Kaye Scholer lost a partner on both coasts this week while hiring senior attorneys in its Chicago and Frankfurt offices.
The defectors are GRACE PAN and G. THOMAS STROMBERG. Pan, a patent, trademark and copyright litigator, joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe as a partner in New York, while Stromberg, who will focus on financing issues related to acquisitions and the funding of private companies, jumped to Jenner & Block’s Los Angeles office as a partner.
Kaye Scholer managing partner Michael Solow downplayed the losses. “Grace Pan has a niche IP practice primarily centered around Japanese clients,” Solow said in a written statement. “This geographic focus doesn’t fully mesh with Kaye Scholer’s successful strategy to provide IP clients with high-value solutions based on our knowledge and experience advising in core industries such as life sciences and technology.”
As for the firm’s second partner loss of the week, Solow said in his statement: “Tom Stromberg has contributed a great deal to the firm over the years. Given our recent shift in strategy, we knew that some of our Los Angeles partners would have to make a difficult decision. Tom deliberated a long time about what to do and, while we are very sorry to see him go, we know that he will achieve much at his new firm.”
Stromberg’s departure is the latest in a series of recent partner defections from Kaye Scholer’s Los Angeles office. Others leaving the firm of late include the former chair of Kaye Scholer’s investment funds group, Timothy Spangler, who moved to Sidley Austin in November; corporate partners Barry Dastin, Sheri Jeffrey and Russ Cashdan, who jumped to Hogan Lovells in October; and finance and renewable energy partner Jeffrey Chester, whose departure for Morrison & Foerster with two other attorneys also came in October.
Solow says all of the L.A. defections are by design. “We have recently made the strategic decision to have our Los Angeles office capabilities more closely mirror Kaye Scholer’s top-ranked national offerings: cutting edge litigation, including antirust, product liability, complex commercial litigation; IP and bankruptcy, as well as real estate finances,” he said by email. “The changes we have seen in our L.A. office over the past few weeks are consistent with our strategy for California and Kaye Scholer as a whole.”
Kaye Scholer did make two new hires this week, bringing on counsel DINA HAYES in Chicago and financial counsel HARTMUT RENZ. Hayes, most recently at the Chicago firm Niro, Haller & Niro, focuses on patent cases involving biomedical infusions devices, power wheelchair suspension systems, cardiac ablation devices and techniques, and digital audio fingerprinting methods.
Renz is slated to join Kaye Scholer next month in Frankfurt, where he will advise clients on corporate compliance and regulatory matters related to finance and capital markets. He most recently worked in the legal department of the commercial German bank Landesbank Hessen-Thuringen (Helaba).
Hayes says she chose to go to Kaye Scholer because “it represents many Chicagoland companies, and its courtroom experience in the Northern District of Illinois is outstanding.” She adds that she had been impressed with Kaye Scholer intellectual property partner Robert Unikel’s litigation expertise in the past.
Renz was not available for comment.
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