After weeks of speculation that Thacher Proffitt & Wood was shopping lawyers and practice groups -- and even considering dissolution -- Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal has said it is in the process of finalizing a major lateral move that it hopes will bring 100 lawyers from Thacher, including 40 partners, starting Jan. 1.
The majority of the lawyers coming to Sonnenschein will be based in the firm’s New York office. In Washington, Elliott Portnoy, the firm’s chairman, says partner Matthew Dyckman, of counsel Stephen Ornstein, and “a handful of associates” will all be joining the D.C. office. Dyckman will focus his work in the corporate and financial institutions area, while Ornstein’s focus will be in structured finance.
Portnoy says the firm has an agreement with the 40 partners, but because of ethical considerations, it has not started discussions with the associates. He says those discussions will start as early as tomorrow and adds, “Our expectation is that the partners joining us will persuade the associates to come with them.”
Discussions between Sonnenschein and Thacher about a lateral movement have been ongoing for almost a month, according to Portnoy. The talks heated up last week and the deal to bring over the partners got done in "record speed." Portnoy says, "You rarely get an opportunity to bring on 40 partners that come from teams of such high quality and have such deep client relationships. It's really an exciting thing."
Portnoy notes he has not had "direct discussions" about clients coming with the Thacher lawyers, but expects the "partners will be transitioning all of their clients after all appropriate disclosures have been made."
Check out this story from The American Lawyer for more information.