USA: Roberta Kaplan launches new boutique with former prosecutors

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Roberta Kaplan, the veteran trial lawyer who represented New York writer E. Jean Carroll in her landmark lawsuits against Donald Trump, is leaving the firm she founded seven years ago to start a new outfit with a trio of close friends.

The litigator is departing Kaplan Hecker & Fink to start a boutique that will focus on civil litigation, internal corporate investigations and strategic advisory, she said in a statement. Tim Martin, another Kaplan Hecker & Fink partner, is leaving with her. The new firm will be called Kaplan Martin.

Kaplan Hecker & Fink’s unexpected growth to more than 100 lawyers and staff nudged Kaplan to make a change, she said, just three years after she and her colleagues celebrated the opening of an expanded office at the Empire State Building. She also said she wants to focus less on white collar matters, now a focus at her old firm.

“It’s really that the firm grew rapidly, which is great, but it grew in size and complexity beyond what I had in mind and I wanted to get back to something nimbler,” Kaplan said in an interview.

Kaplan’s departure had been in discussions at the firm for many months, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The move will test Kaplan’s ability to bring her clients with her — again. She said all of her clients, with one exception, followed her when she left Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, the large firm where she worked for 25 years, to co-found Kaplan Hecker & Fink in 2017.