McDermott Will & Emery has lured another group of partners from DLA Piper, this time a real estate finance team headlined by Jeffrey Steiner, the former New York-based global co-chair of DLA Piper’s finance practice.
An internal memo obtained by The American Lawyer sent on March 29 by McDermott chairman Ira Coleman gave the names of 22 partners that have joined the firm this month. All but one previously worked at DLA Piper.
Coleman’s memo states that McDermott expects to bring in 50 lawyers in total. The Chicago-founded Am Law 100 firm expects a $100 million boost to top-line revenue as a result of the new additions, Coleman wrote, making it one of the largest group hires the legal industry has seen in recent years.
A number of the new partners are based in San Francisco, and McDermott will open an office in the the city later this year, Coleman said in his memo. McDermott already has an office in Silicon Valley, which late last year saw a five-lawyer group decamp for Polsinelli.
McDermott has now taken on three practice group leaders from DLA Piper, which last year also saw its former global co-chair, Juan Picón, move to Latham & Watkins. McDermott’s raid on the global legal giant began in Chicago earlier this month when the firm picked up Michael Poulos, a former co-managing partner of the Americas at DLA Piper who runs a litigation practice that several sources said was worth around $30 million in business.
McDermott also brought aboard Michael Sheehan, the former co-chair of DLA Piper’s global employment practice and chair of its U.S. employment practice. Coleman, who became head of McDermott in late 2016, noted in his memo that both groups had already opened 60 new matters at the firm and brought in more than 200 new clients.
The hires amount to three groups of partners, spanning from New York to San Diego, who practice in litigation, employment and real estate finance.
The memo from Coleman states that nine employment partners will join McDermott in Rachel Cowen and Marilyn Pearson in Chicago; Maria Rodriguez and Michelle Strowhiro in Los Angeles; Ellen Bronchetti in San Diego; and Pankit Doshi, Dave Durham, Chris Foster and Ron Holland in San Francisco. Seven litigators are also making the move from DLA Piper to McDermott with Larry Wojcik in Chicago; Nicole Figueroa in Dallas; Mike Piazza in Los Angeles; and Seth Friedman, Jason Gerstein, Tim Hoeffner and Raphael Larson in New York.
And in addition to Steiner, who will lead McDermott’s global real estate finance practice and serve as a nonvoting member of the firm’s management committee, three other New York-based real estate finance partners are also joining the firm in Dino Fazlibegu, Robert Unger and Scott Weinberg. Fazlibegu, a former partner at now-defunct Thelen who spent the past decade at Nixon Peabody, is the lone lateral not coming from DLA Piper.
Steiner, a fellow Thelen alum, was named one of The American Lawyer’s “Star Lateral” hires after he joined DLA Piper in 2008. Steiner, who was immediately named co-chair of the firm’s U.S. finance practice, came over with a group of seven other partners, all but one of whom appears to have since left DLA Piper.
The 3,609-lawyer firm, which has been busy making lateral additions of its own this year, including absorbing a firm in Chile, declined to comment on the spate of exits to McDermott. The latter saw head count rise slightly in 2017, to 985, as gross revenue and profits per equity partner increased to $925.5 million and $1.7 million, respectively, according to ALM Intelligence.
“Real estate finance is an important component of our corporate platform, and adding Jeffrey and his team will do even more to deepen and extend the services we offer to our global institutional clients,” Coleman said in a statement announcing the addition of Steiner’s group. “This team enriches our ability to partner with our clients across the legal spectrum to support their goals—and that’s what we love.”
Several other lawyers are also joining McDermott from DLA Piper. Robert Mower and Michael Twersky will be counsel in the real estate finance group at McDermott in New York, while Kevin Connelly will be counsel in its Chicago employment group, according to Coleman’s memo.
Bloomberg’s Big Law Business first reported the news of Steiner’s group moving to McDermott.