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December 11, 2008 6:28 PM

Skadden Restructuring Co-Head Decamping for Lazard

Posted by Brian Baxter

Tim_pohl

Timothy Pohl, one of three coheads of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom's corporate restructuring group, announced on Thursday that he will leave the firm next month to become a managing director in the restructuring group at financial services firm Lazard.

Just last spring, Skadden promoted the 42-year-old Pohl to become one of the three coheads--along with John "Jack" Butler, Jr., and J. Gregory Milmoe--of its 100-lawyer restructuring group. The firm ranked first in the Am Law 100 with gross revenues of $2.17 billion and profits per equity partner of $2.28 million.

Pohl's departure is a blow to the firm as it comes at a time when bankruptcy and restructuring work is at a premium. But Skadden is taking the news in stride.

"Tim is a spectacular lawyer and a wonderful human being and while we wish him well, we will miss him enormously," Milmoe says. "We're not losing a partner but gaining a client. It's sort of platitudinous but that's actually the way we feel."

Milmoe says that Skadden isn't immune to losing top talent to the business side, noting that former restructuring partner David Kurtz left for a managing director position at Lazard in 2002. Pohl will now join Kurtz, who coheads Lazard's restructuring group, with both working out of Chicago.

As pointed out by The New York Times's DealBook, Pohl's move follows a trend in recent years of prominent lawyers leaving their firms to dip their toes into the banking world.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges bankruptcy baron Harvey Miller joined investment bank Greenhill & Co., the same year Kurtz left Skadden, and James "Jamie" Sprayregen left Kirkland & Ellis in 2006 for a position at Goldman Sachs.

Miller returned to Weil in March 2007 and Sprayregen announced earlier this year that he was returning to Kirkland. (Click here for an Am Law Daily Q&A with Sprayregen about his move.)

Milmoe declined to comment on whether or not Skadden was planning on having someone replace Pohl as a cohead of the firm's restructuring group.

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