Legal Business Blogs

Breaking: Clyde & Co loses 15-strong US litigation team as two London partners exit

The expiry of Clyde & Co’s three year post-merger partner lock-in appeared to pass almost unnoticed last April but the top 20 firm has lost two London partners as its established US practice is this month hit with a 15-strong team walk out including three litigation partners.

London commercial partner Alan Meneghetti, who joined the firm five years ago as a legal director and became an aviation partner in 2010, left the firm on 31 December 2013 for Locke Lord’s corporate practice in London. Meneghetti’s experience within the aviation and aerospace sector includes handling regulatory issues surrounding procurement, data protection and privacy, intellectual property, information technology and the drafting and negotiating of commercial agreements.

Separately, project finance partner James Varanese, who joined Clydes as a partner in 2003, left the firm at the end of October last year to join oil and gas company Siren E&P as its executive chairman, although his exit has previously been unreported.

The departures follow the exit of energy partner George Booth also in October last year for Pinsent Masons.

In the US, a 15-strong litigation team left Clyde & Co’s New Jersey office on 1 January to boost the disputes offering of the local Newark office of Virginia-founded firm LeClairRyan. These include litigation partners Jeffrey O’Hara, Matthew Bauer, Bryan Couch and of counsel Matthew Schultz, who joins LeClairRyan as a partner.

Also joining LeClairRyan are six associates, one law clerk, two paralegals and two staff members, all having joined Clydes from New Jersey based firm Connell Foley.

The new team will significantly boost LeClairRyan’s commercial and corporate litigation, professional liability and transportation practices.

The team has experience in franchise litigation, product liability and toxic tort claims with a special focus on defending casualty cases involving large exposure and catastrophic events.

LeClairRyan’s litigation chair Erik Gustafson said: ‘There is a long-standing personal and working relationship between our firm and this team. As such, there is a great deal of mutual respect for the calibre of our trial practices.’

O’Hara adds: ‘We chose to join LeClairRyan for a number of reasons, but one of the most compelling was becoming a part of a highly entrepreneurial, growing law firm. LeClairRyan’s geographic footprint and nationwide reach will benefit our clients.’

In a prepared statement sent to Legal Business Clyde & Co said: ‘Jeff O’Hara, Matthew Bauer and Bryan Couch will be withdrawing as partners and leaving the firm to join LeClair Ryan in its Newark, New Jersey office as of 1 January 2014. We would like to thank all three of them for their contribution to the firm, not just in the U.S. but across our global network. Jeff, Matt and Bryan’s departure has been amicable and we wish them all the very best for the future.’