Our colleagues at the Blog of the Legal Times (BLT) have confirmed that legendary Washington, D.C., defense lawyer Robert Bennett, a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, is leaving the firm to join Hogan & Hartson. Bennett (pictured right) was co-leader of both the international government enforcement litigation group and the criminal and civil litigation practice in Skadden's Washington, D.C., office. Bennett colleague and fellow defense litigator Carl Rauh also is heading to Hogan. The story was first reported Thursday morning by Above the Law.
Bennet's clients have included a litany of big names in Washington: former president Bill Clinton, Sen. John McCain, New York Times reporter Judith Miller, and former World Bank president Paul Wolfowitz, among others.
In an interview with the BLT, Clifford Naeve, head of Skadden’s D.C. office, declined to comment on the reasons behind the departures. Asked whether they came as a surprise, Naeve told the BLT that they did. He later called the BLT back to say the firm was not surprised because Skadden had known for weeks that Bennett and Rauh were speaking with other firms.
“We had been talking to Bob and Carl about their staying with the firm and had hoped that they would stay with us, but I think they concluded they wanted to go off in a different direction, and that’s their decision,” Naeve told the BLT. “They’ve done a tremendous job during the 20 years they’ve been here. They’ve put in place an impressive litigation team.”
Neither Bennett nor Rauh was immediately available for comment. The two lawyers joined Skadden in 1990, leaving Duvall, Bennett & Porter. Bennett worked at Hogan earlier in his career.
Bennett will be cohead of Hogan’s white-collar and investigations practice, along with Hogan partner Ty Cobb.