Winston lures 10 partners from McDermott – Law News

on Jul13

13 July 2017 | 8:44 pm

Winston & Strawn has hired 10 partners away from McDermott Will & Emery, including seven in Chicago.

The lawyers will join Winston’s employee benefits and executive compensation practice. Nancy Gerrie, who is located in Chicago, will co-chair the practice with Winston attorney Scott Landau in Washington, D.C.

“This group complements and strengthens our already strong EBEC Practice,” Winston Chairman Tom Fitzgerald said in a statement. “We are excited to welcome and integrate this prestigious group of practitioners to the firm, which underscores our commitment to strategic growth in key practice areas and markets.”

Winston has raided other law firms in markets around the country in recent years, most recently in Dallas, when it opened a 26-lawyer office with recruits from nine different firms. Conversely, McDermott has seen the departure of some notable partners, even as total headcount held steady in the last year.

But McDermott Chairman Ira Coleman said the firm still maintains a top-tier employee benefits practice, with 40 partners remaining.

“Productivity actually will increase 25 percent with these departures, and it will have no effect on our firm’s finances,” he said.

Ronald Nye, a recruiter in the Chicago office of Major Lindsey & Africa, said that after expanding in other cities, Winston is “starting to become more aggressive in their home market as well.”

This is a large group of lawyers to recruit from another firm, Nye said. Though it takes time to pull off a deal like this, the return on investment is greater. Clients are more likely to switch firms with a group than with a single department attorney, because there are “fewer lawyers at the old firm who can fight you for the work.”

“It’s obviously great news for Winston,” he said. “It’s a really good get.”

The news was first reported by the American Lawyer.

McDermott has named Todd Solomon as head of the employee benefits practice.



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