Winston raids Katten for six partners

US firm Katten Muchin Zavis Rosenman has lost another six partners during a further raid by Chicago-based rival Winston & Strawn, meaning the US firm has haemorrhaged 14 partners since March.


In what Katten admits to be a strategic assault on its financial services practice, Winston & Strawn has taken nine partners from its Chicago and New York offices in the past three months, leaving the financial services practice with 36 partners.

Financial services partners Milton Buckingham, Basil Godellas, Edward Johnsen, Marla Kreindler, Wesley Nissen and Michael Phillip, who chaired the firm’s employee benefits and executive compensation department, have all left for Winston & Strawn. They join private equity specialists Rick Ginsburg, Margaret Lomenzo and Steven Napolitano, who left in June.

A spokesman for Katten’s financial services practice said that Winston & Strawn had made a concerted effort to develop its financial services practice and had targeted the Katten lawyers with attractive remuneration packages.

The exodus comes hot on the heels of similar raids by Bryan Cave and Chicago-based law firm Gardner Carton & Douglas.

Nine attorneys moved to Bryan Cave in March, including five within the financial institutions practice. Meanwhile, Gardner Carton scooped two partners from Katten in May, including head of customs and international trade Kathy Murphy.

At the same time, Katten has hired financial services partner Kenneth Rosenzweig from Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw and corporate partner Murray Schwartz from Pryor Cashman Sherman & Flynn last month. The hires follow that of five financial services lawyers from a range of firms in April, including a partner from Winston & Strawn.