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Morvillo Abramowitz Wants You to Know it Wasn’t Recently Acquired by Orrick

Dec. 20, 2017, 10:29 PM

On Monday, Big Law Business reported that Orrick is acquiring white collar litigation boutique Morvillo LLP, but it turns out some of our readers incorrectly believed we meant Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC, which is not merging with Orrick.

Named partner Bob Anello told Big Law Business that several people emailed him aboutthe merger, which will add 15 lawyers to Orrick’s New York and Washington offices.

“In one case, people said, ‘Oh Bob, I didn’t see you listed, where are you going?’” Anello said. “People sort of laughed at themselves when they realized there was another firm with the name Morvillo.”

It was an easy mistake to make, since the Morvillos in question are actually related.

Here’s the backstory: Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC was co-founded in 1973 by the late Robert Morvillo, a white collar heavyweight famous for representing celebrities in high-profile cases, including Martha Stewart in connection with obstruction of justice charges. Elkan Abramowitz, who worked with Morvillo at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of New York, joined in 1979. The two men were “best friends,” according to Abramowitz.

Morvillo and his wife Catherine had four sons, Christopher, Gregory, Scott and Robert, all of whom eventually found their way into a white collar law practice.

“Every one of us sort of grew up wanting to be lawyers,” Greg said. When it came time for each brother to pick a specialty, they followed in their father’s footsteps because it was “the only kind of law that we knew existed growing up.”

Eventually, all four brothers found their way to Morvillo Abramowitz.

Chris moved to Clifford Chance in 2011, just before unexpected death of Robert Morvillo at the age of 73. In 2012, Greg, Scott and Robert Jr. founded Morvillo LLP to honor their late father’s legacy. They were joined by their uncle Richard Morvillo, who had until then been at Schulte Roth.

“You really need an org chart to figure all this out,” joked Greg.

Rob, Jr. has since moved in-house Diebold Nixdorf, leaving Greg, Scott and Richard at Morvillo LLP -- which, if you’ve been paying attention, is the Morvillo that’s merging with Orrick.

Through it all, the two firms have maintained a close relationship.

Anello, who joined the firm in 1980 and became a named partner in 2002, said he’s proud of Greg and “Scotty.”

“We’ve known them since they were kids, and we know them professionally and they still feel like family to us,” he said.

Abramowitz, who knew the brothers when they were “in diapers,” said he feels a “quasi-parental pride” in watching their careers grow.

“They stayed close the firm, they come to our holiday parties, they come to our outings every year,” he told BLB.

Greg Morvillo joked that the Orrick merger will finally put an end to the brand confusion, which, rumor has it, once led a client to send a check to the wrong firm.

“We have a good laugh every time something like that happens,” he said.

A Morvillo Abramowitz spokeswoman shared this message from the firm: “Congratulations to Morvillo LLP from your friends and former colleagues at Morvillo Abramowitz Grand Iason & Anello PC. We wish you well on your merger with Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP and have no doubt that the combination will be a success. Your beloved father, our friend and co-founder, Robert G. Morvillo, would be proud.”

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