Law firm does some late-summer poaching

Brooks Smith

Brooks Smith

In the legal game, you win some and you lose some.

One of Richmond’s biggest law firms lured a trio of attorneys from a downtown rival in recent weeks, just a few months after losing a team to another nearby competitor.

Troutman Sanders scored Brooks Smith, Andrea Wortzel and Thomas Mascia from Hunton & Williams as August drew to a close. They help bolster Troutman’s environment and natural resources law practice that was hit by the departure of three lawyers in the spring to Williams Mullen.

“That’s how the marketplace works,” said John West, managing partner of the firm’s Richmond office. “We understand that and we always have to respond to that.”

West said the addition of Smith, who was previously chairman of Hunton’s environmental practice, helped seal the deal on bringing Wortzel and Mascia into the fold.

“We were fortunate to have Brooks Smith come over,” West said. “Once he was here we looked at those attorneys who had worked most closely with him at Hunton & Williams.”

Anrdea Wortzel

Anrdea Wortzel

The team’s experience and book of business also has West excited.

“They have worked closely together so they are bringing over their joint expertise in the environmental practice and bringing a number of clients with them.”

They work cases involving electric utility companies, coal companies, manufacturers, water and wastewater authorities, municipalities, and developers.

Thomas Mascia

Thomas Mascia

Smith is the third new partner Troutman has added this year, West said. Most recently, William Fendly IV came over as a partner in July from McGuireWoods.

Troutman has 105 attorneys in its Richmond office at Riverside on the James. That will increase to 107 this week, West said, with the addition of two new associates fresh out of law school.

Troutman is among the top five largest law firms in Richmond, according to a recent tally by Richmond BizSense.

Hunton and McGuireWoods duke it out year after year in the top two spots among the area’s largest firms.

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