Clifford Chance loses five staff to McDermott

The partner formerly in charge of Clifford Chance’s taskforce on associate satisfaction is jumping ship, along with five colleagues, to McDermott Will & Emery.

Corporate partner David Taub, who was also the deputy managing partner for the Americas at Clifford Chance, is moving to McDermott with partner John Lutz and four lawyers who specialise in derivatives and structured products.

Taub was chair of the employment committee at Clifford Chance at the time of the infamous ‘Paddinggate’ memo, which followed the firm’s ignominious second from bottom-placed ranking in The American Lawyer’s associate survey in 2002.

The group is the second hire McDermott has made from Clifford Chance in New York. In January, the firm took on capital markets partner Thomas McGavin, a legacy Rogers & Wells partner who had been heavily involved in the 2000 merger of the two firms. Sources say McGavin was a key factor in last week’s group hire, since he and Taub worked closely together at Clifford Chance for a number of years.

The departures are yet another blow to Clifford Chance’s attempts to stabilise its US operations. In New York alone, the number of partner departures in the past 18 months is nearing 30, while a fortnight ago, three West Coast-based partners resigned within two days of each other.