McDermott Will & Emery offices at 500 North Capitol street in Washington, D.C. June 11, 2015. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL.
McDermott Will & Emery offices at 500 North Capitol street in Washington, D.C. June 11, 2015. Photo by Diego M. Radzinschi/THE NATIONAL LAW JOURNAL. (Diego M. Radzinschi)

As the Dewey & LeBoeuf criminal retrial draws to a close, two former lawyers from the now-defunct firm, Ivan Presant and Jeffrey Meyers, are joining McDermott Will & Emery’s New York office as partners in its corporate and transactional group.

Meyers spent nearly 22 years at Dewey & LeBoeuf and its predecessors before joining Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in September 2009. At Stroock, Meyers served as chair of the firm’s energy and project finance practice, specializing in large-scale energy transactions and financings throughout the Americas and Caribbean.

“As my clients’ needs grow and continue to grow, I was looking for a bigger platform, one with more resources for my clients,” Meyers said Thursday, using an oft-cited reason for law firm lateral moves. “[I’m] looking forward to being able to help [McDermott] continue to build a dynamic practice both in the conventional, renewable and alternative power space, and the oil and gas space.”

Meyers’ exit from Stroock comes almost a month after the firm saw a dozen lawyers—including its former co-managing partner Stuart Coleman—decamp for Proskauer Rose in New York. Meyers declined to discuss his former partners at Stroock, instead looking ahead to McDermott, which itself installed a new leader late last year.

Presant, whose legal career began when he spent more than nine years as an associate at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson and Sullivan & Cromwell, specializes in public target M&A and private equity work, which he hopes to continue doing at McDermott.

“I’m going to try to develop and capture some public target transactions, corporate governance and takeover defense work [for] clients,” Presant said Thursday. “McDermott is already strong in those areas but they’re adding me to capitalize on those initiatives.”

Presant leaves Greenberg Traurig, a firm he first joined as a partner in 2004, leaving four years later to join Dewey & LeBoeuf shortly after its formation. Presant left Dewey & LeBoeuf in January 2012—four months before the firm’s collapse—to join Clifford Chance’s New York office. In June 2015, Presant left Clifford Chance to return to Greenberg Traurig.

It was Presant’s former colleagues at those firms who had headed to McDermott over the years who convinced him to join them at the firm.

“They had spoken about the creative thinking that was going on in terms of establishing and innovating new ways of partnering with the clients, rather than being an on-call legal provider,” said Presant, who noted he has not been following the Dewey & LeBoeuf retrial.

McDermott has spent the last several months building up its ranks in New York. In March, the firm hired fund formation expert Ian Schwartz from Fried Frank, a few months after adding a new private equity head in Schulte Roth & Zabel partner Robert Goldstein and bringing on litigation partner Rebecca Martin, a former co-chief of the civil frauds unit and a health care fraud coordinator at the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan.

Last summer McDermott snagged Shearman & Sterling’s private equity practice co-head Jeremy Dickers for its office in New York. McDermott did see trusts and estates partner Amy Heller leaves its New York office in January for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom. Jennifer Hodges, a corporate partner at McDermott in New York, also departed that same month to become an assistant general counsel at health care company Davita Inc. in Denver.

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