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The musical-chairs-style movement of labor and employment lawyers in Pennsylvania continued Aug. 2 when eight Philadelphia lawyers left Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel for Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney.
Buchanan Ingersoll lost several labor and employment attorneys in May when Cozen O’Connor opened a Pittsburgh office. With these newcomers, Buchanan has almost 60 labor and employment lawyers.
“We’ve been talking to this group since December of 2016,” Buchanan Ingersoll CEO Joseph A. Dougherty told Bloomberg BNA Aug. 2. The lawyers from Obermayer fit with Buchanan’s “strategic plan to concentrate on the employment side” of its labor and employment practice, he said.
Joseph J. Centeno, who led the labor and employment department at Obermayer, will join David J. Laurent as co-chair of Buchanan’s labor and employment section. “The opportunity was for my clients to have access to all that Buchanan has to offer” with its “great depth and breadth of lawyers and geography,” Centeno told Bloomberg BNA Aug. 2. “Joe Dougherty and I have been friends for 20 years,” and “there have been many conversations in our lives about working together.”
Buchanan’s new attorneys consist of four shareholders: Joseph J. Centeno, Larry Besnoff, Jacqueline K. Gallagher, and Min S. Suh; and four associates: Teleicia J.R. Dambreville, Gregory J. Eck, Charlene A. Barker Gedeus, and Michael E. Truncellito.
Dougherty said the lawyers have deep expertise in various workplace matters, including employment counseling, immigration, and class action lawsuits. They also enhance Buchanan’s diversity because “four out of the eight lawyers are diverse from an ethnic standpoint,” Dougherty said. Centeno is a former president of the National Asian Pacific American Bar
“The people who are leaving are good lawyers and friends of mine, and I’m sad to see them leave, but I understand that they had an opportunity that they felt they had to take,” Mathieu J. Shapiro, the managing partner of Obermayer Rebmann Maxwell & Hippel, told Bloomberg BNA Aug. 2. “I wish them all the best.”
“We still have the capability to do anything in labor and employment and to serve our clients,” Shapiro said. Michael Pepperman is the new head of Obermayer’s labor and employment department, he said.
Obermayer’s website lists 11 labor and employment attorneys. Shapiro said he wants to “replenish” the department, so “I will keep more of an eye out for labor and employment people.”
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