Holland & Knight has shuttered its northernmost office in Anchorage, Alaska, following the departure of a six-lawyer team to Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt, the firm confirmed on Monday.
Holland & Knight partners Matt Singer, Christopher Slottee, Howard Trickey, and senior associate Robert Misulich have joined Portland, Ore.-based Schwabe as partners, while associates Lee Baxter and Peter Scully joined as of counsel in moves announced last week.
“With their departure, we have decided to close the office,” Holland & Knight said in a statement to Bloomberg Law, noting that staff members not accompanying the departing lawyers are being given “generous severance packages.”
“We wish everyone the best in their future endeavors,” the firm said.
Holland & Knight first opened its Alaskan outpost in 2014 with eight lawyers from Squire Patton Boggs predecessor firm Patton Boggs. The group included partners Walter Featherly, Douglas Serdahely, Kevin Callahan, and Teresa Ridle.
Featherly, head of Holland & Knight’s Anchorage office, left the firm earlier this year for Calista Corp. where he now serves as general counsel, according to his bio on LinkedIn.
The Anchorage team at Holland & Knight went looking for a firm that better fit its practice’s focus on Alaska Native Corporations and natrual resources work, Singer said, noting that a paralegal and two support staff also made the jump to Schwabe.
“Holland & Knight is a terrific firm, but we felt our continued success and growth in Alaska required a firm with more emphasis in the areas where we practice, including natural resources and Alaska Native law,” he said.
Schwabe is one of the largest firms in the Pacific Northwest with more than 180 lawyers. The firm opened up its office in Anchorage in 2018.
There are roughly less than 10 Big Law firms with an office in Anchorage, according to an online search. Davis Wright Tremaine, Dorsey & Whitney, Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani, Holland & Hart, Littler Mendelson, Perkins Coie, Stoel Rives all have offices in Alaska’s largest city.
Other Big Law firms have abandoned their outposts up North. Holland & Hart absorbed Crowell & Moring’s Anchorage office in 2017, which it first opened in 2009.