At least 22 attorneys, policy specialists depart Patton Boggs following merger

Correction: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated Holland & Knight has an office in Denver. The firm does not have a Denver office, but does have attorneys working in Denver. It also misstated the number of former members of Patton Boggs’ executive committee who have joined other firms. This version has been corrected.

A day after Patton Boggs and Squire Sanders completed their merger, 12 Patton Boggs attorneys and policy specialists announced moves to rival law firms.

The departures bring the number of attorneys and professionals leaving the firm since the May 23 merger announcement to at least 22, including five who served on the executive committee.

Monday’s announcements included seven attorneys who joined Holland & Knight in Washington and Denver, four who signed on with Akin Gump in Washington, and one who joined Edwards Wildman Palmer in New Jersey.

Holland & Knight has brought in partners Norman Antin, Jeffrey Haas, Kevin Houlihan, Mary Beth Bosco and senior counsel William Levay to its Washington office, and partners Mark Goldschmidt and Shawn Turner to Denver. All but one specialize in representing financial institutions; Bosco represents government contractors.

Akin Gump took in former Patton Boggs partner Jennifer Richter, associate Benjamin Bartlett, senior counsel Gregory Walden and policy specialist Melanie Goggins, all in Washington. Richter specializes in telecommunications, representing technology and communications companies and investors in transactions, regulatory and general corporate matters.

Edwards Wildman has hired James Tyrrell, a former partner in Patton Boggs’s New Jersey office, where work on the Chevron case became a major obstacle in completing the firm’s combination with Squire Sanders.

Last week, leaders at Squire Patton Boggs said they had anticipated that some attorneys would leave because of reasons including client conflicts.

Haas and Antin said they had been considering other options since late last year but agreed not to leave until after the deal between Patton Boggs and Squire Sanders was completed. They said their decision was based not on client conflicts but because they thought Holland & Knight would be a better platform for their financial services practice.

“We wanted to do it in a way that didn’t disrupt the merger discussions, so we timed our departure consistent with the closing of the deal,” Haas said.

Last week, three top election-law attorneys left Patton Boggs for Jones Day — including Ben Ginsberg, Mitt Romney’s attorney during the 2012 presidential election — and seven health-care attorneys and advisers departed for Akin Gump, including John Jonas, who started the health-care practice at Patton Boggs.

Bosco, Jonas, Richter, Tyrrell and Antin were part of Patton Boggs’s executive committee.

Capital Business is The Post’s weekly publication focusing on the region’s business community. For more Washington business news, go to www.capbiz.biz.

Catherine Ho covers law and lobbying for the Capital Business section of 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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