After a recent departure in its zoning and land use practice, Zarwin Baum DeVito Kaplan Schaer & Toddy moved quickly to staff back up, bringing on a partner from Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel.
Dawn Tancredi is Zarwin Baum’s newest partner, the firm announced Monday, a week after Dilworth Paxson announced that it hired partner Darwin Beauvais and associate Meredith Ferleger from Zarwin Baum.
Zarwin Baum co-managing partner Gary DeVito said his firm was inspired to seek a zoning partner after learning that Beauvais was leaving, and Tancredi was the first person on his list.
“She represents many large clients and some national and international clients,” DeVito said. “We didn’t want to lose Darwin but I think our zoning practice is the best it’s ever been.”
The national and international clients come to Tancredi for help with local matters, DeVito said. Her clients include a developer of high-end student housing, a large Buddhist monastery and an international hotel company, according to the firm.
Tancredi said her new firm will allow her to continue her existing practice while gaining some experience in construction and real estate-related litigation.
Tancredi became a partner at Obermayer Rebmann in 2013. In addition to her practice, she teaches a class on real estate at Drexel University, in the College of Engineering’s construction management program. She is also one of the co-chairs of the zoning, land use and code enforcement committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s real property section.
Tancredi also has connections in local government, DeVito said, which are key to her practice. She has run for a seat on the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas several times, including earlier this year, but she dropped out in the spring.
DeVito said real estate generally is a substantial practice for the 67-lawyer firm, which makes zoning an essential practice as well. He said the real estate market in Philadelphia and Zarwin Baum’s real estate practice are likely to continue growing.
“Prognosticators still feel that this region will continue to grow even when it flattens out nationally,” DeVito said. “Philadelphia has a lot of catching up to do with Washington and New York.”
Obermayer Rebmann chairman Mathieu Shapiro said his firm has no immediate plans to replace Tancredi.
“We have a very strong zoning and land use practice as it is, I’m sure it will continue to grow,” he said. “She had an opportunity there that she felt she had to take, and we wish her the best.”