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January 5, 2010 1:11 PM

It's Official: Thirteen Dickstein Lawyers Bolt to Kasowitz

Posted by Zach Lowe

Kasowitz, Benson, Torres & Friedman announced today that they have hired 13 Dickstein Shapiro lawyers, including Robin Cohen, the former managing partner of Dickstein's New York office and an insurance litigator with a book of business that runs well into the millions, according to sources familiar with the deal. 

The Am Law Daily first reported the news of the move on December 22, but the firms did not announce it until today. Two sources familiar with the deal told us on December 22 they expected Dickstein to make some effort to convince Cohen and the other leading partners--including Randy Paar, another prominent insurance litigator--to remain with the firm. Dickstein's chair, Michael Nannes, did not return a message seeking comment, and a firm spokeswoman declined to comment on whether Dickstein offered the partners any new compensation to convince them to stay. 

Dickstein released a statement wishing the departing lawyers "continued success." The statement also said the firm's insurance coverage practice "will continue to be an industry leader," and that the group brought in about $3 billion on behalf of clients over the last two years. Cohen and her team have recovered more than $1 billion in disputed claims for clients, according to a statement Kasowitz released today. 

Cohen was in court and not immediately available for comment on the move. In a statement released by Kasowitz, she said joining the firm represented "a terrific opportunity." 

Kasowitz's recruitment of Cohen dates to before Dickstein moved into the same building as Kasowitz (1633 Broadway) in July 2009, according to a source familiar with the deal. 

Aaron Marks, a Kasowitz partner, says the move increases the size of the Kasowitz insurance litigation practice from about "three or four" lawyers to nearly 20. 

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