Kramer Levin in Paul Hastings raid

Berwin Leighton Paisner‘s (BLP) US alliance partner Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel has raided rival US firm Paul Hastings Janofsky & Walker to hire a team of land use specialists.

The six-strong group, which is moving to Kramer Levin’s New York office, comprises partner Paul Selver, counsel Elise Wagner, special counsels Valerie Campbell and Jeremiah Candreva, associate Sheila Pozon and planning and development specialist Marcie Kesner.

The hires almost double the size of Kramer Levin’s land use practice, which was launched three years ago, to 12 lawyers. The group will be co-chaired by Selver, one of the city’s leading land use lawyers, and existing practice chair Michael Sillerman.

Selver said the combined group would focus on new development and reuse advice in collaboration with the firm’s separate real estate and environmental practices.

The defections from Paul Hastings come after a period when the firm has been focused on expanding its international capability, most recently with the hire of a private equity team from Perkins Coie’s defunct Hong Kong office last month.

Kramer Levin is a full-service firm with offices in New York and Paris and a formal alliance with BLP in the UK.