McDermotts boosts tax with top team from Thelen Reid

Chicago firm McDermott Will & Emery‘s NY office is luring a highly rated team of tax lawyers away from Thelen Reid & Priest in New York.

The group, led by Thelen Reid’s former tax practice chair David Hardy, boasts another partner, Laurie Marsh, and two associates. They specialise in advising the energy and utility industry and increase McDermotts’ tax practice to 160 lawyers – according to the firm the largest of its kind in the US.

Head of the New York tax practice Peter Faber says: “We didn’t have anyone in the New York practice who was really involved in energy taxation, and in addition they have got very strong international tax expertise.”

The 100-lawyer New York office now has a tax practice of 14 lawyers – six partners and eight associates. The other strongholds of the firm’s tax practice are in Washington DC and Chicago.

Faber says: “The tax practice really kind of breaks down into two components – we have a lot of tax referral work from companies who are not regular corporate clients of the firm, and we provide tax work for the general corporate clients.”

The firm’s tax clients include Metropolitan Life Insurance Company and Toys ‘R’ Us.

Faber refuses to name any of the clients coming over with Hardy, but says the team has been getting heavily involved in the deregulation of the electric utility industry in the US and advising clients on restructuring their businesses.

The firm has been aiming to boost its practice in New York for a long time, and Faber says he hopes the practice will reach 200 lawyers within a few years. The 800-lawyer firm has 11 offices worldwide.