X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
As business trends change, so does Scott M. Hobby. Nine years ago Hobby and two other attorneys left Powell Goldstein for Hunton & Williams, saying that they wanted to take advantage of Hunton’s broader reach for their high-tech clients.Hobby’s nine-lawyer group now focuses on outsourcing and has just switched from Hunton & Williams to Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker.Hobby, W. Tinley Anderson III, Charles F. Hollis III and Derek C. Johnston joined as partners. John B. “Jay” Miller Jr. joined as senior counsel. Four associates also made the move: Michael J. Greene, James R. Paine, Ann Tucker-Nees and Laura E. Robertson.The group structures deals for clients to outsource various business functions, a practice that started with IT departments and now encompasses activities from call centers to accounts receivable to product maintenance and repair.Hobby and his partners started to focus on outsourcing around 2001, he said. At the time, the group did about 30 percent outsourcing work and 70 percent more traditional corporate work in capital markets, private equity and corporate governance. Today that ratio has flipped.The group has evolved since Hobby, Anderson and Johnston began working together at Powell Goldstein. The three started out doing corporate work for midmarket companies and began specializing in tech companies as the local tech market heated up.The three jumped to Hunton & Williams in 1996 for that firm’s broader client base, Hobby said. Hollis and Miller started working with them at Hunton shortly thereafter.But by the late 1990s, at the height of the tech bubble, the market was getting crowded, and rates dropped as more lawyers became proficient in the kind of work the group did, Hobby said. After the bubble burst, he said, there were too many lawyers chasing too few tech companies. By 2001 the group decided to shift its emphasis to outsourcing business processes, an emerging area, particularly for large national and multinational companies.The group moved to Paul Hastings, Hobby said, for that firm’s national and global reach, which includes offices on the West Coast and in London; Paris; Milan, Italy; and Asia. The partners want “to grow the practice into other geographies,” he said. The group already does work for companies in other parts of the world, he said, “but not with the resources that Paul Hastings brings.”"They see where the market is going and adapt to that,” said Richard M. Asbill, who heads the Paul Hastings corporate group in Atlanta. That kind of entrepreneurial spirit appealed to Paul Hastings, he said.Although Paul Hastings lawyers have done a small amount of outsourcing work out of the firm’s New York office, it’s a new practice area for the firm, said Philip J. Marzetti, the managing partner for the Atlanta office.”It’s the kind of practice that can become a global practice for us. There is a need for those kinds of services in our system,” Marzetti said. The practice will mesh well with existing practice areas such as immigration, he said. The immigration practice, led by Daryl R. Buffenstein, is based in Atlanta. About 25 or 30 lawyers in the Atlanta office handle immigration work, Marzetti said. With the addition of the group from Hunton, the office totals about 105 lawyers.Asbill said offering a new service such as outsourcing to Paul Hastings’ existing clients is appealing to the firm, since it’s easier to get more work from existing clients than to land new ones. Asbill added that his firm had tried to recruit Hobby from Powell Goldstein 10 years ago, around the time he went to Hunton. “It just took 10 years longer,” Asbill said.Hobby said the group’s practice will continue to evolve as the business environment changes. “We don’t know what the practice will look like in five years,” he said. “In the Far East, the need may be software development, not business process outsourcing — so it may be a different type of deal there than in the United States,” he said.Hobby and his partners said they hope to continue doing work for clients including John Hancock, Equifax, EarthLink, First Horizon Pharmaceutical and Family Dollar.At Hunton, they also did work for Philips Electronics, Lockheed Martin and Philip Morris, Hobby said.Kurtis A. Powell, the Atlanta managing partner for Hunton & Williams, said that much of the outsourcing work the group did there was for institutional clients. He expects that while some work from those clients will go with the group, the rest will stay with the firm.Powell said that seven lawyers at Hunton still do outsourcing work. He said the firm will continue building the practice as part of its move to expand its IT practice, which includes privacy, information security, intellectual property, homeland security and governmental investigations.For the Atlanta office, which has about 90 attorneys, Powell said, “this is the first group in history of any size that has departed. It happens to everybody from time to time. We’re fortunate that it has not happened before.”

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.