Dorsey & Whitney, which opened a Dallas office in March with lawyers that do corporate and finance work, has added litigation to the mix with two recent hires from Winstead.
Brian Vanderwoude joined Dorsey & Whitney as a partner on Sept. 25, three days after of counsel Jay Madrid also headed to the firm from Winstead, where he was once a partner and co-chair of the firm’s fiduciary litigation section.
“It was opportunity to get in on the ground floor at an office … that didn’t have a litigation presence in Texas and be able to build and grow that for them,” Vanderwoude said. “It was something that was pretty exciting to me.”
Vanderwoude, who spent a dozen years at Winstead, added that he enjoys the opportunity to continue to work with Madrid, after trying cases with him over the last decade. Madrid spent 35 years at his former firm, where he sought Winstead’s CEO position in 2007. He called the opportunity to move to a firm with a “different and much broader stage” as exceeding his wildest imagination for this stage of his career.
Madrid said that Dorsey & Whitney will provide him with more bet-the-company-type litigation, and perhaps an increase in complex commercial litigation in federal court. Madrid’s expertise is in fiduciary litigation, representing institutional and private trustees in disputes.
“I consider that an area that is a growth area,” Madrid said. “You’ve got a lot of baby boomers that have accumulated a great deal of wealth and disputes come up.”
Vanderwoude said he does financial services and trusts and estates litigation, while also maintaining a real estate practice. He said practicing at a firm with a large network of offices is an advantage—Dorsey & Whitney has 20 offices around the world—and the firm also has a lot of banking clients. Neither Vanderwoulde nor Madrid would identify their clients.
Dorsey & Whitney, based in Minneapolis, opened its Dallas office with a group of lawyers who previously formerly worked at Schiff Hardin. Until Vanderwoude and Madrid joined the firm, the office had a transactional focus, mostly doing mezzanine finance and private equity work, as well as handling corporate finance and M&A matters.
Ken Cutler, managing partner of Dorsey & Whitney, said in a press release that his firm is pleased that Vanderwoude and Madrid came aboard as they add a much-needed litigation capacity to the firm’s now 18-lawyer outpost in Dallas.
When asked to comment on the departure of both litigators, Winstead chairman and CEO David Dawson in Austin said the firm wished both of them “the very best” at Dorsey & Whitney.