Steven Eckhaus, a prominent compensation adviser to bankers, has found a new home.

Eckhaus has joined Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, where he will create and chair a new executive compensation and benefits practice, the New York law firm said Wednesday. He is bringing several colleagues with him from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, where he ran the executive employment practice.

In an interview Wednesday, Eckhaus said he plans to expand the career and compensation advisory services he and his colleagues have been offering to bankers and other senior-level executives.

Cadwalader will "basically take the executive practice I developed at Katten and expand it," Eckhaus said. "We basically had the attorneys who were doing much of the same functions but they weren't part of a cohesive group. Now we'll get them to work for the firm's strategic goals as a unit rather than on an ad hoc basis."

Friday will be his last day at Katten, and he is not taking any time off before starting his new job on Monday.

"As one of my clients said, I'm going to a gold-plated firm," Eckhaus said. "There's a real strategic vision here. They're looking for me to not just come in with a book of business, but to help them carry out their strategy" of expanding the corporate practice.

His hire is a significant coup for Cadwalader. Eckhaus is one of the most high-profile pay consultants, with a client list that has included Bank of America (BAC) co-Chief Operating Officer Tom Montag and former Lehman Brothers Chief Financial Officer Erin Callan. He has negotiated more than $5 billion in employment contracts and other agreements for bankers and other executives, Cadwalader said.

Eckhaus's expertise extends beyond the financial services world. He has also represented executives in technology, real estate and sports — as well as Leona Helmsley, the hotel mogul who achieved more posthumous notoriety for leaving $12 million of her fortune to her dog.

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