The Churn: Lateral Moves in The Am Law 200

, The Am Law Daily

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The Churn

Pepper Hamilton has launched an office in Silicon Valley with three partners from Goodwin Procter: GREGORY BISHOP, THOMAS FITZPATRICK and ANDY CHAN. All three are now intellectual property partners at Pepper Hamilton, with Bishop leading the new office and Fitzpatrick serving as cochair of the firm's intellectual property department.

Pepper Hamilton, which already has California offices in Orange County and Los Angeles, decided to open in Silicon Valley because the firm has clients in the area, according to Pepper Hamilton CEO Scott Green.

"To begin with we will focus almost exclusively on intellectual property," Green said. "We have corporate clients here as well, though, and eventually we hope to expand."

Fitzpatrick said he first began speaking with Pepper Hamilton's intellectual property cochair Goutam Patnaik a year ago about the possibility of moving. Commenting on his former firm, Fitzpatrick said, "I'm sure Goodwin will succeed on the path it is on. I think Pepper is taking a different approach, at least for intellectual property litigation. It is taking on work that I could not do at Goodwin because of client conflicts, and there were certain conflicts that I couldn't get over."

The group is bringing two to three associates over with them from Goodwin as well as their clients, according to Fitzpatrick.

Elsewhere in Silicon Valley, Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr has picked up the head of Weil, Gotshal & Manges' intellectual property counseling practice in its Silicon Valley office. JASON KIPNIS is now a partner in Wilmer's Palo Alto office, advising clients on portfolio management, litigation, enforcement and dispute counseling.

Kipnis said he made his decision to move to Wilmer in early June, before Weil  announced it planned to scale back its commercial litigation practice, lay off 110 staff members and 60 associates, and cut some partner salaries. He said a headhunter had contacted him and that he moved because "Wilmer is a giant in intellectual property" in more areas than just patent litigation. Kipnis described his practice as a transactional and litigation hybrid that he said will be compatible with Wilmer's intellectual property practice.

Kipnis said that some of his clients have expressed interest in moving with him but that nothing is finalized and that he is not bringing over any associates.

In a statement to affiliate publication The Recorder, Weil said of Kipnis' departure: "Following our announcement on strategic changes at the firm in late June, we anticipated that some partners would decide to pursue their practices elsewhere. This includes both partners affected by the compensation changes and those who may view their practices as no longer sustainable given the 'new normal.' We wish Jason the best of success in his future endeavors."

In other Churn news ...

Brown Rudnick has hired ROBERT FUNSTEN, the former cochair of Bingham McCutchen's life sciences practice. Funsten joins as a partner in Orange County, Calif., and as cochair of Brown Rudnick's global life sciences group. His clients include medical device, diagnostic, pharmaceutical, biopharmaceutical and biomedical companies.

Epstein Becker & Green has hired the chair of Much Shelist's intellectual property and technology practice, JAMES KUNICK, in its Chicago office. Kunick joins as a member in the health care and life sciences and corporate services practices.

MICHAEL NICOLEAU is now a shareholder at GrayRobinson advising on banking and litigation. Based in Fort Lauderdale, he was last counsel in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's legal division.

EILEEN HAYES has joined Greenberg Traurig as of counsel in Albany. Hayes, previously the assistant chief of the New York State Department of Financial Services' health bureau, will focus on health care and insurance regulatory matters.

Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn has hired JAMES KAMP as a partner in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. Kamp, most recently at Rader, Fishman & Grauer, practices in the areas of intellectual property litigation, patent prosecution, patent opinions and licensing, and strategic counseling.

JAMES LORD, most recently a senior director at the consulting firm Alvarez & Marsal, is now a partner at Jackson Lewis. He joins the firm's white-collar and government practice group in Denver.

As The Am Law Daily previously reported, SEAN ROGERS has jumped from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett to Kirkland & Ellis' New York office. Rogers is a partner in the corporate department who specializes in mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, stock and asset acquisitions and sales, recapitalizations, private equity investments and general corporate and securities law matters.

McCarter & English has hired GEORGE "TRES" ARNETT III as a partner in its business and financial services litigation practice in Newark. Previously the general counsel of Omaha-based broker-dealer COR Clearing, Arnett has also worked at other companies in the financial services industry and in the New Jersey attorney general's office.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough has recently hired two attorneys: partner MICHAEL RUGGIO and of counsel TIMOTHY MEYER. Ruggio is based in Washington, D.C., advising on civil False Claims Act investigations, health care litigation, and health care regulatory matters. Meyer is in Nashville focusing on real estate, mergers and acquisitions, and corporate and loan transactions. Ruggio was last at LeClairRyan, and Meyer was at real estate investment trust Health Care REIT.

Litigator LEEANN JONES has moved from Bryan Cave to the Atlanta firm Taylor English Duma, where she will represent clients in commercial, mass tort, class action, pharmaceutical, medical device and product liability cases. Based in Atlanta, Jones joins the firm as counsel.

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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