40 lawyers leave Sedgwick in two separate mass moves; firm calls them ‘efficiency adjustments’

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Sedgwick is shrinking with the departures of 40 lawyers, including 15 partners.

One group of lawyers is forming a new litigation boutique and another is joining Drinker, Biddle & Reath in Dallas, the New Jersey Law Journal (sub. req.) reports. Press releases announcing the moves are here and here. Bloomberg Big Law Business and the Wall Street Journal Law Blog also have stories.

A Sedgwick press release called the partner departures “efficiency adjustments.” Chairman Michael Healy said the lawyers left because they were seeking different platforms than the firm could offer, and Sedgwick still planned “strategic growth” in the years ahead.

In the Texas move, nine partners, 12 associates and two counsel from Sedgwick are opening a Dallas office for Drinker Biddle. Their practices include products liability, class actions, insurance coverage, business disputes and commercial litigation.

In New Jersey, six partners, 11 other lawyers and 18 staff members from Sedgwick are forming a litigation boutique called Tanenbaum Keale. The law firm will focus on pharmaceutical, medical device and environmental mass tort litigation, and the defense of product liability and catastrophic injury cases.

One of the partners forming the boutique firm, Michael Tanenbaum, was chairman of Sedgwick from 2007 to 2015. A partner who is joining him, James Keale, was chairman of Sedgwick’s complex litigation practice.

Tanembaum spoke about the reason for the move in the press release. “The market has changed and instead of seeking a larger platform, we wanted a smaller, more personal, platform that will enable us to adapt to those changes and react nimbly and quickly to client needs,” he said.





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