Weil, Cadwalader pick up N.Y. white-collar leaders from rival law firms

The logo of law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is seen outside of their office in Washington, D.C.
The logo of law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is seen outside of their office in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 31, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

(Reuters) - New York law firms Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft and Weil, Gotshal & Manges each said on Tuesday they have hired white collar defense practice leaders from rival firms.

Cadwalader has added longtime Paul Hastings partners Kenneth Breen, who was head of the firm's New York white collar group, and Phara Guberman. Breen, a former federal prosecutor, previously served for a decade as chair of Paul Hastings' global investigations and white collar defense team.

Meanwhile, former Mayer Brown white collar defense co-leader Daniel Stein has joined Weil in a similar role, in New York.

Stein, also a former federal prosecutor, will serve as co-head of 1,100-lawyer Weil's white collar defense, regulatory and investigations practice.

He landed at Mayer Brown in 2016 after serving as chief of the criminal division for the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York.

A Mayer Brown spokesperson said the firm wishes Stein well.

The trial lawyer pair joining Cadwalader secured a win earlier this year for client Matthew Connolly when a U.S. appeals court threw out his and another former Deutsche Bank AG trader's convictions for rigging the Libor financial benchmark, and ordered acquittals for both men.

Both Breen and Guberman joined Paul Hastings in 2007, according to their LinkedIn accounts. A Paul Hastings spokesperson said the firm wishes the lawyers well.

Katherine Loanzon, a New York-based managing director at legal recruitment agency Kinney Recruiting, said in an email that the hires make sense amid an increase in recent years in internal investigations and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement actions.

"White collar work will always be a need in markets such as New York City," she said.

Cadwalader last week said it brought on Mike Rupe, who formerly led the financial restructuring group at King & Spalding, as head of special situations and reorganizations. The firm earlier this year lost a 20-lawyer financial services team to Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson.

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Cadwalader adds former King & Spalding financial restructuring head

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Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at sara.merken@thomsonreuters.com