Hogan Lovells has bolstered its business and securities litigation offerings in New York, hiring a trio of partners away from Bracewell, including that firm’s former securities litigation co-chairman, Michael Hefter.
Hefter and fellow partners Seth Cohen and Ryan Philp have all made the leap, Hogan Lovells announced in a statement. They all join the firm’s litigation practice in New York as partners.
Dennis Tracey, who heads the global law firm’s litigation practice in the Americas, said that taking in the group from Bracewell marks a strategic move that Hogan Lovells hopes will complement recent efforts to expand the firm’s mergers and acquisitions group. The goal, said Tracey, is to be able to offer securities litigation support that would, in part, back up a growing M&A practice.
“This move strategically meets the increasing demand by our New York clients for more Delaware M&A and securities litigation support,” said Tracey. “Our U.S. litigation practice has been focused on recruiting laterals with experience representing corporations and financial service companies in disputes that arise out of major public and private transactions, particularly with the recent expansion of our M&A practice in Northern California.”
With the former Bracewell group, Hogan Lovells picks up a team that has experience litigating and arbitrating disputes for companies in several industries, as well as investment funds and corporate directors and officers. Hefter played a role on the Bracewell team that advised Great Plains Energy Inc. in its $12.2 billion acquisition in 2016 of Westar Energy Inc.
All three lawyers, meanwhile, served as co-counsel in a financial crisis-related case that targeted Rebecca Mairone, the former chief operating officer of Countrywide’s mortgage unit, now part of Bank of America Corp. That litigation dealt with allegations that Countrywide had bundled shoddy home loans into residential mortgage-backed securities before the housing market collapse and financial crisis.
Bracewell was lead trial counsel for Mairone, the lone individual defendant in the case, and then continued to be part of her legal team during a successful appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit that knocked out a $1 million judgment against the former executive.
Hefter said Thursday that he, Cohen and Philp saw the move to Hogan Lovells as an opportunity to join a firm with a strong global reputation that could help the lawyers add new clients and provide a broad variety of services to them.
“The firm is well known and has many domestic and international clients that work with its New York office on both litigation and transactional matters,” he said. “We saw it as a great opportunity to grow our clientele and offer them more services.”