Law Firms

Eckert Seamans’ ‘Growth Spurt’ Now Includes 5 Lawyers from Ballard Spahr

Pittsburgh-based Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott has hired 38 lateral lawyers this year, bringing on five labor lawyers from Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll in its latest acquisition.

“Despite an economy in which many large firms are shedding attorneys, Eckert Seamans has been on a bit of a growth spurt,” the Legal Intelligencer reports.

The new group will join Eckert’s D.C. office, bringing the total lawyers there to 17. Among those making the move is partner F. Joseph Nealon, who oversaw Ballard Spahr’s litigation practice in Washington, D.C., according to the Intelligencer and Pittsburgh Business Times.

Eckert CEO Timothy Ryan told the Intelligencer that the firm has plans to add more lateral lawyers both in D.C. and Boston.

Ryan said Eckert’s 38 lateral acquisitions so far this year were the result of good timing and an economic environment that allows the firm to offer competitive compensation, with a more flexible rate structure. Some of the lawyers came from Hendrickson & Long in West Virginia and the disbanding WolfBlock in Pennsylvania.

“In this environment, we’re able to make mergers and hires that add real quality lawyers,” Ryan told the Business Times. “The risk factor is way down.”

Besides Nealon, the group includes partners Jeffrey Larroca and Constantinos Panagopoulos, and associates Jennifer Lattimore and William Ledoux Jr.

The Intelligencer says Ballard Spahr lost another group of seven Washington lawyers earlier this year to Steptoe & Johnson.

Despite Eckert’s expansion, it has taken some cost-cutting moves. Earlier this month, the law firm announced plans to lay off 119 of the 200 temporary attorneys at its Pittsburgh document coding center.

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