March 8, 2019

Philadelphia law firm sprouts in Hartford after poaching talent from FL outfit

HBJ File Photo
HBJ File Photo
One Constitution Plaza in downtown Hartford.

Three Hartford lawyers from litigator Carlton Fields have jumped ship to join a Philadelphia-based law firm that's opening an office in downtown Hartford.

Drinker Biddle & Reath is hanging its shingle in 11,400 square feet at One Constitution Plaza.

Its move into Hartford coincides with a shakeup at Florida law firm Carlton Fields, which also has a downtown Hartford presence at 1 State St. Two of Carlton Fields' named partners, James Jorden and Frank Burt, left the firm on Wednesday to join Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, bringing along 15 other litigators. Drinker Biddle has placed 14 new litigators in its Washington D.C. office and three in Hartford.

Stephen J. Jorden, also a Carlton Fields transplant, is a regional partner leading Drinker Biddle's Hartford office.

Drinker Biddle's Hartford attorneys are mainly focused on class-action defense and other high-stakes litigation for financial-services clients.

It also takes on employee-benefit issues, risk-management and issues related to business practices and technologies associated with design, marketing and distribution of insurance products, including the use of big data and analytics.

"Drinker Biddle's Hartford office gives the firm a strategic presence among the many insurance and other financial services companies headquartered in and around this vibrant capital city," a spokesman said Thursday.

Drinker Biddle joins a growing network of law firms at One Constitution Plaza, including Shipman & Goodwin LLP, Feiner Wolfson LLC, the Law Offices of John O. Tannenbaum and Morrison Mahoney LLP.

The national firm was established in the late 19th century, and today has more than 600 lawyers located in New York City, Albany, Princeton, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Its lone international office is in London.

Carlton Fields ranked as the 25th largest law firm in Greater Hartford, according to Hartford Business Journal's 2019 Book of Lists. As of April 2018, the firm had 15 attorneys, 11 partners, three associates and two paralegals in an office at 1 State St. in downtown Hartford.

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