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In ‘Class Act,’ Paul Hastings Helps Telecom Chief Set Up New DC Boutique

Posted Aug 5, 2011 1:17 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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Corrected: When a conflict developed between one of Carl Northrop's biggest clients and another major client of Paul Hastings, it was clear that the best solution was probably for him to leave the firm, he tells the ABA Journal.

But Northrop, who headed the telecommunications practice group at Paul Hastings, approached the firm with a somewhat unusual suggestion. It would be easy for him to join a competing BigLaw firm. But alternatively he could follow the more difficult course of opening a new firm, which would allow him to continue to work very closely with many of his Paul Hastings colleagues.

The firm saw the advantage of this arrangement, Northrop says, and went the extra mile to help him set up the new five-lawyer telecom boutique he opened Aug. 1 in Washington, D.C.

Tech experts from Paul Hastings helped Telecommunications Law Professionals set up its computer and phone systems, and client files were already awaiting the boutique's lawyers when they walked in the door because Paul Hastings allowed the departing group to submit file transfer letters in advance.

In addition to Northrop, two Paul Hastings associates and a nonattorney legislative specialist left to join his new firm, and a former Paul Hastings partner came out of retirement to add to the attorney roster. Northrop also hired an associate from another firm, he tells the ABA Journal.

"It was really a class act," he says of the way Paul Hastings handled the group's departure and helped him set up the new boutique. "I like Paul Hastings a lot; it has a lot of great attorneys. I'm leaving because of circumstances beyond anybody's control, and I think they've handled it as well as any large law firm could be expected to."

Northrop, who was a partner at Paul Hastings for 15 years after making a lateral move from Bryan Cave, says he looks forward to continuing to work closely with his colleagues from his now-former firm.

Hat tip: National Law Journal (sub. req.).

Revised at 1:18 p.m. to correct misstatement, from underlying coverage, in earlier post that those departing Paul Hastings were all partners and include new information provided by Northrop to the ABA Journal.

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