Law Firms

Dispute over Antitrust Focus May Have Caused Cohen Milstein Rift

A focus on international antitrust work may have cost the chairman of Cohen Milstein Hausfeld & Toll his job.

Antitrust litigator Michael Hausfeld has complained that he was informed of his expulsion from the firm earlier this month by a note left on his chair, but little has been said about the reasons for the ouster. He is forming a new law firm and taking 15 to 20 of firm’s antitrust lawyers with him.

Now one lawyer who worked with Cohen Milstein is telling Legal Times (reg. req.) that Hausfeld’s “singular vision” to pursue international antitrust work was causing a rift at the law firm.

Hausfeld would come back from an overseas trip and announce that he was ready to open new offices. “This is the kind of thing that was driving everybody nuts,” the lawyer said.

Another lawyer who worked with the law firm told the publication that disputes over Hausfeld’s international work were only part of the problem. Many partners didn’t feel like they had a voice in firm management, he said. Much of the firm’s reputation and business were based on Hausfeld, leaving other partners feeling left out. “I think most of it, primarily, was a lot of personality conflicts between Michael and the other partners,” he said.

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