The bicoastal group is led by two partners: Sacramento-based Carley Roberts and New York-based Marc Simonetti. They are bringing 11 counsel and associates along with them to Pillsbury.
Although Simonetti and Roberts don’t want to name their clients—those seeking tax advice rarely like to advertise that they are doing so, the duo noted—the two new Pillsbury partners suggested they brought substantial business with them.
“To give you a sense, on the Sacramento side of the house, 30-plus clients have come over, and they are all Fortune 50 or Fortune 500 companies,” Roberts said.
The two partners have litigated for clients in more than 25 U.S. jurisdictions, according to Pillsbury. Roberts has extensive experience in California courts and advises clients in the energy, technology, telecommunications, media, retail and manufacturing sectors on all aspects of state and local tax matters. Simonetti has appeared in New York and New Jersey courts and, for his clients, focuses on income, franchise, excise, sales and use taxes.
Clients making the move benefit from a combination of two of the largest SALT practices in the nation, Roberts said, referring to the pairing of the Eversheds Sutherland and Pillsbury groups. “You are able to find a lawyer with experience on any type of tax issue,” she said.
Simonetti and six of the new lawyers are based in Pillsbury’s New York offices, with Roberts and five others in Sacramento. Since the firm previously had most of its SALT lawyers in California and only a handful in New York, the moves buttress Pillsbury’s claim to a truly bi-coastal SALT practice.
Moving such a big group was no easy feat, Simonetti said. “It takes a lot of effort to move a team of this size. So it goes to show how close the team is, how much they all enjoy working together,” he said.
Prior to adding Simonetti and Roberts, Pillsbury had hired two partners in 2018, and eight partners have left, according to ALM’s Intelligence’s Legal Compass.
The pair’s departure from Eversheds Sutherland comes a little more than a year after the 2,800-lawyer firm was created by the union of the U.K.’s Eversheds with Atlanta-based Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, where Roberts and Simonetti had based their practices.
“We have one of the leading and largest tax practices in the U.S. and globally, providing our clients with the highest levels of expertise and service around the world. Given our large group of talented lawyers and staff we occasionally see some people move to try new and different challenges,” Mark Wasserman, co-chief executive officer and managing partner of Eversheds Sutherland, said in a statement. “We wish our former colleagues the best, professionally and personally.”