Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal announced late Sunday that 100 lawyers, including 40 partners, from Thacher Proffitt & Wood will be joining the firm’s New York office, effective January 1.
The hires increase Sonnenschein’s total headcount to about 800 lawyers, nearly doubling the size of its New York office — it’s the biggest group of laterals ever taken on by Sonnenschein, according to senior managing director Audrey Young.
Sonnenschein is drawing from all of Thacher’s existing practices, including structured finance (representing the largest number of additions, with 26 partners and of counsel), corporate, banking, real estate, regulatory and litigation.
The news comes after reports on Friday that King & Spalding no longer is in the running to acquire a substantial portion of Thacher it had pursued in recent weeks. Confirmation of the breakdown in talks between Thacher and King & Spalding prompted speculation that Thacher might be facing dissolution as imminently as Monday.
Sunday’s announcement means a more optimistic future for these 100 lawyers; Thacher plans to break the news to their associates Monday morning, according to a person with knowledge of the negotiations.
Still, no word yet on what will become of the roughly 75 lawyers who are not joining Sonnenschein. We await word back from Robert McCarthy, chair of Thacher’s planning committee. In an interview late Sunday with the New York Times, McCarthy acknowledged that work remains for him and his partners on what becomes of their firm. “We’re still working on what happens to Thacher,” he said. “Its viability going forward was not likely.”
In a statement released Sunday night by Sonnenschein, McCarthy described the move as an “extraordinary” one for Thacher’s clients. “With financial markets evolving and governments playing a greater role in the global economy, our move to Sonnenschein gives us the edge to excel with the industry leaders we serve,” McCarthy said.