Four return to Hogan Lovells DC

Last year’s defectors to DLA Piper head back to Hogan Lovells

What goes around comes around, or so they must be thinking at Hogan Lovells’ Washington DC office. Little more than a year after the firm lost a team of five energy partners to DLA Piper it is crowing over the return of four of them.

The four to return are Hogan Lovells former co-energy practice head Kevin Lipson and partners Stefan Krantz, John Lilyestrom and Christopher Schindler. When the team quit last January DLA hailed the quintet as “among the best energy lawyers in the country”.

The U-turn must have come as a shock to DLA, which had intended the hires to demonstrate its commitment to the energy market.

Puzzled by the turn of events, The Lawyer contacted Lipson to ask him straight – why the change of heart?

“We rejoined Hogan Lovells because it is an unparalleled platform with uniformly high-quality lawyers that will give us the opportunity to serve our clients in the most efficient and effective way possible,” he responded flatly.

Quite, but that doesn’t explain the sudden exodus 12 months ago, nor the about-turn. Nor does it explain why partner Lee Alexander has opted to stay put.

Lurking in the background for DLA in the US is a high-profile legal battle with energy entrepreneur Adam Victor who, having been sued by the firm for unpaid fees, has responded by claiming it charged too much.

There is no suggestion the two issues are linked, but it is clear the energy practice is hitting a few bumps in the road.