The Minneapolis law firm Dorsey & Whitney said Wednesday that prominent former federal prosecutor R.J. Zayed is joining its trial group as the firm attempts to fill gaps across its system.
Zayed, who leaves the Minneapolis firm Carlson, Caspers, Vandenburgh, Lindquist & Schuman after 8 ½ years, joins Dorsey as a partner along with recently hired Brian Moore from Fredrikson & Byron and A. Melinda Maher who came over from Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly.
“These are three strategic lateral partners,” Ken Cutler, Dorsey’s managing partner, said in an interview with the Star Tribune. “We will continue to look as we try to figure out what strategic holes we want to fill.”
The new hires were announced as Dorsey attempts to rebound from a 2012 where revenue hit a six-year low at $313.5 million and the lawyer count declined.
“Assuming you want to be in the Twin Cities, Dorsey is certainly still a desirable address,” said Herbert Kritzer, a professor at the University of Minnesota School of Law. “Undoubtedly Dorsey’s leadership would be happier if the firm had an even stronger book of business.”
Law firm partners generally bring clients with them when they change firms, so Dorsey’s recent hires should be good for the bottom line.
Zayed, who is the court-appointed receiver for high-profile fraud cases involving Trevor Cook and Jason “Bo” Beckman, brings trial lawyer and intellectual property expertise to Dorsey.
“Dorsey offers me an opportunity to expand my practice and serve my clients better,” Zayad said in an interview. “My old firm concentrated heavily on IP [intellectual property] law and I wanted to expand on that.”
Zayed, a Chicago-area native, was an assistant U.S. attorney from 1994 until 2000, when he prosecuted white-collar fraud and environmental crimes. At Dorsey, Zayed will handle patent and trade-secret litigation, including medical devices, investment models and nutritional supplements.
Maher, who started her legal career as an associate with Dorsey, has a practice in employee health and welfare plans.
“With health care reform, that’s of strategic interest for our clients,” Cutler said.
Moore is part of the corporate group at Dorsey, where he works with emerging medical device companies and device giant Medtronic Inc.
Cutler said Dorsey also has recently added partners with expertise in capital markets, government contracts and construction, bankruptcy and medical devices at its offices in Denver, Seattle, Anchorage, Alaska, and Palo Alto, Calif.