Two top white collar defense partners of Zuckerman Spaeder have left to join Bracewell, the Texas-based firm said on Monday.
Paul Shechtman, who represented former Dewey & LeBoeuf employee Zachary Warren in connection with a fraud case against executives who ran the failed New York law firm, is joining Bracewell along with Barbara Jones, a former federal judge in the Southern District of New York.
The hires come after Bracewell has seen a number of prominent partners exit over the past five months, includingformer New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani and a group of broker-dealer attorneys who joined Schulte Roth & Zabel .
Christine Simmons of The New York Law Journal earlier reported the news and counted 20 Bracewell partner exits in 2016.
Shechtman, who worked at Stillman, Friedman & Shechtman between 1997 and 2011, has represented clients including rapper Lil’ Kim, who was convicted of lying to a grand jury about a shooting incident, as well as Peter Liang, a former New York City police officer involved in a fatal shooting.
“It’s a decision that Barbara and I made over the last three months,” said Shechtman, in an interview. “Like we do so often, it started as a casual conversation with Dan (Connolly, the managing partner of Bracewell’s New York office).”
He won’t be moving over to Bracewell empty-handed: Among other matters, Shechtman is currently representing Andrew Caspersen, the former Wall Street executivecharged by federal prosecutors of defrauding friends, relatives and a charitable foundation tied to a New York hedge fund .
Jones said that the two often work together, but they aren’t necessarily tied at the hip.
“We do like to have that cup of coffee together. Sometimes we work together, and sometimes we work on our own,” said Jones.
Jones served on the federal bench for 16 years before joining Zuckerman Spaeder in 2013. At Bracewell, she will continue her arbitration and mediation practice and her service as court-appointed officer for special master, receivership and monitorship positions.
Shechtman joined Zuckerman in 2011 and was part of the firm’s expansion that included hiring a number of other prominent criminal defense partners: Andrew Tomback, formerly of Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, and Steven Cohen, a former aide to governor Andrew Cuomo, both were hired the same year as Shechtman.
Today, however, both Tomback and Cohen are no longer with Zuckerman and the Schechtman and Jones exits mark the latest laterals who have decided to move on.
Tomback became general counsel of Scientific Games Corporation in 2013 before moving on to McDermott Will & Emery in 2015. Cohen became general counsel of McAndrews & Forbes Incorporated in 2014.
A firm spokesman for Zuckerman Spaeder did not respond to a request for comment.
(UPDATED: This story has been updated with comments from Shechtman and Jones)