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Mass exodus as McDermott bags 50-lawyer team from DLA to add ‘$100m’ to revenues

McDermott Will & Emery has brought in a team – including more than 20 partners – from DLA Piper’s US offices, in a string of major moves touted as adding $100m in revenue to its top line.

The Chicago-based firm announced on 29 March that a four-partner real estate finance team, led by DLA’s New York-based global co-chair of finance, Jeffrey Steiner, would be arriving.

Steiner, who will act as McDermott’s global real estate finance chief, joined the firm alongside fellow partners Scott Weinberg, Dino Fazlibegu and Robert Unger.

Steiner’s arrival represents the third DLA practice group leader to join McDermott in recent weeks, with Michael Poulous, DLA’s co-managing partner for the Americas, joining in March. Michael Sheehan, DLA’s Chicago-based global co-chair of employment, also made the switch last month.

McDermott has indicated that it expects the team to contribute as much as $100m, though DLA has dismissed such projections.

In a statement, Steiner cited McDermott’s ‘highly-respected transactions and real estate teams’ and asserted his team was ‘anxious to collaborate with them.’

Other partners to join McDermott in the US include nine from the employment group. Pankit Doshi, Dave Durham, Chris Foster and Ron Holland have all joined McDermott in San Francisco, Rachel Cowen and Marilyn Pearson in Chicago, Maria Rodriguez and Michelle Strowhiro in Los Angeles and Ellen Bronchetti in San Diego.

Furthermore, a group of seven litigators are transferring to McDermott: Seth Friedman, Jason Gerstein, Tim Hoeffner and Raphael Larson in New York, Larry Wojcik in Chicago, Nicole Figueroa in Dallas and Mike Piazza in Los Angeles.

Additional lawyers who have made the switch from DLA include real estate finance of counsel duo Robert Mower and Michael Twersky, with Kevin Connelly joining McDermott’s Chicago employment group as an of counsel.

The slew of US departures compounds a turbulent end to 2017 for DLA Piper, with the firm losing its esteemed senior partner and global co-chair Juan Picón to Latham & Watkins in Spain.

In February, DLA named veteran Andrew Darwin as its new senior partner after Picón’s departure sparked the firm’s first contested election in a decade.