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Clifford Chance’s New York office loses corporate duo to Greenberg Traurig

Clifford Chance’s (CC) ambition to build its New York office have suffered a setback with the loss of M&A duo Ivan Presant and Joseph Cosentino to US firm Greenberg Traurig.

Greenberg, has had a particularly busy first half-year for hires and new office launches, and this latest addition will see its New York partner headcount increase to 30 corporate partners.

Both Presant and Cosentino joined the Magic Circle firm in January 2012 from Dewey & LeBoeuf. The move will see Presant return to the firm he left in 2008 for Dewey, having been a partner there since 2004. He originally joined having been an associate at both Sullivan & Cromwell and Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. Cosentino became a partner at the now defunct Dewey in 2009 having been there as an associate from 2000.

Presant said: ‘Having now practiced elsewhere, and gained considerable experience in my practice, with clients and in other legal environments, I now see that today’s Greenberg Traurig is the place that will best support the kind of growth I envision personally and professionally in these times.’

Both Cosentino and Presant have worked on a range of corporate work with Cosentino having particular experience in TMT, pharmaceutical, insurance, and energy and utilities sectors.

The hires in New York follow the addition of real estate teams from both Allen & Overy and Norton Rose Fulbright in Warsaw last month with 12 new lawyers joining in a serious bid to grow and integrate its real estate network outside the US.

This came after the firm also launched a new office in Tokyo with a three-partner team from DLA Piper and White & Case at the beginning of the year.

CC voted through changes to its remuneration system last month, to use a more flexible lockstep by stretching the top of its ladder in a bid to retain star partners. The changes will mean leading partners can be moved from 100 points up to either 115 or 130 points while other partners may be brought down from the 100-point plateau to 70 points.