Matthew Parrott
Matthew Parrott ()

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, riding high from a successful financial year in 2016, has recruited another new partner to its Manhattan headquarters in real estate litigator Matthew Parrott.

The firm announced this week its hire of Parrott, most recently head of the New York real estate and distressed debt litigation group at Katten Muchin Rosenman, as well as finance partner Adam Summers from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, where he made partner earlier this year. Parrott cited Fried Frank’s real estate expertise—the firm’s annual holiday party at Cipriani’s in New York is a who’s who of the real estate scene—as drawing him to Fried Frank.

“Fried Frank has one of the premiere real estate practices in the country,” said Parrott, adding that the firm should be a seamless fit for his complex litigation and disputes practice, which sees him represent the “full spectrum” of real estate market participants, be they borrowers, brokers, developers, landlords or tenants.

Parrott said Fried Frank’s own real estate—the firm’s office in New York’s financial district has recently been retrofitted with some modern day perks—also helped entice him to make the move to a new role after more than 18 years at Katten Muchin, where he made partner in 2006, the same year as troubled former Katten Muchin partner Evan Greebel.

“They’ve got a billiards room and a café,” said Parrott of Fried Frank’s home at 1 New York Plaza. “And having that collaborative workspace really helps from a teamwork perspective.”

Parrott said that over the years he’s been adverse and served as co-counsel with Janice Mac Avoy, Fried Frank’s current real estate litigation head and co-chair of the firm’s pro bono committee, while also crossing paths with Jonathan Mechanic, chair of Fried Frank’s real estate department. (Mechanic, a longtime real estate dealmaker in New York, now also has ties to the White House—his son, Ross, is dating Tiffany Trump, the Georgetown University Law Center-bound daughter of President Donald Trump.)

Parrott declined to discuss his current clients, but court records show that he’s been involved in foreclosure proceedings for the proposed redevelopment of the Nevele Grand Hotel in the Catskill mountains of upstate New York, as well as a partnership dispute in New York state court involving the Genesis Cos., a development and construction firm based in the tristate area.

The New York Law Journal also reported last summer on Parrott’s role representing Titon Builders Inc. in a dispute with the Public Art Fund Inc.—advised by Weil, Gotshal & Manges—over an art exhibit that collapsed a few years ago in New York’s Central Park. That dispute settled last fall.

Parrott’s hire caps a busy spring for Fried Frank, whose New York office has added Davis Polk & Wardwell counsel Meredith Mackey as a capital markets partner, alternative investment management partner Jeremy Berry from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and former D.E. Shaw Investments LP general counsel John Liftin as senior counsel. Amber Meek, a corporate partner at Kirkland & Ellis who gained a small measure of Big Law fame in 2015, joined Fried Frank as special counsel in January.

Fried Frank recently recruited Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe corporate partner Brian Margolis as special counsel in New York, where the firm picked up special counsel Garret Filler earlier his year from Cadwalader, a firm whose investment management group Filler joined last year. Fried Frank also welcomed Willkie Farr & Gallagher corporate counsel Amir Ghavi as special counsel in New York, as well as real estate special counsel Meredith Deutsch, who came to Fried Frank after serving as general counsel at New York-based Morgans Hotel Group Co. LLC.

Despite the additions, Fried Frank has seen some defections in 2017. Ropes & Gray announced this week its hire of business litigation partner Lisa Bebchick in New York, where McDermott Will & Emery nabbed Fried Frank partner Ian Schwartz in March to head its investment funds practice. Debevoise & Plimpton announced that same month its hire of partner Henry Lebowitz, a former head of the technology transactions practice at Fried Frank.

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