The Churn: In and Out at Kaye Scholer, Plus More Lateral Moves

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The Churn

Kaye Scholer lost a partner on both coasts this week while hiring senior attorneys in its Chicago and Frankfurt offices.

The defectors are GRACE PAN and G. THOMAS STROMBERG. Pan, a patent, trademark and copyright litigator, joined Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe as a partner in New York, while Stromberg, who will focus on financing issues related to acquisitions and the funding of private companies, jumped to Jenner & Block's Los Angeles office as a partner.

Kaye Scholer managing partner Michael Solow downplayed the losses. "Grace Pan has a niche IP practice primarily centered around Japanese clients," Solow said in a written statement. "This geographic focus doesn't fully mesh with Kaye Scholer's successful strategy to provide IP clients with high-value solutions based on our knowledge and experience advising in core industries such as life sciences and technology."

As for the firm's second partner loss of the week, Solow said in his statement: "Tom Stromberg has contributed a great deal to the firm over the years. Given our recent shift in strategy, we knew that some of our Los Angeles partners would have to make a difficult decision. Tom deliberated a long time about what to do and, while we are very sorry to see him go, we know that he will achieve much at his new firm."

Stromberg's departure is the latest in a series of recent partner defections from Kaye Scholer's Los Angeles office. Others leaving the firm of late include the former chair of Kaye Scholer's investment funds group, Timothy Spangler, who moved to Sidley Austin in November; corporate partners Barry Dastin, Sheri Jeffrey and Russ Cashdan, who jumped to Hogan Lovells in October; and finance and renewable energy partner Jeffrey Chester, whose departure for Morrison & Foerster with two other attorneys also came in October.

Solow says all of the L.A. defections are by design. "We have recently made the strategic decision to have our Los Angeles office capabilities more closely mirror Kaye Scholer's top-ranked national offerings: cutting edge litigation, including antirust, product liability, complex commercial litigation; IP and bankruptcy, as well as real estate finances," he said by email. "The changes we have seen in our L.A. office over the past few weeks are consistent with our strategy for California and Kaye Scholer as a whole."

Kaye Scholer did make two new hires this week, bringing on counsel DINA HAYES in Chicago and financial counsel HARTMUT RENZ. Hayes, most recently at the Chicago firm Niro, Haller & Niro, focuses on patent cases involving biomedical infusions devices, power wheelchair suspension systems, cardiac ablation devices and techniques, and digital audio fingerprinting methods.

Renz is slated to join Kaye Scholer next month in Frankfurt, where he will advise clients on corporate compliance and regulatory matters related to finance and capital markets. He most recently worked in the legal department of the commercial German bank Landesbank Hessen-Thuringen (Helaba).

Hayes says she chose to go to Kaye Scholer because "it represents many Chicagoland companies, and its courtroom experience in the Northern District of Illinois is outstanding." She adds that she had been impressed with Kaye Scholer intellectual property partner Robert Unikel's litigation expertise in the past.

Renz was not available for comment.

In other Churn news …

The former director of the Federal Trade Commission's Bureau of Competition, RICHARD FEINSTEIN, has returned to Boies, Schiller & Flexner as a partner in Washington, D.C. Feinstein, who left the Boies Schiller partnership in May 2009 to join the federal agency, will specialize in antitrust trials, counseling and enforcement policies.

DOUGLAS FRIEDNASH is slated to join Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck's Denver office on Jan. 1. Friednash, currently Denver's city attorney, will focus on public policy, government affairs and commercial transactions as a shareholder at the firm.

Covington & Burling has hired LEE KELLEY, who previously served as deputy tax legislative counsel in the U.S. Department of the Treasury's office of tax policy. A partner in Washington, D.C., Kelley handles corporate tax matters.

TERESA STANEK REA has returned to Crowell & Moring after serving as the acting and deputy director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and as the acting and deputy undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property. Rea, who was a Crowell partner before leaving the firm in 2011, is once again a partner in Crowell's intellectual property group. She will also be the director of the firm's international trade and investment consulting affiliate, C&M International.

Gardere Wynne Sewell has added three attorneys in Dallas from the Braumiller Law Group (formerly Braumiller Schulz): partners MICHELLE SCHULZ and ELSA MANZANARES and one associate. Schulz concentrates on international trade and customs matters, while Manzanares advises clients on compliance with domestic and international regulation governing export of dual-use commodities, defense articles, software and technology.

Morrison & Foerster has recruited of counsel SEAN MULCAHY for its corporate finance practice in Washington, D.C., where he will concentrate on corporate and securities matters for public companies. Mulcahy recently left a position as deputy general counsel for corporate and M&A at Arbitron, a consumer research company that collects data on radio audiences that Nielsen Holdings purchased in September.

JOYCE MAZERO has jumped from Haynes and Boone to Perkins Coie as a partner in the latter firm's franchising and distribution, food and beverage, and retail industries and consumer products practices. Mazero is based in Dallas.

Thompson Hine has hired partner PETER COFFMAN and senior counsel AARON WATSON in Atlanta. Coffman joins his new firm's business litigation practice. He was previously with Dow Lohnes, the bulk of which was recently absorbed by Cooley. Watson, who arrives from Barnes & Thornburg, joins Thompson Hine's corporate transactions and securities group.

The former general counsel of Abercrombie & Fitch's legal department, RONALD ROBINS JR., has returned to Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease as a partner based in Columbus. Robins, whose previous stint as a partner at Vorys Sater ended in November 2009, will focus on transactions, general corporate law, corporate governance and general counsel services. Sibling publication Corporate Counsel has more on the hire.

As The Am Law Daily reported Thursday, Kirkland & Ellis partner KIRK RADKE has joined Willkie Farr & Gallagher. As a partner in Willkie's New York office, Radke will represent private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies.

Winston & Strawn has expanded its Houston office with the addition of DENMON SIGLER from Baker Botts and CRAIG VOGELSANG from Norton Rose Fulbright. Both join Winston as partners who will focus their practices on U.S. and international energy and resource acquisitions and divestitures, joint ventures and projects.

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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