In the first few days of its existence, Hogan Lovells has said goodbye to at least seven lawyers in Washington.
A six-lawyer insurance litigation group left Hogan to launch a D.C. office for Hartford, Conn.-based Shipman & Goodwin. James Ruggeri, who leads the group, said that the move was made because of conflicts created by the merger for his group’s chief client, The Hartford Financial Services Group Inc. Ruggeri serves as The Hartford’s national counsel for complex insurance coverage matters. He had been at Hogan since 1991.
Ruggeri started work at Shipman today along with partners Edward Parks II and Joshua Weinberg, counsel James Christiansen, and associates Tara Plochocki and Michele Backus.
Scott Murphy, who chairs the 140-lawyer Shipman, said the D.C. office will be his firm’s first office outside Connecticut. Murphy said the group was a “perfect fit” because Shipman was looking to expand its representation of The Hartford in Washington at about the same time Ruggeri started looking for another firm to join. “The Hartford introduced us about three months ago, and from there we all realized that this made a whole lot of sense,” Murphy said.
Ruggeri was philosophical when speaking of the Hogan Lovells merger. “Hogan was an amazing place to be, and I think they’re going to have a great future after the combination with Lovells. But in combinations like these, there are going to be some casualties,” Ruggeri said. (The National Law Journal profiled Hogan Lovells here.)
Also this weekend, Philadelphia-based Cozen O’Connor snapped up Hogan antitrust litigator Jonathan Grossman for its Washington office. Grossman, who started at Cozen today, said the fact that he made the move just as Hogan Lovells went live was a “pure coincidence.”
Grossman, who had been an associate at Hogan but is a partner at Cozen, said he made the move to help Cozen expand its antitrust practice. The firm has about a dozen antitrust lawyers nationwide, with four in Washington. Grossman’s practice focuses on advising clients in the health care, energy, high tech and commercial insurance sectors.
“This was a great opportunity for me to be at the ground level” of expanding a practice, Grossman said.
These moves mark the first lawyers to leave Hogan since Michael Wyatt jumped to Foley Hoag in March. Wyatt advises small business investment companies.
On the Lovells side, Frankfurt-based litigator Daniel Busse left the firm on April 16, taking two associates with him after being tapped to head Allen & Overy’s German dispute resolution practice. Just days before the merger went live, The American Lawyer reported that Lovells also lost Robert Lewis, the managing partner of its Beijing office, to Chinese firm Allbright Law Offices.