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April 7, 2011 12:32 PM

Dechert, Gibson Dunn Add Four Partners Apiece from Orrick

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

Thursday was departure day for litigation partners at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, as a pair of four-person groups jumped to new firms. A New York–based quartert headed to Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, while a Los Angeles–based team moved to Dechert.

According to a Gibson Dunn press release, the new arrivals there are Daniel Thomasch, Richard Mark, Lauren Elliot, and Joseph Evall. The press release notes that the four are "known for their work as national lead trial and appellate counsel for Wyeth (now Pfizer) in more than 350 product liability cases involving claims that childhood vaccines containing the preservative thimerosal cause autistic-spectrum disorders in some children."

"We are pleased to welcome this exceptional group of litigators to our New York office," Gibson Dunn chair and managing partner Ken Doran said in a press release announcing the hiring of the four laterals. "Their experience and succes litigating on behalf of major companies in the life sciences, pharmaceutical, and biotech industries complements our firmwide strengths in the areas of class actions, mass torts, and patent litigation."

Meanwhile, the former head of Orrick's national litigation team is headlining a group of lateral partners that will open a new Los Angeles office for Dechert, according to Am Law Daily sibling publication The Legal Intelligencer.

Litigator Edwin Woodsome, who stepped down as Orrick's head of litigation two years ago, leads a group that also includes partners William Oxley, Christopher Ruhland, and Andrew Wong. Associates may eventually follow the group as well, Woodsome and Dechert chairman Barton Winokur told The Legal Intelligencer.

Woodsome, who will serve as managing partner of the Los Angeles office, advises Fortune 100 and 500 companies in commercial litigation matters, concentrating on class action defense.

Winokur added that the incoming group focuses on national work, not just Los Angeles–centric litigation. "Our strategy is to have a national practice, as opposed to one that is focused locally in a particular geographic area, and these fellas have a practice, a very good practice, that is sort of nationally and internationally focused," Winokur told The Legal Intelligencer.

The Los Angeles office will be the fourth in California for Dechert, whose other Golden State outposts are in San Francisco, Orange County, and Silicon Valley.

Correction: The original version of this story incorrectly reported how many California locations Dechert will have with the addition of its new Los Angeles office. The correct number is four. We apologize for the error.

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