Dorsey & Whitney is expanding its bankruptcy practice with a team of lawyers from a Silicon Valley boutique.
Seeking a national platform, five lawyers from Murray & Murray, a Cupertino, Calif.-based bankruptcy firm, started work at Dorsey on Monday. Partners John Murray and Stephen O’Neill, of counsel Robert Franklin and Craig Prim and associate Thomas Hwang are the first Palo Alto-based lawyers in Dorsey’s West Coast bankruptcy and restructuring practice.
“Murray & Murray is known to me and most everybody else to be the premier bankruptcy boutique in Northern California,” said Craig Ritchey, Dorsey’s Palo Alto office head. “We were just delighted to have them join our team.”
The team specializes in Chapter 11 proceedings, assignments for the benefits of creditors and out-of-court workouts along with representing creditors.
Lawyers at Murray & Murray began exploring a move last August due to the decline in Chapter 11-related work in Northern California and their clients’ needs to file in other states such as Delaware, where Dorsey has an office, said Murray, who was the firm’s managing director.
“Having a national platform gives us opportunities elsewhere when things are slow here,” he said.
Not all of the firm’s lawyers decided to join Dorsey. Partner Janice Murray is retiring, associate Jenny Lynn Fountain is on maternity leave and partner Doris Kaelin is exploring other opportunities, John Murray said.
The firm has begun winding down its business and will dissolve later this year, he added. All active cases will be brought to Dorsey.
The new hires round out Dorsey’s West Coast bankruptcy practice, which had previously been rooted in Salt Lake City and Minneapolis, Ritchey said.
Murray said he wrestled over whether to leave the firm that was founded in 1975 by his brother and has been his home for 35 years.
“I had a lot of mixed emotions about it,” he said. “But I think that all and all this is going to be an incredible opportunity and a change that I really welcome.”