A six-person real estate team is the latest group of defectors from Dewey & LeBoeuf, whose financial struggles have affected attorneys’ compensation and brought the firm to the brink of bankruptcy. The high-profile, six-person team is joining Venable and will more than double its existing New York real estate practice. Peter Britell, former chair of Dewey’s Global Real Estate and Construction practice, joined the firm as a partner, as did land-use specialist Gordon Davis, who worked on the rebuilding of the World Trade Center and the renovation of Lincoln Center, and transactional specialist Suzanne St. Pierre.
Land-use and transaction attorney Susan Golden also joined the firm from Dewey as counsel and Michael Phillipou and Ashley Dunn were hired as associates.
“They bring a complementary set of skills — particularly in land use, zoning, and large development project expertise, which will be invaluable to our clients,” said Peter Koffler, who heads the firm’s New York real estate practice. “Additionally, Britell’s and Davis’ skills in advising cultural and not-for-profit organizations is an excellent fit with Venable’s robust practice in those important areas.”
The moves signify the changing fortunes of the two firms. Venable has been adding real estate attorneys to its six nationwide offices, and has brought the total headcount past 40. In January it made a high-profile move in bringing in Koffler to lead its New York real estate practice. Meanwhile, there have been waves of defections from Dewey & LeBoeuf, including the move of its former real estate head, Stuart Saft, to Holland Knight. — Adam Fusfeld