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Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy has recruited Dewey Ballantine’s compensation and benefits practice head.

Paul J. Wessel, who had been a member of Dewey’s management committee and specializes in executive compensation matters, has regularly represented individual executives as well as corporate boards and compensation committees. He was part of Dewey’s team representing hospital operator HCA Inc. in its leveraged buyout by a group of private equity funds and also had participated in a number of other high-profile transactions.

Dewey has seen a number of partner departures over the past few months, during which it first announced, and then called off, plans to merge with San Francisco’s Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. The departures of some partners in Dewey’s well-regarded mergers and acquisitions group were a factor in the collapse of talks between the two firms.

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