Andrew Brucker, Jeffery Dayon, Saul Mishaan, Charles Palella, Isaac Saufer, Howard Schechter, Julie Schechter and Phyllis Weisberg. (COURTESY PHOTO)

Armstrong Teasdale has added another group of lawyers from Philadelphia’s Montgomery McCracken Walker & Rhoads, halving Montgomery McCracken’s New York office to launch its own presence in Manhattan.

The Am Law 200 firm, which is headquartered in St. Louis, is adding 16 real estate-focused lawyers from Montgomery McCracken to make its entrance to the New York market.

Andrew Brucker, Jeffery Dayon, Saul Mishaan, Charles Palella, Isaac Saufer, Howard Schechter, Julie Schechter and Phyllis Weisberg are joining Armstrong Teasdale as partners, the firm said Monday. Eight associates and additional staff will be coming along with those partners, the firm said.

Armstrong Teasdale made its East Coast debut just a few months ago, when it opened in Philadelphia in September. That office was also launched by Montgomery McCracken attorneys, including Richard Scheff, who had been Montgomery McCracken’s executive chairman. He now leads Armstrong Teasdale’s East Coast presence as managing office attorney for both Philadelphia and New York.

Montgomery McCracken now has 14 lawyers left in its New York office, according to the firm’s website, including eight partners.

Scheff said he began talking with the New York group about joining Armstrong Teasdale shortly after his own move. The firm is looking to continue growth in both cities, he said.

“The lawyers in Philadelphia and the lawyers in New York are used to working together,” Scheff said. “From an integration standpoint, we’re well ahead of the game.”

Armstrong Teasdale presented Scheff and his partners the opportunity to cross-sell nationally, especially in the Midwest, Scheff said, as well as cross-selling opportunities in other practices, particularly intellectual property. He also noted that being Midwest-based allows the firm to offer rate-sensitive clients a better price point for “similar or better expertise” than other New York practices.

Scheff said the New York lawyers, who focus on real estate law, are bringing along all their clients. He declined to state numbers with regard to their book of business, but said there is “significant revenue generated both in Philadelphia and New York” from the groups that joined this year and last.

When he joined Armstrong Teasdale last year, Scheff said he generated more revenue than any other lawyer at Montgomery McCracken.

All of Armstrong Teasdale’s New York partners were part of smaller firms before they joined Montgomery McCracken through combinations in 2012, 2016 and 2017.

In August 2016, the nine lawyers of New York real estate boutique Schechter & Brucker all joined Montgomery McCracken, along with their staff. The combination created one of the largest real estate practice groups focused on cooperative corporations and condominium law in the city, according to Montgomery McCracken at the time. Andrew Brucker, Howard Schechter and Julie Schechter were all lawyers at Schechter & Brucker until 2016.

Partners Saul Mishaan and Jeffery Dayon were part of Mishaan Dayon & Lieblich, a four-lawyer firm whose attorneys and staff became part of Montgomery McCracken in March 2017.

The other three partners joining Armstrong Teasdale—Palella, Saufer and Weisberg—were previously part of Kurzman Karelsen & Frank, which Montgomery McCracken acquired in 2012 to launch its New York office.

In a statement Monday, Montgomery McCracken vice chairman and executive partner Richard Simins thanked the departing New York lawyers for their contributions to the firm.

“We’ve been planning for these departures for several months and we remain on course with our strategic plan to grow our footprint in multiple practice areas in New York,” Simins said. “We look forward to a period of growth under the leadership of our New York office managing partner, Bobby O’Connor.”

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