By Megan R. Wilson - 07/12/13 09:54 PM EDT
Jackson Lewis, a firm focused solely on workplace and employment law, has hired seven new partners for its Washington, D.C., and Denver offices.
Six of the new additions — Henry Chajet, R. Brian Hendrix, Robert Horn, Mark Savit, Avidan Meyerstein and Donna Vetrano Pryor — came from K Street titan Patton Boggs. Tressi Cordaro joined from Ogletree Deakins.
Savit and Pryor will work from Jackson Lewis’s office in Colorado, while the rest of the new hires will be based in Washington. Horn, in particular, will help the firm’s government relations practice, according to firm Chairman Vincent A. Cino.
Chajet said he and the others from the Patton practice are excited about the move to Jackson Lewis.
“The reality is we fit together like hand and glove,” he said, saying the “world-renowned” experts at the firm “allows us to grow exponentially.”
Jackson Lewis has grown to 54 offices worldwide, which Chajet says is a testament to its management team and the overall style of its staff.
“For us, it was indicative of careful and dedicated growth, which is what we want for our future,” Chajet told The Hill, speaking of himself and the other five former Patton attorneys.
Patton Boggs, Washington’s top earner of lobbying revenues, has seen about two dozen senior members depart from its national practice in recent months. But the attorneys who left for Jackson Lewis denied that their departures signal trouble for the firm.
Similarly, when 17 partners left Patton last month, the firm responded by saying that changes are all part of the industry.
“Movements of this kind are a regular occurrence in an industry where the competitive environment has changed, and many leading firms are transitioning their work forces to compete more effectively,” a Patton Boggs spokesman told The Hill in an email after the 17 employees left. “These colleagues are our friends and we thank them for their service and wish them well in their new endeavors.”
Though it does have a government relations team in Washington, Jackson Lewis says most of its work is in litigation and other non-policy endeavors.
“We try and cover every facet of workplace law,” Cino said. “Fifteen years ago we didn’t have the Americans with Disabilities Act, we were not dealing with data privacy issues or breaches of privacy. We’ve had to expand our practices to better serve our clients in those areas.”
Chajet had been with Patton Boggs for 17 years, he said, and practicing law for 35.
Asked whether clients would follow him to his new position, he said that many of them had already called to congratulate him.
"The clients are our friends. They’re some of our best friends in the country, and we've worked with them for our entire professional careers," he said. "Our successes and our friendships have followed us to Jackson Lewis."
The resignations became effective on July 1, and Chajet spoke from his still-unpacked Washington office.
“When I moved in here on a Sunday afternoon, I had seven people helping me,” he said. “It was a very warm welcome.”