MoFo raids Mayer Brown for heavyweight US litigators

One of the most prominent trial lawyers in the US has led a four-partner defection from the New York office of Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw to West Coast rival Morrison & Foerster (MoFo).

Dennis Orr, who has experience of more than 30 federal and state trials, moves across to MoFo with partners Thomas Mueller, Grant Esposito and Stefan Engelhardt.

The close-knit group had come to Mayer Brown from Shearman & Sterling in 1997. Engelhardt joined them in 2000.

Orr claimed that together the coterie represented around a third of Mayer Brown’s litigation clients.

“All our clients are moving with us,” said Orr. His client contacts include the general counsel of companies like Unilever and Cadbury Schweppes, who he is representing in an ongoing IP dispute against Topps, the makers of Bazooka chewing gum.

Morrison’s litigation chair, Charles Kerr, was evidently delighted with the advent of such lucrative clients. He said in a statement: “The group has a particularly impressive track record in securities, product liability and antitrust cases. On every level, Dennis and his colleagues will expand our litigation capabilities.”

The departure comes as a blow to Mayer Brown, not least in the loss of clients it represents. The firm relies on its litigation department, its largest practice, for a third of all work.

Mayer Brown was unavailable for comment.