International law firm Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP has recruited a team of 17 trial and class action lawyers and expanded its office count to 13 with the opening of a new Hartford, Connecticut location.
The team consists of 14 litigation partners and three associates, all of whom were previously with Carlton Fields Jorden Burt P.A.
They are led by insurance and financial institutions lawyer James Jorden, and are based across Drinker Biddle’s Wasington D.C. and new Hartford offices.
Drinker Biddle added that it hopes to open an office in Miami, Florida in the near future to better accommodate its additions.
The team were known for building a litigation and regulatory practice that specialised in defending financial institutions, life insurers, mutual funds, investment firms and banks in high-stakes matters, including securities, ERISA, RICO and pension cases.
“The arrival of Jim Jorden and his talented colleagues presents an enormous opportunity for our firm,” said Drinker Biddle Chairman Andrew Kassner.
“The continued expansion of our capabilities for insurance and financial services clients — one of our core sectors, and an area where Drinker Biddle differentiates itself from the competition — is one of our long time strategic objectives.”
“Jim and his partners have an exceptional reputation for serving these key sectors with a national litigation practice that includes work in the capital markets space,” Kassner continued. “This eminently qualified and sharply focused group moves our firm ahead, and everyone at Drinker Biddle looks forward to working with them.”
Drinker Biddle’s national insurance litigation group, headed by partner Stephen Serfass, includes more than 50 lawyers representing major life, commercial, health care and other carriers.
“Beyond their core insurance and regulatory expertise, our new partners have tremendous strength across many areas of litigation, including securities, capital markets, labor and employment, and ERISA actions,” Serfass said.
“Their work crosses over into the regulated investment funds space, which will greatly complement our established platform in that area. On multiple levels, they are a perfect fit with our existing litigation assets and bring enhanced experience and skill in serving our financial industry and insurance clients.”
Jorden also commented: “We have long admired Drinker Biddle’s capabilities across the board, but particularly the firm’s work in insurance, ERISA counsel and financial institutions matters. Over the years, we have formed strong connections with Drinker Biddle’s formidable trial team.”
“My colleagues and I are appreciative of the five great years we spent at Carlton Fields, but felt it was time to begin a new chapter,” he continued. “Drinker Biddle has an outstanding litigation and class action platform and offers strengths in capital markets, ERISA, securities, funds and life insurance defense work that enhance our ability to service clients.
“Plus, the firm has an established national profile in Texas, California, Illinois and other important markets beyond the East Coast. We see an instant alignment and opportunity to take our practice to another level of success in our new home.”