DLA Piper snags 27 attorneys from Honigman as law firms hire large groups

Signage is seen outside of the law firm DLA Piper in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Departures include Honigman’s Chicago managing partner, private equity co-leader
  • Multiple large groups have shuffled between U.S. law firms over the past month

(Reuters) – DLA Piper, one of the highest-grossing U.S. law firms, on Thursday said it has poached a team of 27 private equity lawyers from Detroit-based Honigman.

The hires will significantly expand DLA Piper’s team of middle market private equity attorneys in Chicago. They include Harris Eisenberg, managing partner of Honigman’s office in the city, and Alex Plakas, co-leader of Honigman’s private equity practice.

DLA Piper’s hire marks the latest big group of attorneys to shuffle between major U.S. law firms within the past month.

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In late March, Stroock & Stroock & Lavan lost nearly its entire financial restructuring group, which accounted for 29% of its revenue last year, to Paul Hastings.

Shortly after, Norton Rose Fulbright doubled the size of its Minneapolis office by hiring from a local trial firm, and later opened a Chicago office with a group of 11 lawyers from DLA Piper, K&L Gates and Polsinelli.

Fennemore Craig, a Phoenix-founded firm, absorbed “the substantial majority” of California-based Gresham Savage Nolan & Tilden in early April.

DLA Piper and the Honigman team have crossed paths before on private equity deals, said Joseph Silver, the global co-chair of DLA Piper’s private equity practice.

Honigman in a statement Thursday said it is a “healthy, profitable” firm that has made “nearly 80 hires” over the past 18 months.

Kay Hoppe, a Chicago-based legal recruiter, said she is already hearing from other lawyers who have also been contacted about joining DLA Piper in light of Thursday’s group move.

“Whenever you can get a big chunk of private equity, that’s a big deal,” Hoppe said. “That’s what everyone wants.”

(Updated with comments from DLA Piper partner Joseph Silver, legal recruiter Kay Hoppe, and the Honigman law firm.)

Read more:

Norton Rose Fulbright bets on the Midwest with Chicago expansion

Departed Stroock lawyers generated 29% of 2021 revenue, firm leader says

Fennemore poaches 25 California attorneys in ongoing westward push

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