Gossip Alert: Lawyer's Mysterious Departure Baffles Biglaw Colleagues

lee smolen sidley austinLee Smolen

Photo: via Above The Law

A top real estate partner at a famed Chicago law firm appears to have abandoned ship late Monday night and no one knows why.Lee Smolen, who headed up Sidley Austin’s real estate practice in Chicago, resigned late Monday night and was immediately removed from the firm’s website, according to readers who tipped off legal industry blog Above The Law.

Smolen and the firm offered no explanation.

“No farewell email that I am aware or that has been forwarded to my attention…. [people at Sidley] are freaking out,” a source told ATL. “Much fretting…. They apparently herded the real estate group into a conference room in Chicago this morning and made the announcement.”

When ATL emailed Smolen’s Sidley email address, an auto-reply confirmed he had left the firm.

Emails to Smolen’s personal email address were not returned.

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