Merger conflicts drive more partners from Shaw Pittman

Nine more partners are leaving Shaw Pittman following the five that left last week as the firm rapidly weeds out those conflicted by, or not enamoured with, the firm’s merger with Pillsbury Winthrop

As first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (10 March), Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) is the chief beneficiary, taking a group of six partners, including legendary corporate/technology partner Jack Lewis. Lawrence Yan-owitch and Thomas Knox will lead MoFo’s corporate practice in Northern Virginia. They are joined by three other Shaw Pittman partners.

It is understood that the group felt that MoFo suited their technology-focused practice better. Another group of two partners, an associate and two government relations professionals, led by Senator Connie Mack, is leaving for King & Spalding. Mack served for 12 years as a member of the US Senate, served three terms in the US House of Representatives and was senior policy adviser to the firm’s government relations practice group.

A Shaw Pittman spokesperson said that Mack’s group would be sorely missed but added that they had to leave due to an irreconcilable conflict involving a major aerospace client.

The only comment on the MoFo team was: “The merger is not suitable for all partners for a number of different reasons.”

Another leaving for conflict reasons is IP partner Yitai Hu who is taking a team of five associates to Akin Gump.

However, it is not all one-way traffic. Martin Krall has returned to the firm as senior counsel after nine years in-house. Until 1995 Krall was a partner at Shaw Pittman and vice-chairman of the firm. From then until late 2004, he served as executive vice-president and chief legal officer of New York’s Daily News, US News & World Report and their affiliated companies.