001. After the departures of that labor and employment group to Littler Mendelson in March 2001, Buchanan’s Philadelphia office dropped to 50 lawyers but has seen a net gain of 20 lawyers since that time through a combination of lateral hires and entry-level hiring. Newlin has said in recent interviews that Buchanan is looking to expand significantly in several offices, including Philadelphia.

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