Another corporate leader of Stroock & Stroock & Lavan has left the firm, heading with a second partner to Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel.
Kramer Levin announced Tuesday it had hired Todd Lenson, who was head of Stroock’s corporate department for the past year, and Jordan Rosenbaum, also a corporate partner at Stroock. Lenson, who spent 21 years at Stroock, will now serve as co-chair of Kramer Levin’s capital markets and public companies practice.
Meanwhile, Stroock has named this week new co-chairs of its corporate group, longtime transactional partners Christopher Doyle and Jeffrey Lowenthal. Doyle focuses on mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, commodities financings and corporate governance, while Lowenthal focuses on corporate finance, reorganizations and business combinations.
Stroock, which recently conducted a strategic review, has seen about 20 partner departures this year, mostly in corporate and transactional practices. In 2016, the firm had 273 attorneys, according to The National Law Journal, a NYLJ affiliate, and 89 equity partners.
Jeff Keitelman, who became co-managing partner of Stroock last year, was not available for an interview Tuesday, but said in a statement that “the departure of some as a result of our recent strategic review has not been unexpected—one reason we’ve worked so hard on succession planning.”
He added that the “quick elevation of Chris and Jeff to step up as co-chairs of the corporate practice reflects the deep bench we have in that area.”
“They’ve both been here for years and also express a renewed and healthy optimism for what we are trying to achieve here,” Keitelman said. “Our corporate practice is in excellent hands with Chris and Jeff, both of whom are energized and committed to growing the platform with us.”
Stroock’s departures this year include about a dozen lawyers in New York, led by former investment management chair Stuart Coleman, who landed at Proskauer Rose. In June, Lior Ohayon, who was a co-leader of Stroock’s corporate practice and chair of its private funds group, joined Willkie Farr & Gallagher as a partner in its asset management practice.
The firm has also seen departures in other practices, including two IP litigation partners, Joseph Diamante and Charles Cantine, who left for King & Spalding in July and another IP attorney, Pierre Yanney, who left for Baker & Hostetler earlier this month.
At the same time, Stroock has made some notable partner hires this year. In September, the firm added investment funds attorney Eric Requenez, joining from Morrison & Foerster. The firm in June also brought on board a four-person restructuring team, including partner Brian Kelly, who was special counsel at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy.
In another statement from Stroock, the firm said they wish Lenson and Rosenbaum success at their new home.
“Our corporate and securities/commodities groups remain vital to Stroock and well-integrated across a number of complementary practices, including financial restructuring, real estate, capital markets, private equity and investment funds and financial regulation, all of which are in strong condition and continuing to grow,” the firm said.
Stroock’s statement said it has “turned in a solid year transaction-wise” and said it has grown its base of corporate clients. “We’re preparing for more momentum in 2018 as we continue to realize our firm strategic goals and expect to see our corporate platform continue to expand with more quality hires,” the firm said.
At Kramer Levin, Lenson and Rosenbaum will continue to represent companies, private equity funds and their portfolio companies, and hedge funds and real estate investment trusts in transactions, including mergers and acquisitions and securities offerings.
Lenson has a significant practice, recently representing PBF Energy Inc., an independent oil refiner, in its $600 million IPO, and New York-Presbyterian Hospital in an offering of $850 million multiple series bonds.
In an interview, Lenson said his decision to leave was not tied to Stroock’s strategic review. “My departure was entirely my own choosing,” he said, declining to comment on other Stroock departures.
Lenson said he was attracted to Kramer Levin because it offers a “deep bench of partners” in its corporate and transactional areas of the firm.
“The opportunity we have at Kramer Levin was compelling both for our existing clients and their client base,” Lenson said, adding he anticipates his clients will stay with him. “We represent public companies and others in sophisticated M&A and capital market transactions and they do as well. There was an opportunity here to help deepen their practice.”