The Churn: Lateral Moves in The Am Law 200

, The Am Law Daily

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The Churn

Dentons and McKenna Long & Aldridge have lost several attorneys in the past week as the two firms head toward a merger vote that, if successful, would unite them to create a 3,100-lawyer firm.

In California, IMRAN KHALIQ has defected from the Silicon Valley office of Dentons to join Arent Fox's San Francisco office as an intellectual property and litigation partner.

Khaliq advises telecommunications, technology and medical device companies in patent disputes. In an interview with The Am Law Daily, Khaliq says he switched firms—and cities—because of San Francisco's vibrant technology and biotechnology hubs, as well as its commercial district. While acknowledging that Silicon Valley also has a prominent technology hub, Khaliq says, "San Francisco has a lot of new companies. Mobile apps and biotechnology are going to be the future."

Khaliq first contacted Arent Fox about the possibility of joining the firm a couple weeks ago, says Robert O'Brien, the California managing partner of Arent Fox. Khaliq declined to comment on whether the merger discussions motivated him to change firms.

On the East Coast, health care lawyers S. LAWRENCE KOCOT and MARK HAMELBURG left Dentons for Epstein Becker & Green in Washington, D.C. The two, who have also worked as executives at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, join Epstein's health care and life sciences practices as members—the firm's equivalent of partners.

From the McKenna side, real estate partner BILL PHAM moved to the Los Angeles firm Liner Grode Stein Yankelevitz Sunshine Regenstreif & Taylor on Monday. Pham joins as a partner concentrating on the negotiation and documentation of acquisitions, dispositions, development and financing of real property.

The Am Law Daily first reported in late September that Dentons and McKenna are discussing the possibility of merging, with the two sides aiming to close the deal by January 1 and a merger vote scheduled for October 28. Since news of the potential tie-up broke, lawyers have trickled out of both firms. In late September, Arent Fox brought on another Dentons lawyer in San Francisco, intellectual property partner Dana Finberg (Arent Fox also hired two lawyers from Dentons earlier this year). Reed Smith announced October 9 that it hired a three-partner tax team from Dentons, and on the same day Crowell & Moring grabbed two government contracts partners from McKenna.

In other Churn news …

Alston & Bird has expanded its Atlanta office with new partner GEORGE ABNEY. Most recently with Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry, Abney handles civil and criminal tax controversy matters.

FRANCES MURPHY had jumped from Jones Day to Bingham McCutchen in London. Murphy, who represents global clients in contentious and noncontentious European Union and domestic competition matters, joins as a partner in the firm's antitrust, competition and trade regulation practice.

Bracewell & Giuliani has hired a partner, two senior counsel and an associate in New York. Partner MARK MUTTERPERL focuses on brand protection and other intellectual property issues; senior counsel JESSICA PARISE advises her clients on trademark and trade dress infringement, dilution and counterfeiting; and senior counsel W. DREW KASTNER deals with copyright and intellectual property matters in the sports, entertainment, broadcasting and technology industries. Mutterperl and Parise moved from Norton Rose Fulbright, and Kastner was last at the intellectual property advisory, brokerage and licensing services firm Thinkfire.

Dickinson Wright has added to its Grand Rapids, Mich., office with two new members from Clark Hill: SCOTT SMITH, who concentrates on municipal, municipal finance, environmental and condemnation law; and ROGER SWETS, who practices in the area of public sector finance law.

SAMUEL MASON recently left a position as a corporate partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath to work for one of the firm's clients. Mason is now the first-ever general counsel at environmental, health and safety consulting firm Environ in Philadelphia.

Three Kaye Scholer corporate partners in Los Angeles are defecting to Hogan Lovells, sibling publication The Recorder reports. The movers include BARRY DASTIN, who advises on mergers and acquisitions, bank financings and capital markets transactions; SHERI JEFFREY, who represents clients in entertainment industry transactions; and RUSS CASHDAN, whose practice covers mergers and acquisitions, finance and general corporate matters. The start date of the group has not yet been determined, according to The Recorder. A Hogan Lovells spokesman declined to comment Tuesday to The Am Law Daily.

JAVADE CHAUDHRI has returned to Jones Day as a partner in Washington, D.C., to advise on domestic and international mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and strategic alliances. Chaudhri, who was last a partner at Jones Day in 1993, joins the firm from an in-house role with energy services company Sempra Energy. Jones Day has also brought in SHIREEN BECKER as of counsel in its San Diego office. Becker practices in the firm's corporate criminal investigation practice. She was previously an assistant U.S. attorney in the criminal division of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of California.

SONIA BALDIA is now a partner in Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton's Washington, D.C., office. Baldia, formerly an associate law professor at the Widener University School of Law, joins the firm's global sourcing and technology team.

King & Spalding's newest hire in New York is MATTHEW BROMBERG, who joins the firm as a partner. Bromberg, previously the senior managing counsel and managing director in the global fund services group of The Bank of New York Mellon, advises clients on matters arising under federal securities, commodities and banking laws.

Labor and employment firm Littler Mendelson has expanded its Dallas office with shareholder CELESTE YEAGER, who was most recently the vice-chair of Gardere's hospitality industry team.

JEROLD SCHNAYER has joined Locke Lord's intellectual property litigation practice group as a partner specializing in patent, copyright, trademark and trade secret matters. Based in Chicago, he was previously a partner at Husch Blackwell.

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius has brought in a Pittsburgh-based team from Norton Rose Fulbright made up of partner KENNETH KOMOROSKI and an unspecified number of associates. Komoroski advises on matters related to oil and gas and environmental law.

MATTHEW MORRISON has joined Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman's environment, land use and natural resources practice as a partner. Based in Washington, D.C., he was formerly the deputy director of the office of criminal enforcement, forensics and training in the Environmental Protection Agency.

JEFFREY COTTLE is now a partner in Steptoe & Johnson's international regulation and compliance group. Most recently with global resources company BHP Billiton, Cottle joins Steptoe's London office. Steptoe has also added DAVID RICHARDS to its real estate practice in New York as senior counsel from McCarter & English.

Troutman Sanders has hired three partners. CHAD FULLER, last at Goodwin Procter, concentrates on the defense of consumer class actions as well as business and privacy-related litigation from the firm's San Diego office. VICTORIA HOLSTEIN-CHILDRESS, formerly at Reed Smith, will handle civil litigation and government enforcement matters in Troutman's Washington, D.C., branch. RICHARD O'LEARY, most recently at McCarter & English, is now a partner in its business litigation group in New York.

Vinson & Elkins recently added the former cochair of Bingham McCutchen's environmental land use and natural resources group, MICHAEL WIGMORE, as a partner in Washington, D.C. Wigmore advises on environmental, public lands and natural resources matters before state and federal administrative agencies, in court, and before Congress.

White & Case has poached the coheads of Linklaters' private equity group, IAN BAGSHAW and RICHARD YOULE. The two, who specialize in leveraged mergers and acquisitions and portfolio assistance, are expected to join the London office as partners.

GLEN BARRENTINE has moved from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft to Winston & Strawn's New York office. A partner in its financial services group, Barrentine focuses on broker-dealer regulatory issues.

The Churn is compiled from law firm releases and announcements. Moves based on our own reporting will note this. Please send all announcements and news releases to thechurn@alm.com.

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