DLA Piper lifts more than 25 deal lawyers A major move sees an enlarged UK team strengthening its middle market private equity capabilities From Detroit-based, Honigman, DLA Piper has hired a team of more than 25 private equity lawyers in Chicago. It marks the latest instance of a major law firm hiring a sizeable group from a smaller rival. DLA Piper is one of the most active law firms...
Access the exclusive LEGAL ERAStories,Editorial and Expert Opinion
DLA Piper lifts more than 25 deal lawyers
A major move sees an enlarged UK team strengthening its middle market private equity capabilities
From Detroit-based, Honigman, DLA Piper has hired a team of more than 25 private equity lawyers in Chicago. It marks the latest instance of a major law firm hiring a sizeable group from a smaller rival.
DLA Piper is one of the most active law firms in middle-market private equity deals, an area in which Harris Eisenberg, Alex Plakas, Nathan Wilda and Drew Rosenberry previously worked for Honigman.
DLA Piper's US vice chairman, Joe Alexander said that private equity was a primary part of the firm's growth strategy. Private equity in middle markets presents "a tremendous opportunity" for the firm, he added.
Our objective is to expand our PE practice in Chicago and other major US cities in addition to international markets. "With Harris and Alex leading the way, we have a group that exactly matches what we are looking for: top-notch practitioners who are difference makers in major markets," he mentioned.
The Honigman group was selected by DLA Piper because of its experience with healthcare and technology matters, said Joseph Silver, global co-chair of the firm's private equity practice.
Plakas and Eisenberg served for 10 years combined as partners at Honigman. They were the firm's Chicago managing partners and co-leaders of its private equity practice. On Honigman's Linkedin page, Eisenberg references having worked as a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman, while Plakas used to be a corporate partner at the Chicago firm Kirkland & Ellis.
A new managing partner has been named for Honigman's Chicago office: real estate partner Kristen Boike.
"Our departures and arrivals will be the same. Today's highly competitive legal industry is the nature of the beast," the firm explained. Honigman emphasized that it is a "healthy, profitable law firm that provides partners and associates with a solid framework on which to practice law and grow their businesses."
Honigman, which has about 270 lawyers, is leaving DLA Piper to join a larger firm like DLA Piper. This demonstrates the pressure smaller firms are facing from their larger rivals, some of which have seen significant growth in recent years. The move by an 11-member litigation team at Blackwell Burke in Minneapolis to Norton Rose Fulbright earlier in April 2022 was another example of a large group moving to a large firm.
To wrap up March, Paul Hastings poached most of the restructuring team at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan in Chicago. In addition to 18 partners, the mass hire would easily double the firm's headcount to more than 70 lawyers, catapulting its restructuring practice ahead of its competition.