Matthew Schroeder, partner with Akerman in Dallas.

 

Another former Gardere Wynne Sewell partner has departed the firm in the wake of its merger earlier this month with Foley & Lardner. Litigator Matthew Schroeder joined Akerman on April 2 as a partner in Dallas.

“The merger between Gardere and Foley presented opportunities to me at this time in my career, personally and professionally,” Schroeder said. “I had only been at Gardere.”

Schroeder said he knew lawyers at Akerman, including some who previously practiced at Gardere, so he interviewed there as well as at some other firms.

“Akerman provided the best fit for me and my practice and more importantly my clients,” said Schroeder, who does commercial litigation and insurance coverage litigation with an emphasis on environmental claims.

Many of his insurance company clients are based in New York and on the East Coast and Akerman has offices in New York and Washington, D.C., he said. He declined to identify clients but said the majority are national or international insurance companies and he handles lawsuits around the country.

Schroeder declined to provide specific reasons why he left the newly merged firm, but Foley Gardere said Schroeder’s departure was due to a client conflict.

“As with the other lawyers who left, the firm is disappointed to see valued colleagues leave but respect their decision and wish them well,” said Holly O’Neill, who was chair of Gardere prior to the merger. “At the same time, we remain confident this combination will position us as an attractive destination for future lateral hires.”

Akerman has landed several lawyers in the wake of the Gardere-Foley merger. In January, a group of international trade lawyers left Gardere and joined Akerman’s Dallas office. Also, earlier this year Akerman added partners Eduardo Espinosa and Michael Napoli in Dallas. They joined the firm’s fraud and recovery practice group from Dykema.

Gardere lost several other groups around the time of the merger. Fourteen former Gardere lawyers joined Husch Blackwell‘s offices in Texas, and a group of Gardere real estate lawyers decamped for Jackson Walker‘s Dallas office. Due to client conflicts, a global franchise and supply network group left Gardere on the eve of the merger to join Polsinelli in Dallas and Denver, and two intellectual property lawyers departed to join Oklahoma firm Crowe & Dunlevy in its Dallas office.