Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft has threatened to sue the seven London partners who are leaving for Paul Hastings, after initially promising an amicable separation.
Former chairman Bob Link flew into London last Tuesday (27 January) to try to manage the situation and is set to transfer to London in February to rebuild the office.
Cadwalader has instructed UK employment specialist Lewis Silkin, which has written a letter before action to the departing partners, claiming they have broken the terms of the Cadwalader partnership agreement by enticing associates and support staff to leave with them.
In addition to threatening the seven departing partners, Cadwalader is trying to force Paul Hastings to take on more associates and support staff than it needs using Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) legislation.
Cadwalader released a statement to the media despite the Lewis Silkin letters demanding confidentiality.
The seven departing partners declined to comment, as did Paul Hastings.
To receive our free twice-weekly Lawyer in New York US legal news and comment email, click here. Or get the latest news, features and comment as it's published with our free RSS feed.