Willkie Farr swoops on 12-partner Dewey corporate team

Willkie Farr & Gallagher has hired a 12-strong team of transactional and regulatory lawyers from Dewey & LeBoeuf.

The group moving to Willkie includes two London partners – Joseph Ferraro and Nicholas Bulger – as well as four partners who had leadership roles at Dewey & LeBoeuf: US M&A chair Alexander Dye, insurance industry sector group co-chair Michael Groll, a leader of the firm’s corporate department, Robert Rachofsky, and co-chair of the corporate finance practice John Schwolsky.

Other partners joining Willkie are Scott Avitabile, Donald Henderson, Arthur Lynch, Vladimir Nicenko and Allison Tam, who will all be based in the firm’s New York office.

In a statement, Willkie co-chairman Thomas Cerabino said: “We’ve worked closely with this team in a number of transactions over the years. They are among the most elite practitioners in their field and will add greatly to our capabilities in their areas of expertise.”

The news comes shortly after Dewey & LeBoeuf announced that it was cutting 5 per cent of its lawyers and 6 per cent of staff globally, as the firm takes steps to make itself more competitive (5 March 2012).