The Churn: Lateral Moves in The Am Law 200

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The Churn

GrayRobinson announced this week that it is merging with the Miami-based criminal and white-collar defense firm Hirschhorn & Bieber this week, gaining shareholders JOEL HIRSCHHORN, BRIAN BIEBER and an associate in the process.

Bieber says the boutique was approached by several larger firms over the past several years but decided to merge with GrayRobinson because "the fit was instantaneous. In the way they approach the practice of law, everyone acts as a team but retains their individual identity, which is important in criminal defense."

Bieber adds that merging with the Am 200 firm should help him and his colleagues expand their practice throughout Florida and the rest of the United States. GrayRobinson has 11 offices in Florida, and Bieber says he had a chance to meet with one of the firm's clients (whom he declined to identify) in its Naples outpost before the merger was even announced.

Sibling publication The Daily Business Review has more on the merger.

Elsewhere in Florida, Am Law 200 firm Shutts & Bowen announced Thursday that it is merging with Sarasota-based Livingston, Patterson, Strickland & Siegel. The merger gives Shutts & Bowen two new partners and one associate, as well as an office in Sarasota. Joining as partners are JOHN PATTERSON, a business, real estate and banking lawyer; and MICHAEL SIEGEL, who concentrates on business, real estate, health care and employment law. Both also practice commercial litigation.

Shutts & Bowen chairman Bowman Brown says the firm has known the Livingston Patterson lawyers for five years through one of its Tampa partners. Brown adds that a move into the Sarasota market makes sense given the city's population growth and the resulting uptick in demand for legal services. "There are a lot more sophisticated real estate transactions and construction litigation there," Brown says.

Livingston Patterson's client roster includes the Sarasota Jungle Gardens tourist attraction, the not-for-profit Girls Incorporated of Sarasota County, and senior housing service Sarasota Health Care Center, according to the firm's website.

In other Churn news ...

ALEJANDRO FIUZA has joined Brown Rudnick from K&L Gates as a partner. Working out of both Boston and New York, Fiuza will chair the firm's newly launched Latin American practice group, which advises domestic and international clients on cross-border transactions in Latin America.

Cozen O'Connor has hired two attorneys in New York for its recently formed international arbitration practice group from Gusy Van der Zandt, a firm that has since closed. MARTIN GUSY is now a member at Cozen and the chair of the new practice, while MATTHEW WELDON joins as counsel.

DLA Piper has brought on litigator TERI DONALDSON from Sutherland Asbill & Brennan. Donaldson, who divides her time between Houston and Tampa, advises clients on environmental due diligence, as well as how to manage environmental liabilities and risk associated with mergers and acquisitions and the sale of large assets. Earlier in her career, she served as general counsel of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.

Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn has expanded its Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, office with the addition of intellectual property partner JAMES KAMP. Previously at Rader, Fishman & Grauer, Kamp focuses on intellectual property litigation, patent prosecution, patent opinions and licensing, and strategic counseling.

CRAIG BONNIST and an associate have moved to McCarter & English's Stamford, Connecticut, office from Bonnist & Cutro, a civil and commercial litigation firm that has disbanded. Bonnist joins as a partner in his new firm's labor and employment practice, defending clients against allegations of sexual harassment; race, disability, gender and age discrimination; and retaliation and wrongful discharge.

WILLIAM BOOTH has moved from Dentons to Michael Best & Friedrich's Washington, D.C., office. Now a partner on Dentons's energy team, Booth represents clients before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

The head of Allen & Overy's Asia Pacific capital markets practice, JAMES GRANDOLFO, is jumping to Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy's Hong Kong office as a partner. Grandolfo will advise issuers and investment banks in the region about U.S. debt and equity transactions. His date of departure from Allen & Overy has not yet been set, according to sibling publication The Asian Lawyer.

ANTHONY ROOT, the former managing partner of Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy's Asia offices, has joined New York–based investment bank Moelis & Co. as a senior adviser in Hong Kong. Root, who retired from Milbank in May, will help Moelis expand in China and India, according to sibling publication The Asian Lawyer.

Schiff Hardin has hired two partners in Washington, D.C., from Goodwin Procter. ELIZABETH GEISE, previously the head of Goodwin's D.C. litigation department, and VALERIE ROSS represent clients in toxic tort and other product liability matters.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett has expanded its antitrust practice with counsel SARA RAZI, who joins in Washington, D.C. Razi was formerly at a deputy assistant director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition, where she supervised antitrust investigations and litigation related to mergers of hospitals, grocery retailers and consumer goods.

COLIN LUKE has left Bradley Arant Boult Cummings to join Nashville-based Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis' Birmingham office. Luke is now a partner advising health care providers on regulatory, operations and transactional matters.

H. STEPHEN HARRIS has moved from Baker & McKenzie to Winston & Strawn in Washington, D.C., where he will be an antitrust and competition partner. Harris represents global companies in antitrust cartel investigations, litigation and merger control proceedings.

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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