The pending demise of Sedgwick has resulted in a maritime group recruited nearly two years ago by the San Francisco-based Am Law 200 firm leaving for Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, which last month also brought on civil litigation partner Kendra Canape.
Gordon Rees announced Wednesday that it had brought on Andrew Port, the head of Sedgwick’s maritime practice, and its Southern California maritime group leader James Marissen as partners in San Francisco, Orange County and Los Angeles. Other Sedgwick lawyers making the move include partners James Tamulski and Cheryl Morris, partner-turned-counsel Eric Danoff and senior counsel Christopher Farnsworth and James Kuhne.
The group was not immediately available to discuss their decision to leave Sedgwick, which is poised to shutter its operations in early January, for Gordon Rees. Sedgwick hired Port, Tamulski, Morris and Danoff in early 2016 from Emard Danoff Port Tamulski & Walovich, a San Francisco-based boutique that saw veteran maritime lawyer and former name partner Wayne Emard be killed in a motorcycle accident in 2005.
The seven-lawyer maritime group led by Port, who will now serve as co-chair of the practice at Gordon Rees, moves to the firm a few weeks after it brought on commercial litigator Canape in Irvine, California, where she now serves as co-chair of Gordon Rees’ securities litigation group. Canape has been joined at the firm by former Sedgwick associate Rachel Weitzman, who now also works out of Gordon Rees’ Orange County office.
Gordon Rees, which adopted a new name in 2014, had $296.5 million in gross revenue last year, making it the top-grossing California firm in the Am Law 200 rankings at No. 110. Gordon Rees made headlines last month after one of its partners in New York appeared in a controversial segment on Fox News. In September, Gordon Rees expanded in New England after absorbing a five-lawyer firm in Providence, Rhode Island.
As for Sedgwick, the departures of Canape and Port mark the latest exits in what has been a busy year for lateral losses at the firm. The American Lawyer reported last week that British firm Clyde & Co is poised to pick up a large group of Sedgwick lawyers throughout the United States. Clyde & Co and Sedgwick had reportedly been in merger talks until those discussions hit the skids in October.
Duane Morris announced in late November that it would absorb a group of Sedgwick labor and employment lawyers in San Francisco, while a trio of U.K.-based firms have in recent weeks reeled in what remains of Sedgwick’s London office. A back office operations center opened in mid-2014 by Sedgwick in Kansas City, Missouri, is also poised to close by late January, resulting in the termination of 75 employees.