April 19, 2012 5:45 PM

Spring Office Openings on Tap for Several Firms

Posted by Brian Baxter


Several Am Law 200 firms have announced new offices within the past week, including two top South Carolina-based firms branching out into new markets.

Nelson Mullins Riley Scarborough, a 414-lawyer general services firm based in Columbia, South Carolina, is setting up shop in Nashville after hiring Laurence “Larry” Papel, the former head of the corporate and MA practice at Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell Berkowitz, according to the Nashville Business Journal.

Labor and employment firm Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak Stewart, meanwhile, opened a New York office this week with the addition of two partners—Edward Cerasia II and Anjanette Cabrera—and five associates from Seyfarth Shaw, according to sibling publication the New York Law Journal.

Ogletree, a 543-lawyer firm based in Greenville, South Carolina, will also relocate employment litigation partner Cheryl Stanton and director of knowledge management Patrick DiDomenico to New York from the firm’s office in Morristown, New Jersey. Cerasia will serve as the New York office’s managing partner.

British litigation shop Stewarts Law is also opening in New York, as well as Delaware, on May 1. The firm, which has offices in London and Leeds, announced this week that it has picked up partners Ralph Sianni and David Straite from litigation boutique Sianni Straite. (The NYLJ notes that the three-lawyer firm will fold now that Stewart has absorbed its name partners.)

Sianni and Straite were previously with prominent Delaware-based plaintiffs firm Grant Eisenhofer until opened their own shop last year. At 38-partner Stewarts, Straite will be based in New York, while Sianni and of counsel Geoffrey Tudor will head up the the U.K. firm’s new Wilmington office. The NYLJ reports that Stewarts plans to hire more lawyers for both of its new offices.

Stewarts managing partner and chairman John Cahill said the firm’s expansion into the U.S. is “an important strategic step” as it seeks to extend its reach in cross-border litigation, according to U.K. publication Legal Week.

Also expanding abroad: Dechert and Hogan Lovells.

The latter is entering the hot Indonesian legal market by setting up an association with 22-lawyer local firm Hermawan Juniarto, according to sibling publication The Asian Lawyer. Though local bar rules prevent foreign firms from opening  offices in Indonesia, several global firms have inked alliances with leading  Jakarta-based shops in recent months. (Earlier this month Baker McKenzie local alliance partner Hadiputranto, Hadinoto Partners advised Singapore’s DBS Group on its proposed $7.2 billion acquisition of Indonesia’s Bank Danamon.)

The Asian Lawyer reports that Hogan Lovells has also relocated corporate partner Chris Melville from London to its new office in Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Hogan Lovells became the first Am Law 100 firm to officially establish an office in the city last year through an alliance with local firm GTs Advocates, which grew out of a referral relationship between GTs and legacy firm Lovells, according to Legal Week.

Finally, Dechert has opened an office in Almaty, Kazakhstan’s largest city, by raiding Chadbourne  Parke for its entire 11-lawyer team led by natural resources and banking and finance partner Kenneth Mack.

It’s the second time in two years that Dechert has relied on former Chadbourne lawyers to set up shop in a former Soviet bloc country. As sibling publication The Legal Intelligencer notes, Dechert launched a Moscow office in 2010 with several hires from Chadbourne. (Some of those laterals returned to Chadbourne a few months later.)

Dechert also announced this week the opening of an office in Dubai through its acquisition of at least five partners and a team of associates from the ailing Dewey  LeBoeuf, whose financial difficulties have the firm shedding lawyers at an increasingly rapid rate, according to our almost daily reports.

Photo: Dubai, Wikimedia Commons

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