Bloomberg poaches five-partner Willkie Farr team for New York HQ

US firm Willkie Farr & Gallagher is set to lose five partners from its New York base to its long-standing client Bloomberg.

The five partners and a team of around 15 associates are set to join Bloomberg’s Manhattan headquarters on 1 January, bulking up the financial newswire’s existing internal legal team, which currently comprises 35 lawyers.

Richard DeScherer, a partner in Willkie’s corporate department and a member of Bloomberg’s board of directors, will become the company’s chief legal officer.

Joining DeScherer are corporate partners Dan Grossman, David Levine, Carol Mascera and Sarah Osborn.

Willkie Farr, which supports the transfer, has been Bloomberg’s principal legal adviser for nearly three decades and will remain the newswire’s primary go-to firm.

Most recently, Willkie advised Bloomberg on the acquisition of  legal information provider The Bureau of National Affairs as well as winning a long-running employee discrimination case for it.

Bloomberg CEO Daniel Doctoroff said that bolstering the company’s in-house legal team is a strategic move that ties in with its aggressive expansion strategy.

“As a growing company operating in almost 200 locations around the world, we’re finding unprecedented opportunities for growth in our customer base, our product offerings and our local partners,” he said.

“Bloomberg will benefit greatly from a ramp-up of both the number and range of expertise of in-house legal staff to ensure we’re much more efficient and nimble as we seek to take advantage of these global opportunities.”

Earlier this month, Willkie Farr won a spot on German car manufacturer Daimler’s inaugural legal panel (27 October 2011) and hired Clifford Chance’s aerospace chief for its Frankfurt outpost (11 October 2011).