Dilworth Paxson has lured a partner from Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer Toddy to its real estate practice, adding land use and zoning capabilities it previously lacked.
Partner Darwin Beauvais, whose clients include developers across the Philadelphia region, started at Dilworth Paxson on Monday. He brought senior associate Meredith Ferleger along with him from Zarwin Baum. Both of them focus on zoning and land use, which Beauvais said is likely to remain an active practice for the foreseeable future.
“There may be slight market corrections here and there, but all in all we’re still in a very strong growth period,” Beauvais said. “Philadelphia is still continuing its rise.”
Beauvais spent six years at Zarwin Baum, and five years before that as legislative counsel to the majority leader of the Philadelphia City Council. Beauvais also has a governmental relations practice.
At Dilworth Paxson, he said, he expects to provide land use services for existing clients, in addition to bringing a book of business with him. Dilworth Paxson CEO Ajay Raju said his firm previously had to refer out that work when it arose for clients, including his own real estate fund.
“We already have a great real estate group … and I’m adding a new dimension,” Beauvais said. He said he began reaching out to firms recently, including Dilworth Paxson, in search of a larger platform. Zarwin Baum has about 60 lawyers in five offices, according to the firm’s website, while Dilworth Paxson has around 100, Raju said, also with five offices.
Raju said his firm is not seeking to grow its head count by much, but Beauvais fit the bill for lawyers Dilworth Paxson would be interested in: “Anyone with a nice book of business, young and vibrant.”
It has been nearly six months since the firm last announced a lateral partner hire, when it brought on IP lawyer John Squires in May. Raju said he has tasked Beauvais with recruiting others who can provide land use services as the firm looks toward continued development in the Philadelphia area.
“All you have to do is look out the window and see nothing but cranes,” Raju said.
The practice also works well with Beauvais’ government relations experience, Raju said, as the firm’s clients and industries it focuses on often involve the intersection of regulation and business.
About 20 to 30 percent of the new partner’s work will likely be generated through the firm’s existing clients, Raju said. That includes Raju’s real estate fund, which will now be able to in-source its legal work, he said.