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28 May 2020

Cozen O'Conner adds group of litigation lawyers from Akin Gump

Hires include partners Michael McTigue and Meredith Slawe, who will co-chair firm's class actions practice

By Ben Edwards

Bottom-up view of skyscrapers mirrored in glass in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

Michael McTigue and Meredith Slawe will co-chair the national class actions practice based out of Philadelphia Roman Babakin; Shutterstock

US firm Cozen O’Connor has hired a team of lawyers from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld as it seeks to bolster its litigation and investigations capabilities.

Among the new recruits are partners Michael McTigue and Meredith Slawe, who will co-chair the firm’s national class actions practice based out of the top 100 US firm's Philadelphia headquarters. Slawe will also co-lead the firm’s retail industry group. They are joined by former Akin Gump colleagues Mira Baylson, Daniel Brewer and Marie Bussey-Garza. 

Michael Heller, Cozen O’Connor’s executive chairman and chief executive officer, said: “Mike and Meredith are recognised leaders in the class action defence bar, while Mira is a premier white collar defence attorney. The hiring of these powerhouse attorneys reflects a comprehensive strategic plan we’ve put in place to find the best lawyers across the country and build out our complex litigation, investigations, and privacy capabilities.”

McTigue had been at Akin Gump for almost two years having previously been a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath for more than 16 years, most recently serving as chairman of its litigation department. Like McTigue, Slawe also arrives from Akin Gump by way of Drinker Biddle & Reath, where she spent almost 13 years, most recently as vice chair of its class actions team and co-chair of its retail industry group.

Barry Boss, co-chair of Cozen O’Connor’s commercial litigation department, said: “Mike and Meredith are at the forefront of defending class actions in jurisdictions across the country. They are sought after to represent businesses in litigation, and to advise them day-to-day on related consumer protection issues.”

Baylson is an experienced trial attorney and will focus her practice on government investigations, litigation and enforcement, while Brewer and Bussey-Garza are experienced class action litigators. All three follow McTigue and Slawe from Akin Gump and Drinker Biddle & Reath. Baylson and Brewer join as partners, while Bussey-Garza joins as an associate. 

McTigue said: “From a class action defence standpoint, Cozen O’Connor’s geographic footprint is ideal. With four offices in California and offices in Illinois, Florida, New York, New Jersey, Washington state, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Georgia, we will have boots on the ground in the hotbeds for class action filings, and where we routinely appear on behalf of our clients.”

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