A group of real estate transactional partners in New York is poised to leave Kasowitz Benson Torres to join a Texas-based firm, according to sources familiar with the moves.
Wallace Schwartz, Julia Sanabria and Adam Endick, who arrived at Kasowitz more than six years ago after working together at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, are preparing to leave Kasowitz, the sources said. Schwartz, head of the firm’s real estate transactional group, arrived in 2011, and Endick and Sanabria joined in 2012. One source said the trio is eyeing Vinson & Elkins.
Marc Kasowitz, founding and managing partner of Kasowitz, acknowledged the moved in a statement to ALM. “We have always been focused on being the preeminent litigation firm in the nation, and the departure of this transactional group has no impact on that core strength or our overall practice,” he said.
Less than two years ago, the Kasowitz firm appointed Schwartz as a co-managing partner of administration, along with Cindy Caranella Kelly, a litigator. The appointments in 2017 came after the firm was thrust in the public eye through Marc Kasowitz’s representation of President Donald Trump. The founding partner drew unflattering press attention, and management committee member Aaron Marks left for Kirkland & Ellis that year.
Since Schwartz joined the firm, the real estate transactional practice grew to include more than 30 attorneys and paralegals. Schwartz and others have represented developers and landlords in several high-profile projects in Manhattan, including at Hudson Yards.
The firm has touted the real estate practice’s ranking among the top 10 firms in real estate transaction volume in New York City for each of the past two years from The Real Deal, a trade publication. From July 2017 to June 2018, the group worked on deals valued at nearly $500 million, Kasowitz’s website said.
The partners did not respond to requests for comment. A spokesman for Vinson & Elkins did not immediately return messages seeking comment.
—Christine Simmons contributed to this report.