Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

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Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:06 pm

TL;DR: are there any biglaw firms in D.C. that have at least some presence in corporate (public or private equity) transactional practices?

I'm a junior associate at a biglaw firm in a major market. My spouse works in the legal field as well and is considering a transfer to Washington, D.C. Spouse works in public policy so it would be a good move.

I am a first-year junior transactional attorney. I like it. I like the firm. But I wouldn't mind exploring other options, too, at least as far as practices go. My firm has a DC office but it is almost exclusively antitrust and appellate litigation (not surprising).

There is a chance that the firm could let me have an office in D.C. but keep me in the directory at my current office, but that might not be possible. Given the economic climate I'm not ready to have that conversation with them, yet.

If I were to start looking around at other firms--and granted this is preliminary and I realize I'm writing this in a very unique situation with the industry slugging along and nearly everyone working from home due to the pandemic--what other firms would you recommend I look into that has at least some traditional public and private transactional work? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you in advance.

WhiteCollarBlueShirt

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by WhiteCollarBlueShirt » Fri Jun 19, 2020 3:39 pm

Plenty... Akin and Kirkland come to mind immediately, but plenty...

Recruiters will reach out to you once things pick up again and you can check laterally or other postings to get an idea of the market.

2013

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by 2013 » Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:08 pm

Most firms have some corporate attorneys (a lot seem to have at least a partner or two) in their DC offices. They have smaller practices, so they’re usually more selective than NY practices. A lot of where you can go will depend on your current firm and your school/grades. Some firms I can think of are Goodwin, Cooley, Gibson Dunn, and Hogan Lovells.

I wouldn’t wait until recruiters reach out to you. You should reach out to a reputable dc recruiter and start looking around now.

Joachim2017

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by Joachim2017 » Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:12 pm

Davis Polk and Gibson Dunn are two of the top choices in this context, I think.

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:40 pm

replying to a deleted post...

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LBJ's Hair

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by LBJ's Hair » Fri Jun 19, 2020 7:58 pm

Joachim2017 wrote:
Fri Jun 19, 2020 5:12 pm
Davis Polk and Gibson Dunn are two of the top choices in this context, I think.
Maybe DPW's website isn't up to date, but I count like, 10 non-litigation attorneys in their DC office. Out of ~35 total.

Gibson obviously has a large footprint though

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jun 20, 2020 12:16 am

Kirkland has been intentionally seeking to expand non-lit practices in DC over the last couple of years. Still a lit heavy office (what isn’t in DC?) but certainly more than 10 transactional attorneys. No clue if they have the flavor of transactional that you’re looking for though.

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:44 am

Kirkland has been expanding its transactional practices in DC. Around 20 now from almost 0 a few years back. You should know that offices in DC are more selective than NY's because of their small size.

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by baskan1234 » Sun Jun 21, 2020 3:44 pm

Latham and if I am not mistaken Hogan also have large transactional practices in DC.

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:53 pm

OP Here. Thank you for the recommendations.

@parkslope, interesting that Covington is mentioned in the Chambers article, I thought the firm had virtually no corporate practice, certainly not in D.C. I was having trouble finding much of a corporate practice on their D.C. webpage.

Looks like K&E and Gibson might be a good start. I have law school friends at both firms but none in D.C. who also work in corporate.

The economic climate makes me a little nervous. I'm only a first year, just a junior, I don't have that two-year threshold yet. I did go to a CCN and graduated cum laude with journal so I think I am probably okay with the school cred, but the experience might still be a debilitating factor (partnered up with the current economic climate).

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by Anonymous User » Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:42 pm

Anyone know how Covington is faring during the crisis?

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by Anonymous User » Wed Jun 24, 2020 7:03 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 12:53 pm
@parkslope, interesting that Covington is mentioned in the Chambers article, I thought the firm had virtually no corporate practice, certainly not in D.C. I was having trouble finding much of a corporate practice on their D.C. webpage.
Anonymous User wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:42 pm
Anyone know how Covington is faring during the crisis?
Covington junior at the DC office. *knock on wood* Things generally seem to be going well, at least compared to some of the stories we're hearing from other firms.

No layoffs or cuts for associates or staff. Last I heard, we were still paying contract staff at the office (e.g. the workers for our cafeteria vendor, maintenance, etc.). And we're taking people back from clerkships. No word on bonuses one way or the other.

In terms of corporate practice, we do have it in DC. And they seem like nice people. I have very limited interactions with them in my practice areas. My understanding (again, limited) is that a lot of our corporate work in DC is related to our regulatory practices, such as cross-border M&As that require trade controls experts, etc.

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by UVA2028 » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:10 am

Reviving this thread in light of the hot legal market--just wondering if folks have a view as to which DC firms currently might be good for corporate midlevels with a focus on M&A and PE (3-4th year). Understand that its a bit more competitive than NYC, but was wondering if folks had a view to whether now might be a good time to break in if aiming to end up in DC long term and have a relatively competitive background (V10, strong dealsheet/academics).

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by Lawdup » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:35 am

UVA2028 wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:10 am
Reviving this thread in light of the hot legal market--just wondering if folks have a view as to which DC firms currently might be good for corporate midlevels with a focus on M&A and PE (3-4th year). Understand that its a bit more competitive than NYC, but was wondering if folks had a view to whether now might be a good time to break in if aiming to end up in DC long term and have a relatively competitive background (V10, strong dealsheet/academics).
If you are looking for NYC-style M&A/PE in DC, check out Simpson Thacher. Rapidly growing corporate group, with two partners in Private Equity Funds (incl. a UVA grad), home base for the firm's Registered Funds practice (which includes asset management M&A work), and a partner in general M&A. DC teams work with other teams in other cities.

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by kierkegaardaddy » Thu Apr 08, 2021 11:52 am

MoFo has a pretty sizable corporate group. Mostly Hogan defectors.

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 08, 2021 1:30 pm

I know the Skadden DC corporate group is pretty busy these days, and their M&A/PE team is well regarded. I've worked with attorneys in that group and they all seemed pretty nice + competent. In DC, they're def in the running for like top 3 corporate shop.

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:20 pm

Latham M&A/PE is one of the other top shops along with Skadden et al and I know it's busy.

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by Anonymous User » Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:32 pm

Simpson has one of the few (only?) biglaw offices in DC with a larger corporate headcount than litigation. Office is just 15 years old so fairly new in DC but has been growing at a decent pace.

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Apr 09, 2021 1:17 am

I'm a 3L, but am corporate-focused and interviewed with several firms with corporate practices in DC. The two that stood out to me as having a major corporate presence were Latham and Fried Frank.

Latham has a big private equity practice in DC - they do a lot of work for Carlyle and that relationship is handled out of the DC office. They have a big transactional practice in general, and a pretty large headcount of corporate attorneys in DC.

Fried Frank also told me that they "are just another floor of the NY office," cross-staff between NY/DC all the time, and generally have a NY-style corporate practice in DC. I have a friend who started at FF DC and lateraled to another firm, and he agreed with this.

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by Anonymous User » Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:10 am

Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:32 pm
Simpson has one of the few (only?) biglaw offices in DC with a larger corporate headcount than litigation. Office is just 15 years old so fairly new in DC but has been growing at a decent pace.
josh bonnie's always looking for fresh meat to do another up-c

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Re: Biglaw transactional practices in Washington, D.C.

Post by Anonymous User » Sat Apr 17, 2021 9:04 pm

Anonymous User wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 10:10 am
Anonymous User wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 5:32 pm
Simpson has one of the few (only?) biglaw offices in DC with a larger corporate headcount than litigation. Office is just 15 years old so fairly new in DC but has been growing at a decent pace.
josh bonnie's always looking for fresh meat to do another up-c
Is Josh's practice big in DC? I haven't done much public company M&A.

I'm considering a lateral move to DC myself, currently in a different major market and focus almost solely on PE M&A. My current firm's DC office is only L&E and regulatory (plus litigation). I have some law school friends working at STB in New York, but none in DC.

I'm talking to associate friends at STB, Gibson and Latham about a possible lateral to their DC offices. Any advice from the boards on these three firms in DC?

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