17 partners to leave Patton Boggs

Seventeen partners last week announced their intention to leave storied Washington law and lobby firm Patton Boggs, a firm spokesman confirmed Monday.

More than half of the partners worked out of the firm’s Dallas office, but the defections also include partners in Washington and Denver. Patton Boggs spokesman Elliott Frieder said the partners have not left yet, but will be leaving soon.

It is not unheard of for a large number of partners to leave a law firm at the same time, but it often indicates internal unrest and can lead to sudden loss of significant business for the firm.

“Recently a number of attorneys at the firm announced their intention to move on,” said a statement issued by the firm on Friday. “Movements of this kind are a regular occurrence in the industry, and Patton Boggs, like its peers, will continue to pursue strategic hirings and acquisitions where they make sense. These colleagues are our friends and we thank them for their service and wish them well in their new endeavors.”

In March, Patton Boggs let go 65 people — 30 attorneys and 35 staff — in a move that managing partner Ed Newberry said would save $14.7 million.

The firm celebrated its 50th anniversary last year, and has about 500 lawyers in 10 offices worldwide. It is known primarily for its lobbying practice, built by industry pioneer Thomas Boggs, Jr.

Several Patton Boggs partners in Dallas appear to be heading to Holland & Knight, as was first reported by the legal industry blog Above The Law. A Holland & Knight spokeswoman confirmed that Holland & Knight is opening a Dallas office, and that a group of Patton Boggs lawyers would be joining them. She declined to specify the exact number of attorneys or when the move would be happening.

Catherine Ho covers lobbying at The Washington Post. She previously worked at the LA Daily Journal, the Los Angeles Times, the Detroit Free Press, the Wichita Eagle and the San Mateo County Times.

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