San Francisco's Orrick Nabs Prominent New York Litigator

Rebecca U. Cho

Daily Journal

May 14, 2008

As Heller Ehrman's chairman prepares to move to New York in hopes of growing the East Coast offices, a prominent New York partner, Richard A. Martin, is planning to jump to San Francisco-based rival Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe.

Martin plans to stay at Heller until the end of the week, before starting at Orrick on Monday, said Brad Scott, the firm's chief operating officer.

Martin, a former assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, handled high-profile matters for San Francisco-based Heller, including representing the J. Paul Getty Museum in claims of stolen antiquities and Deloitte & Touche in the Parmalat securities class-action litigation, which settled in December 2006.

He is a former managing partner of Heller's New York office and has been with Heller since the office opened in 1999 with 18 lawyers from corporate boutique firm Werbel & Carnelutti. He was a significant part of the firm's litigation department with a book of business worth at least $6 million, according to a source with intimate knowledge of the firm.

Martin could not be reached for comment.

Martin departs at a time when Heller is touting its growth in New York, which has become the firm's second-largest office with 100 attorneys, and is seeking to make the office the core of the corporate practice.

Heller's chairman, Matthew Larrabee, recently announced that he was moving to the New York office to help expand the firm's presence on the East Coast and in Europe.

Robert Hubbell, Heller's managing partner, directed calls for comment to Scott.

"Dick is a talented lawyer," Scott said. "He helped Heller build a strong litigation practice in New York. He was a part of that, and we wish him well at Orrick."

Martin would become at least the third partner to switch from Heller to Orrick in the past year. Patricia Gillette, Heller's former labor and employment chair, and Andrew Livingston, a partner in the same practice group, moved in October to Orrick's San Francisco office.

An Orrick spokesman declined to comment on the move at this time.

Last month, Heller lost another notable partner in the East Coast when Marc G. Schildkraut, the antitrust and trade regulation co-chair based in Washington, D.C., jumped to Howrey. But the firm also gained four international trade partners in the Washington, D.C. office from Vinson & Elkins.

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