Greenberg Traurig has hired a three-partner, seven-associate team from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Texas.
Former head of securities litigation Paul Bessette and partners Micheal Biles and Jesse Weiss have joined the firm’s Austin office. Seven associates from Akin Gump’s securities team will also join the Austin office.
The firm has also hired Thomas Woodman, a partner at US firm Winstead, in Dallas.
Greenberg president Richard Rosenbaum said: “There are several strategic practice areas we’re focused on building up; restructuring, government advisory and litigation, in particular securities litigation. These are very difficult times for all firms but there are a number of opportunities as well.”
Last month, The Lawyer reported that Greenberg had hired restructuring duo Bruce Zirinsky and John Bae from Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft (9 January 2009).
Rosenbaum said: “We expect to expand our international practice as well. There’s a lot of interest in Brazil, Russia and the UK for us.”
The defections come at a volatile time for Akin Gump. Last year, The Lawyer reported on tension between the US firm’s New York and Texas office’s after the firm vowed to place the New York office at the centre of its international strategy (15 September).