Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft has suffered its second partner defection since the firm announced record layoffs earlier this summer.
New York environmental litigator Andrew Perel has defected to the New York office of Steptoe & Johnson.
Perel’s move follows Cadwalader’s loss of its Beijing managing partner, Mark Roppel to Allen & Overy (The Lawyer, 26 August).
Perel joined Cadwalader in 2001 and focuses on environmental litigation. His core client base focuses on financial institutions handling transactions in the hotel, hospitality and real estate sectors.
As well as boosting his new firm’s environmental practice, Perel will also become a member of Steptoe’s management committee and a representative on the firm’s executive committee.
Steptoe’s head of litigation, Steve Fennell, said: “He is a leader in the field and highly respected nationally. Through his practice, he provides Steptoe with additional entrée into the financial services clients that are the back bone of every New York law firm practice.”
Fennell added that Perel’s arrival would be a significant boost to the firm’s New York presence.
In July, Cadwalader laid off 96 lawyers across its offices in the US and UK, the largest single round of redundancies at a law firm since the credit crunch began last year.
The firm declined to comment.