Fried Frank's head of litigation goes it alone

New York firm Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson is losing the head of its litigation department as he leaves to set up his own firm.

Gregory Joseph, who has been at Fried Frank for 22 years, says that he has decided to go it alone because there are too many conflicts between his practice and, alrhough declining to name them, the rest of the firm.

He says: “The principal reason is that, with the huge number of corporate mergers over the last few years the number of conflicts has risen explosively.

“With the mass of consolidation on the corporate side, coupled with the explosive growth of law firms, the better your corporate practice, the more restricted your litigation department is.”

He will launch his firm, which will be known as Gregory P Joseph Law Offices, with four or five lawyers from Fried Frank, none of whom are partners.

He says the plan will then be to grow the office to no more than 12 lawyers, and work with larger firms on a case-by-case basis.

He says: “A small core of a dozen lawyers or so is really sufficient to handle any kind of case, because if you need more people you can associate with larger firms.”

He will continue working with Fried Frank on existing pieces of work, and, he says that all his clients are moving with him.

Head of Fried Frank's London office Robert Mollen says: “Greg has been a great partner with our firm and we expect to continue working with him.

“You can understand that in the securities litigation area conflict issues are a major concern and, while you never like to lose a very talented partner, we still have a very strong litigation and securities litigation practice.”

The new chair of the litigation practice, based in New York, will be William McGuinness.