Winston & Strawn on Wednesday announced it has added Abbe David Lowell, who represents President Donald Trump’s senior adviser and son-in-law Jared Kushner in connection with the ongoing probes into Russian interference in the 2016 elections.
Lowell is joining Winston & Strawn as a partner based in Washington, D.C., and New York and departing Norton Rose Fulbright, where he was co-head of the firm’s U.S. regulations, investigations, securities, and compliance practice. Lowell previously served as Chadbourne & Parke’s litigation department chair and white-collar group leader before the firm merged with Norton Rose Fulbright last summer.
“Norton Rose and Chadbourne are a powerful combination,” Lowell said by phone Wednesday, “[but] I was running into a number of conflicts and other issues in this 4,000-person firm.”
Lowell declined to comment on the specific conflicts and issues he experienced. Asked about his representation of Kushner, Lowell said he expects all of his clients will remain with him at his new firm. Abbe’s roster of prominent past representations include lobbyist Jack Abramoff, former U.S. Sen. John Edwards, and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs.
Lowell is the latest legacy Chadbourne departure from Norton Rose this year, following the exits of debt finance partners Rohit Chaudhry and Brian Greene in February and March, respectively. He’s also just the latest to leave the firm for Winston, which recruited eight infrastructure and energy lawyers from Norton Rose Fulbright earlier this year, including three partners and one of counsel in Washington. In 2017, Winston also added 10 New York partners from Norton Rose Fulbright in the first weeks after the merger.
On Wednesday, Reed Smith also announced it had poached a 15-person team from Norton Rose Fulbright, including five partners and two associates joining as partners.
Norton Rose Fulbright’s U.S. managing partner Daryl Lansdale responded to Wednesday’s departures in a statement, noting that the firm’s “highly regarded white-collar crime practice” includes 50 U.S.-based lawyers.
“We wish Abbe well in his future endeavors,” Lansdale said.
Lowell declined to comment on whether others from Norton Rose would be following him to his new firm. He said his attraction to Winston stemmed partly from his longstanding friendship with Jeffrey Kessler, Winston & Strawn co-executive chairman, dating back to their college days.
Lowell said he and Kessler were discussing life a couple of months ago when the opportunity at Winston materialized and Lowell decided joining a firm with such a “deep and reputable” record in litigation was something he could not pass up.
“With a renowned trial lawyer like Abbe joining our existing national and international practices, the firm has solidified its place as one of the premiere litigation and white collar defense firms in the world,” said Dan Webb, the firm’s co-executive chairman, in a statement.