Alcoa axe forces LeBoeuf to close Pittsburgh

Alcoa, the world’s largest aluminium producer, has dumped LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae as its retained litigation firm after 13 years, in favour of Hunton & Williams.

In a complete overhaul of its legal roster, led by global general counsel Larry Purtell, the company has also retained Greenberg Traurig for all its IP work. The company chose Greenberg after three years with Pittsburgh firm Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott.

Alcoa spokesman Kevin Lowery said: “It was due to [LeBoeuf’s] overall handling of the account.

“Our desire for flexibility that wasn’t met and there was no focus on results.”

Alcoa consolidated its litigation work from more than 150 firms to LeBoeuf in 1993, with a number of the company’s in-house solicitors joining LeBoeuf to form a Pittsburgh office.

LeBoeuf will now close its four-partner, 30-lawyer office in the city before the end of the year.

LeBoeuf executive director Steve DiCarmine told The Lawyer: “The arrangement no longer made economic sense, and we mutually agreed to end the arrangement.

“We opened Pittsburgh specifically for Alcoa and since we will not be doing all their litigation under a fixed-fee arrangement the office will be closed.”

Hunton litigation partners David Landin and Lori Jarvis won the Alcoa mandate.

Hunton first came to Alcoa’s attention when the firm litigated on asbestos cases for Reynolds Metals Company, which was acquired by Alcoa in 2000.

Landin said Hunton would now look to expand its litigation practice with lateral hires and would consider opening its own Pittsburgh office, with potential hires from LeBoeuf.