Another Dewey & LeBoeuf Partner Exits: Houston Managing Partner Heads for Litigation Boutique

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Written By admin at Sunday, March 25th, 2012

Another partner gave notice at Dewey & LeBoeuf on Friday, making for at least 37 partner departures since January at the prominent New York firm.

Litigator Sean Gorman, managing partner of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s Houston office, will join Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing as a partner. Gorman, who handles high-risk, high-stakes litigation, is taking three associates with him to the Houston boutique litigation firm.

His decision to leave Dewey was not linked to recent reports of financial trouble at the firm, Gorman said in an interview Saturday. He wanted to be part of a smaller practice where lawyers spend more time tackling challenging cases at trial. Gorman said his time at Dewey & LeBoeuf was “among the most enjoyable years of my law practice” and praised firm chairman Steven Davis’ leadership.

“My decision to leave Dewey & LeBoeuf was a decision to leave big law, not to leave because of any financial strain,” Gorman said. “If Dewey was still making the huge profits it made in 2007, before the recession, I still would have made the decision to go.”

Dewey & LeBoeuf declined to comment.

“Dewey’s loss is AZA’s gain,” said Demetrios Anaipakos, a partner at Ahmad, Zavitsanos, Anaipakos, Alavi & Mensing. ” Sean is a premier lawyer, and we couldn’t be more excited to add him to our team of commercial trial lawyers.”

WSJ wrote here about the most recent group to leave, four insurance and two tax partners headed for Sutherland Asbill & Brennan.

At a monthly meeting on Wednesday, Dewey & LeBoeuf leaders encouraged partners to stay, telling them that the firm’s financial position is strong. The pep talk appeared to calm some nerves among the partnership, one partner said. Still, the firm has said it expected additional departures, following the loss of 12 partners from its insurance practice, a traditional stronghold of the firm.

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