International law firm White & Case has taken an eight-lawyer litigation team from US firm Squadron Ellenoff Plesent & Sheinfeld to its New York office
Partners Lawrence Byrne and Joseph Armao and six associates jumped ship just as the merger between Hogan & Hartson and Squadron took effect. Byrne said: "I'd been a partner at Squadron and a member of the firm's management committee. At some point during the merger discussions, it became clear that Hogan & Hartson had significant conflicts of interest with some of the clients I represent." Byrne did not disclose the names of his clients. He added that the decision to leave the firm when the merger became effective was entirely amicable. Squadron officially ceased practice under its own name at the end of February and it was at that point that the litigation team joined White & Case. Michael Shuster, head of White & Case's commercial litigation practice, said: "Lawrence and Joseph are proven trial lawyers with outstanding track records representing clients in sensitive and aggressively contested matters. The team is an excellent addition to our litigation practice." Armao handles both civil and criminal contentious matters, including class action defence and internal investigations. Byrne is currently lead trial counsel for a defendant in a vitamins antitrust case, the largest civil litigation in the US to date. Byrne said: "It made perfect sense for us to move to White & Case. What appealed was being part of a very strong global law firm. We add depth and expertise to their litigation capability in New York."