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Houston-based firm Bracewell & Giuliani is becoming a popular place to be. As public debate within the US increases over whether the firm's senior partner and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani will throw his hat into the US presidential election ring next year, an increasing number of lawyers are trying to get a piece of the action.
Following Linklaters' former US head of corporate Mark Palmer's defection to Bracewell in April - a move widely rumoured to be driven by one of his client's political aspirations - four more lawyers opted to join Bracewell last week.
As reported on www.thelawyer.com (10 July), bankruptcy and restructuring partner David Albalah has moved across from McDermott Will & Emery, while regulatory partner Julian Rainero joins from Bingham McCutchen.
Associate Scott Gutmanstein has also moved across from Bingham, while former special assistant US attorney Craig Warkol joins as counsel in the white-collar crime and regulatory defence practice.
However, commentators claim that the lawyers may be aligning themselves to Giuliani too early.
While Giuliani has topped several US national 2008 presidential opinion polls in recent months, one Washington DC lawyer warned that his pro-abortion rights, gay rights and gun control positions are likely to upset many conservative Republican voters, whose influence are crucial in the primaries.