Clyde & Co has hired a team of 15 insurance and litigation partners from Sedgwick, the latest in a line of lateral defections from the San Francisco-based Am Law 200 firm as it prepares shutter its operations in January.
The new partners include insurance and commercial litigators Bruce Celebrezze and Alexander Potente, whose departures were noted by The American Lawyer earlier this month as heralding an exodus of lawyers and staffers from Sedgwick to Clyde & Co following the collapse of merger talks between both firms.
Clyde & Co is now poised to pick up 12 Sedgwick partners from the firm’s California offices in Los Angeles, Orange County and San Francisco. These include the Irvine, California-based chair of Sedgwick’s insurance division, Ralph Guirgis, and Sedgwick’s Los Angeles managing partner and intellectual property litigator James Holmes. Catastrophic loss litigation partner Craig Barnes, negligence litigation partner Alison Beanum and commercial litigation partner Susan Koehler Sullivan are also leaving Sedgwick’s Los Angeles office for Clyde & Co.
In Orange County, business litigation partner Curtis Parvin, commercial insurance partner Sean Simpson and health care litigation partner Margaret Holm are making the move to the British firm. Insurance litigation partner Brian Harrison and professional liability partner Martin O’Leary are also leaving Sedgwick’s San Francisco headquarters for Clyde & Co.
Clyde & Co has added another partner from each of Sedgwick’s offices in Chicago, Miami and New York by bringing on insurance professional Catalina Sugayan, insurance litigator Alfred Warrington and directors and officers coverage expert Katelin O’Rourke Gorman, respectively.
The additions boost the U.S. partnership at Clyde & Co by one-third, taking the U.K.-based firm’s total partner count in this country to more than 60 across 10 offices. In addition to the Sedgwick partners joining Clyde & Co, the latter will also take on 30 lawyers and around 35 other staffers from the soon-to-be-defunct firm, including a shared services team comprising finance, information technology and other business services staff based out of Kansas City, Missouri.
Sedgwick, which in mid-2014 set up a back office operations center in Kansas City, confirmed in late November that it would close that facility by late January in a move that would result in the loss of at least 75 jobs.
“We have been growing in the U.S. for nearly 12 years and the addition of these 15 partners complements our existing West Coast and national business,” said Clyde & Co senior partner Simon Konsta. “These partners are all focused on core areas of practice that complement our objectives in North America, as well as our strategic ambition of being preeminent in our chosen sectors in any market in which we operate.”
William Casey, chair of Clyde & Co’s U.S. board and managing partner of its San Francisco office, noted that his firm has close ties to many of its new additions.
“This is a close-knit team that we have known for some time,” Casey said. “They will help us build our insurance, trial and litigation capabilities, particularly in Northern and Southern California, and further enhances our ability to provide our U.S. and international clients with nationwide services.”
Sedgwick said last month that it would close its doors in early 2018 after a raft of partner exits. The firm, founded in 1933, has lost more than 40 percent of its lawyers within the past year, according to data gathered by ALM Legal Intelligence.
Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani reeled in a nine-lawyer Sedgwick team last week in California, while Tanenbaum Keale—a Newark, New Jersey-based litigation boutique formed earlier this year by Sedgwick defectors—announced plans for a new office in Seattle after adding a seven-strong team from Sedgwick in the city.