Zelle LLP, a 75-lawyer litigation law firm, announced the hire of five attorneys from Dickstein Shapiro on Tuesday, the latest string of departures out of the Washington, D.C. law firm.
James Robertson Martin, who served as business development head in Dickstein’s antitrust and financial services practice, joins as co-chair of Zelle’s antitrust and unfair competition practice, effective Jan. 19, the firm said.
Martin brings with him Dickstein colleagues Jennifer Duncan Hackett, Woody N. Peterson, Nick Cheolas and Allison Vissichelli. The group’s clients include the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.
Martin was not immediately available for an interview Tuesday evening. He told The National Law Journal that the move to a smaller firm “frees the group from conflicts that could arise at a larger law firm that represents banks.”
Jim Kelly, chairman of Dickstein Shapiro, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The departures to Zelle are the latest for Dickstein, which has seen a number of lawyers join competitors over the past several years. It once staffed 400 lawyers in 2010, but now staffs fewer than 150 attorneys.
The firm has been grappling with financial pressures that stem from a combination of sources, according to interviews with former Dickstein partners. The most prominent of factors are a changing intellectual property landscape in which it is more difficult to win patent cases and a high degree of partner departures.
The latest hires at Zelle add to a list of lesser-known national firms that have benefited from Dickstein talent. Earlier this month, Dickstein’s Los Angeles managing partner James Turken joined Eisner Jaffe along with a group of three other Dickstein lawyers . Last summer, Dickstein saw an insurance team led by Kirk Pasich join the Liner law firm , which is better-known throughout California and has three offices: two in Los Angeles and one in New York.