Former Maryland attorney general Douglas Gansler has left Buckley to start a new state attorneys general practice at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.
Gansler, who arrives at Cadwalader on Monday, will work in its Washington, D.C., office as partner in its global litigation group and its white-collar defense and investigations practice.
Gansler spent more than 20 years in government and was formerly president of the National Association of Attorneys General. He was attorney general of Maryland from 2006 to 2014 and then joined Buckley in 2015 as a partner.
In an interview, he said he had never moved from one law firm to another before, but said after more than four years at Buckley, he was ready to move to a firm with a bigger platform. While Washington-based Buckley is a 130-attorney firm where profits per equity partner last year stood at $1.373 million, New York-based Cadwalader has about 375 attorneys and reported $2.7 million in profits per partner.
Gansler said when he left government and chose Buckley, he found it to be a great fit for his transition to the private sector because of its smaller size and the firm’s “big firm refugees.” He made a two-year commitment to stay when he joined, he said, but ended up staying more than twice as long. Buckley was “magnanimous” throughout his decision to leave, he said.
Gansler said he chose Cadwalader over other firms because of the larger platform to build and grow his work involving state attorneys general. He said he was surprised at the energy and enthusiasm of Cadwalader’s attorneys.
“A lot of it is a gut feeling frankly,” Gansler said about his decision to join Cadwalader. “The energy going forward at Cadwalader is enticing.”
“It defied my expectations of being a stale older firm,” Gansler added.
He noted that news of his move was well received when he attended the Democratic Attorneys General Conference in Denver earlier this month.
Much of Gansler’s work at Cadwalader will focus on assisting clients in their response to, and defense against, inquiries and investigations from state attorneys general across the country.
As some government enforcement during President Donald Trump’s administration has shifted to the states, he said, he expects that many of Cadwalader’s existing clients will benefit from the new practice. Gansler said he expects Cadwalader’s new AG practice to become involved in matters related to opioid addiction, student loans, privacy and fintech.
In a statement, Pat Quinn, Cadwalader’s managing partner, called Gansler an “exceptional trial lawyer with a deep understanding” of challenges facing financial institutions and corporations. “We know our clients will benefit greatly from his first-hand knowledge of state government enforcement and regulatory practices,” Quinn said.
Gansler said he did not expect others from Buckley to follow him to Cadwalader.
Gansler is joining Cadwalader a few months after the global litigation practice gained a trial team in March from Boies Schiller Flexner that included partners Sean O’Shea, Michael Petrella and Amanda Devereux.
In a statement, Buckley managing partner Benjamin Klubes wished Gansler well. “We thank Doug for the important role he played in Buckley’s success,” Klubes added.