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30 WolfBlock Lawyers to Join Cozen

Posted Mar 26, 2009 7:16 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Observers predicted earlier that as many as 100 of the lawyers working at dissolving WolfBlock might wind up at another Philadelphia-based law firm, Cozen O'Connor.

But right now only about 30 are officially doing so, although more may soon make the move, too, according to the Philadelphia Business Journal. All of those headed to Cozen O'Connor are from WolfBlock's Philadelphia headquarters, except for one Wilmington, Del., litigation partner.

Among those joining Cozen are the chair of WolfBlock's real estate practice group, Herman Fala, who serves as managing partner of the Philadelphia office and is leading a roughly 15-attorney contingent to the firm; an 11-lawyer trusts and estates group headed by WolfBlock practice chairman Robert Friedman; and the firm's tax practice chairman, Thomas Gallagher, along with two other lawyers, the Business Journal reports in a lengthy article based on an announcement by Cozen O'Connor.

Negotiations between Cozen and other WolfBlock lawyers are still ongoing. Tad Decker, the chief executive officer of Cozen, declines to say whether WolfBlock's chair, Mark Alderman, is among those his firm is speaking with, the article states.

Not all of the associates in his department will be making the move to Cozen, Fala says.

It was announced today that two other WolfBlock practice group leaders have found a new home at Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, the Business Journal reports. They are: financial services chair Richard Zucker, who heads the department’s commercial lending practice group; and Gretchen Santamour, who chaired WolfBlock's bankruptcy and creditor’s rights practice group.

Yesterday's news was that most of the lawyers in WolfBlock's office in Wilmington, Del., are joining Drinker Biddle & Reath's office there.

Additional moves reportedly being made from WolfBlock include Ralph Ferrara, who has joined Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel in Cherry Hill, N.J., as chair of the firm's construction practice group, according to the Courier-Post. (An Obermeyer press release is reprinted by the New Jersey newspaper, but is not available on the law firm's website although Ferrara apparently was added today to the firm's attorney directory.)

Meanwhile, two WolfBlock lawyers, Warren Fusfeld and Melissa Kurtzman, have joined the Philadelphia office of the national Littler Mendelson employment boutique, according to the Am Law Daily.

WolfBlock had roughly 300 lawyers around the time partners voted on Monday to wind down the firm's operations.

Additional coverage:

ABAJournal.com: "Did WolfBlock Infighting Lead to its Demise?"

ABAJournal.com: "Why WolfBlock Didn’t Merge to Survive"

Updated at 7:45 p.m. to include information about additional WolfBlock moves to firms other than Cozen O'Connor.

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