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McDermott Picks Up 7-Lawyer Trade Team From Hughes Hubbard (2)

July 31, 2020, 2:00 PMUpdated: July 31, 2020, 5:56 PM

McDermott Will & Emery has tapped a team of seven attorneys from Hughes Hubbard & Reed to add to its international trade team in Washington, including two former Hughes Hubbard practice chairs.

Leading the group making the leap is Joanne Osendarp, who was chair of the international trade practice at Hughes Hubbard and member of the firm’s executive committee. She’ll be a partner and reprise her leadership role, this time as co-head of McDermott’s international trade group alongside Carolyn Gleason.

Eric Parnes, former chair of Hughes Hubbard’s defense industry practice group and co-chair of its technology committee, is also making the jump to McDermott where he will be a partner. He’s joined by former commissioner and vice chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission Dean Pinkert, who will be a senior counsel.

Rounding out the team are counsel Tim Hruby, Lynn Kamarck, and Alan Kashdan, as well as associate Conor Gilligan.

McDermott decided to expand its bench as trade becomes a more important global issue and a subject of hot political debate in the U.S. According to Gleason, who was McDermott’s Washington office head from 2015 until Lisa Richman took over earlier this year, the search for trade talent began some months ago.

The firm of more than 1,200 attorneys globally has not shied away from expansion through laterals, despite the effects of Covid-19 on the economy and the legal market.

Trade Winds

Gleason said the team from Hughes Hubbard “will position us as more of a go-to on high stakes trade issues” and give McDermott additional depth in front of trade agencies.

Osendarp advises and represents governments, industry associations, export credit agencies and companies in international trade and investment matters, including in countervailing, antidumping and other trade remedy and dispute resolution proceedings under the World Trade Organization and NAFTA. She also works on investment and state-to-state arbitrations and international trade negotiations.

She is serving as Canada’s principal U.S.-based lawyer for its ongoing softwood lumber dispute with the U.S., one of the largest trade disputes between the nations.

Osendarp joined Hughes Hubbard in 2011 from Weil Gotshal & Manges, where she was co-chair of the international trade and arbitration practice. Prior to that, she worked for the Government of Canada as senior counsel to the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and Department of Justice.

“As companies and countries grapple with trade uncertainty around the world, now, more than ever, is the time to provide strategic counsel,” Osendarp said in a statement. “McDermott provides the perfect platform for us to serve our clients during these challenging times.”

Parnes is a longtime Hughes Hubbard lawyer. He represents clients in complex litigation and investigations in court, before arbitral tribunals and administrative agencies, and works with international clients in trade disputes and assisting government contractors and other companies in dealing with government-facing litigation.

Hughes Hubbard did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the loss of the seven attorneys to McDermott. They are not the only trade lawyers to leave Hughes Hubbard as of late. The firm has also lost partner Matthew Nicely, along with a counsel and two associates, to Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in Washington.

McDermott has made numerous lateral hires this year, including in the nation’s capital, even after the coronavirus pandemic hit the U.S.

In April the firm added Chris Gladbach from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe as a partner in its corporate and transactions group in Washington. Earlier this year, the firm brought on a four-lawyer energy group from King & Spalding.

McDermott also added a five-lawyer group from Katten Muchin Rosenman to its restructuring and insolvency practice in Dallas in early July. Restructuring has been a high-demand area in Big Law as companies’ bottom lines continue to suffer due to Covid-19.

Gleason said she anticipates that the firm will continue its expansion both in its trade practice and in Washington even as law firms struggle with unknowns.

“I think we’ve made great strides in 2020, and I hope we will see more of that, even in 2020,” she said.

(Updated paragraph 13 to include a group of trade lawyers who left Hughes Hubbard for Akin Gump.)

To contact the reporter on this story: Meghan Tribe in New York at mtribe@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Tom P. Taylor at ttaylor@bloomberglaw.com

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