Second Dewey department head leaves for White & Case

White & Case has bagged its second Dewey Ballantine head of department in a week, after it was announced last week (1 December) that Dewey’s head of restructuring in New York, Alan Gover, is making the switch.

Gover, who joins the New York office as a partner in the financial restructuring and insolvency practice, had headed Dewey’s restructuring practice since 2001.

The move follows Dewey’s global head of energy, Earle O’Donnell, and energy partner Donna Attanasio defecting to White & Case’s Washington DC arm last month.

O’Donnell, who focuses on a broad spectrum of energy-related work, will now head up White & Case’s energy practice.

The news comes as Dewey moves into the final negotiations for its high-profile mega-merger with West Coast giant Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe, which will create a firm with almost 1,500 lawyers and revenues of nearly $1bn (£535m).

Partners at both firms have said that the upheaval of the merger, one of the largest ever in the US legal market, is likely to lead to further departures.

Gover cited the presence of global financial restructuring and insolvency co-head Tom Lauria, with whom he used to work with at Weil Gotshal & Manges, as a major incentive to join White & Case.

He added: “I was in favour of the merger [between Dewey and Orrick], it makes good strategic sense but it cannot be all things to all people. It is not that my practice was not compatible with Orrick’s, but White & Case is a better fit.”

Legalweek.com (1 December).