Morgan Lewis deals blow to Shaw Pittman NY ambitions

Morgan Lewis & Bockius has plucked two outsourcing partners from the New York office of Washington DC’s Shaw Pittman, just as the latter enters due diligence on its merger with Pillsbury Winthrop.

Shaw Pittman has made growth in New York its priority but the departures of the firm’s most senior New York attorneys leaves the office with just one litigation partner. Most of the office’s associates are expected to join partners Akiba Stern and Ed Hansen at Morgan Lewis.

Stern and Hansen’s departures leave Shaw Pittman’s New York office in a similar position to that of London, which was decimated at the end of last year when three partners left to join Morrison & Foerster. The firm also closed it Los Angeles office last year.

Morgan Lewis’s co-leader of the business and finance practice said that Stern and Hansen’s decision to join Morgan Lewis was not related to Shaw Pittman’s merger efforts. The firm has been keen to grow its outsourcing practice and now has an outsourcing capability in Philadelphia, Princeton, Pittsburgh, London, Paris, Palo Alto and New York.

Shaw Pittman were unavailable for comment.