Law Firms

After end to merger talks, Stroock loses more than half of its partners; is law firm's viability at risk?

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Stroock & Stroock & Lavan sign

Departing lawyers at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan include Stroock’s “prized real estate team” and the law firm’s co-managing partner Jeff Keitelman. Image from Shutterstock.

More than 30 partners at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan are joining Hogan Lovells, a number that amounts to more than half of Stroock's partnership.

The move was announced Friday, a day after Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan ended “nonexclusive” merger talks, report, Bloomberg Law and Law360.

It was the second time that Stroock failed to reach a merger deal since July.

The departing lawyers include Stroock’s “prized real estate team” and the law firm’s co-managing partner Jeff Keitelman, according to Keitelman is co-chair of the real estate group.

Hogan Lovells CEO Miguel Zaldivar told that he couldn’t provide exact figures on the number of partners it is acquiring before agreements are signed. The group may also include associates, counsel and staff members, he said.

The news isn’t good for Stroock, according to

“Many observers have said that a lateral exit of the firm’s real estate practice would have perilous consequences for Stroock’s viability,” the publication reports.

Pillsbury had announced the end of merger talks with Stroock in an Oct. 26 statement, according to past reports by Bloomberg Law, Reuters, and Above the Law.

“We considered different options, including a combination and a lateral acquisition but ultimately determined that we could not reach an agreement that adequately balanced Pillsbury’s long-term strategic objectives with the more immediate financial and other risks involved,” the Pillsbury statement said.

Stroock also released a statement regarding the end of merger talks, according to the publications.

“Given our current options, after careful consideration, we also concluded that a Pillsbury-Stroock combination was not the right path for us,” the statement said.

Both statements praised the quality of the other firm’s lawyers while wishing them and their professional staff the best.

Stroock’s partnership loss to Hogan Lovells followed the departure of more than 40 bankruptcy lawyers for Paul Hastings last year. Stroock had also discussed a merger with Nixon Peabody, but those talks ended in early July.

See also:

“27 lawyers leave Stroock as it continues to seek merger partner”

“Stroock takes step to make itself more attractive merger partner”

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