Schulte Roth & Zabel, one of the largest financial services law firms in New York, said Tuesday afternoon that it hired 10 private equity and real estate lawyers from Dewey & LeBoeuf, led by private equity chair Joseph Smith, marking the single biggest hire in the firm‘s history. The move is one of the biggest single defections in recent weeks at Dewey & LeBoeuf, which is reeling from an investigation by the New York district attorney amid allegations that partners were misled about the firm’s financial condition.
Smith, global chair of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s private equity practice, was named a partner in the investment management group.
Marshall Brozost, a partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf’s real estate practice, was named a partner in the firm’s real estate group, focusing on all aspects of commercial real estate.
Sanford Morhouse, a one-time chair of Dewey & LeBoeuf’s real estate group, joined as of counsel in the real estate group, the same title he held at Dewey & LeBoeuf.
Russel Perkins, Shawn McCune and David Miller were all named special counsel of Schulte Roth’s investment management group.
Alan Waldenberg, chair of the Schulte Roth tax group and member of the firm’s executive committee, said the group would help improve the firm’s private equity and real estate fund practices, an area of strength for Schulte Roth.
“We’ve been relatively stagnant [in terms of hiring] over the last three or four years, which is fine,” Waldenberg told The Real Deal. “Adding these guys is opportunistic. It wasn’t like we needed to go at people to make more money.”
Dewey & LeBoeuf’s former real estate chair Stuart Saft recently left the firm for Holland & Knight and was followed around a week ago by several of his associates. Former real estate partner Gordon Davis left the firm earlier this month and joined Venable.