Greenberg takes Dewey Poland team as Italy spins off with Grimaldi

Greenberg Traurig has taken a team of more than 50 lawyers from Dewey & LeBoeuf to launch in Poland including key partners Jaroslaw Grzesiak and Lejb Fogelman as well as London partner duo Frank Adams and Federico Salinas.

Meanwhile, Dewey’s Italy team is set to leave to rebrand under the name Grimaldi Studio Legale with the hire of Vittorio Grimaldi, name partner of extinct Italian firm Grimaldi e Associati.

Grimaldi Studio Legale, a 130-lawyer firm, will be headed by former Dewey Italy chief Bruno Gattai, while name partner Vittorio Grimaldi – whose firm Grimaldi e Associati voted to dissolve earlier at the end of 2011 (2 January 2012) – will take on an honorary role as the senior figure in the team and will be a partner and honorary president of the council of associates.

Grimaldi, who headed Clifford Chance’s Italian practice, left the magic circle firm in 2002 after a dispute over firm management (22 April 2002).

The new firm will take on 18 partners and 120 associates from Dewey plus Grimaldi and former Grimaldi e Associati partner Francesco Sciaudone, who will also join as a partner along with a team of ten former Grimaldi e Associati lawyers.

It will use the US firm’s Milan building as well as the former offices of Grimaldi e Associati in Rome and Brussels. Dewey partner Stefano Speroni will head the Rome base.

Greenberg in Poland will operate under the name Greenberg Traurig Grzesiak, with name partner Jaroslaw Grzesiak, the former managing partner of Dewey’s Warsaw base, serving in the same role. Former Dewey executive committee member and fellow corporate partner Fogelman joins Greenberg as senior partner of the Warsaw office, which is the US firm’s first in eastern Europe.

Dewey’s Warsaw team was one of the firm’s best-regarded international offices, with Grzesiak commanding deep respect from management in New York (16 April 2012).

Separately, Dewey London corporate finance partner Frank Adams – who splits his time between the City and New York – and corporate partner Federico Salinas are set to join Greenberg.

Grzesiak said in a statement: “Our office was approached by many of the highest quality firms in Europe and the US. We chose Greenberg Traurig because we share many of the same values – quality, strength, spirit and clarity of vision. We feel that we have a recipe for success and are excited about what this venture will bring to our collective clients worldwide.”

Greenberg is also lining up the hire of Dewey executive partner Stephen Horvath, with the timeline for the London-based corporate partner’s move to the US firm dependent on progress in the situation at Dewey.

In Germany, SJ Berwin has taken Dewey derivatives partner Walburga Kullmann along with a counsel and two further lawyers, with the hires following the departures of fellow Frankfurt partners Volker Holl, Bernulph von Crailsheim and Jochen Terpitz to Simmons & Simmons (14 May 2012) and Philip von Ilberg, Joseph Marx and local partner Martin Kniehase to McDermott Will & Emery (7 May 2012).

In Boston, Dewey energy partners Scott Mueller and Meabh Purcell have joined Holland & Knight, with the moves following the defection of high-profile Los Angeles and New York bankruptcy partner Bruce Bennett to Jones Day.

Bennett, one of the US’s top partners in his area, worked alongside fellow Dewey restructuring partner Martin Bienenstock in attempts to prepare the embattled firm for a merger with a rival (19 April 2012).

Separately, a Latin American-focused team of four partners based in New York has joined Paul Hastings, with the team led by corporate partner Michael Fitzgerald.