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Robinson & Cole Snags Former Thelen Attorneys

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A Hartford-based firm, Robinson & Cole have ''agreed to absorb more than 30 Thelen lawyers from its Hartford and New York offices to expand its 225-lawyer firm,'' according to an article published in the Connecticut Law Tribune.

In that article, managing partner Eric Daniels said ''Thelen's strong core of construction lawyers and technology specialists are expected to bolster Robinson & Cole's existing practices, said managing partner Eric Daniels.''

Robinson & Cole currently have construction, real estate, employment, and finance practice groups, but this absorption from Thelen will increase the practice areas size and visibility.

Daniels also told the Connecticut Law Tribune that ''the additions will specifically allow the firm to expand its intellectual property practice and its presence in the New York City office where a group of about 10 attorneys practice in areas such as commercial litigation, employment and real estate.''

According to spokesman at Robinson & Cole, only one of the Hartford-based Thelen partners won't be making the move – that partner is Brian J. Donnell, part of Thelen's construction group. A partner based in New York is also coming along, bringing the total of Thelen partners joining Robinson & Cole to nine.

The Thelen law firm was well known and well respected for their construction and technology practices.

On November 4, Thelen's partnership approved a dissolution request. By December 1, the firm will have officially dissolved. The likelihood of dissolution was made public in October, but did not come as a shock to many. Lawyers had left the firm in what seemed like droves since a 2006 merger. The merger between Thelen Reid and Brown Raysman Milstein Felder & Steiner created unforeseen shifts at the firm and more than 100 attorneys had left on their own accord before the plan to dissolve was announced.

When the number of defected attorneys surpassed a limit in the firm's credit contract with its bank, much strain was placed on the firm.

Thelen spokesman Kevin Livingston told the Connecticut Law Tribune that ''At this point it is every group for themselves and not a coordinated top-down plan. Thelen really doesn't exist anymore. I barely know what is going on in San Francisco.''

This is not the first time that Robinson & Cole gained attorneys in transition from other firms in recent months. After announcing its intent to close its Hartford office, Dewey & LeBoeuf partners Ronald Zdrojeski and David Greene were hired by Robinson & Cole in September.

Robinson & Cole LLP

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