30 July 2013

In and out

A weekly round-up of who's moving up, down or out in global legal practice.

By Charlotte Mullen

Morrison & Foerster snags two partners from Norton Rose Fulbright for its Singapore office Ekkachai


Norton Rose Fulbright’s Singapore office suffers a blow after it is announced that two of its partners are defecting to the recently opened Singapore office of US firm Morrison & Foerster. Jake Robson and Adam Summerly are experienced deal advisors, particularly concerning transactions across South and Southeast Asia. Their practices are corporate-based focusing on M&A, private equity, cross-border investment and joint ventures. M&F’s Singapore office opened earlier this year and is the firm’s fifth platform in Asia, reflecting the growing attraction that Singapore’s economic centre presents to law firms worldwide.


DLA Piper has appointed a new head for its Manchester office after David Gray’s intentions to step down at the end of the year were announced, reports the Lawyer. After four years as managing partner, Mr Gray will step down on 31 December with finance and projects partner Liam Cowell, who has 20 years of experience at DLA, takes over. Mr Gray will continue on as head of DLA’s UK litigation and regulatory group. DLA Piper’s Liverpool office will also see some changes soon as employment partner Ben Miller will replace Philip Rooney as Liverpool managing partner from 1 August t. Mr Rooney will return to fee-earning.

As part of its three-year plan to increase revenues to £100 million, London-based law firm Mischon de Reya has added a fourth partner to its real estate practice, Legalweek reports.  Olswang head of construction Nick Lane will join Mischon as a contentious construction specialist in the firm’s property litigation group from 2 September. ‘Mischon has bucked a bad market and has a thriving real estate practice. It has set out ambitious expansion plans with an emphasis on litigation in its three year growth strategy,’ said Mr Lane. 

A partner in Boodle Hatfield’s Private Client & Tax department, Sue Laing, has been appointed to the panel of The General Anti Abuse Rule (GAAR). The General Anti Abuse Rule (GAAR) advisory panel was set up earlier this month, an independent body to advise HMRC on the operation of the new GAAR legislation, a part of the government’s initiative to combat tax abusive arrangements. ‘The GAAR panel will fulfil an important role by working alongside HMRC to help distinguish between acceptable tax planning and unacceptable tax abuse,’ said Ms Laing. Ms Laing, along with the other five panel members – Michael Hardwick, David Heaton, Brian Jackson, Gary Shiels and Bob Wheatcroft – has been appointed for a three-year term on the panel.


David Nolan, a corporate and commercial partner from Melbourne-headquartered firm Mills Oakley, has been snatched up by Kemp Strang, a single-office firm based in Sydney, Lawyers Weekly reports. Mr Nolan is not alone in the move and brings associate Holly Taylor to the new firm.


The General Counsel for the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Bernard J. Knight, Jr, is to join McDermott Will & Emery’s Washington DC office from 16 September as partner in its Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Group. He will be co-chair of the firm’s post grant practice. Mr Knight is a highly experienced intellectual property lawyer who, as USPTO General Counsel, was heavily involved in developing the America Invents Act (AIA). He also served as Acting General Counsel of the US Treasury during the financial crisis, and previously as USPTO’s Deputy General Counsel between 2001 and 2006.

Former Deputy Attorney General at the US Department of Justice (DoJ), Steven F. Reich, has joined the New York office of law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP as partner in its white collar defence and government investigations practice. Mr Reich’s practice will centre on representing companies and individuals in criminal and civil litigation and congressional and internal investigations. Previously, Mr Reich has been senior associate counsel to President Bill Clinton where his team defended the president and senior White House officials, and co-chairman of corporate investigations and defence practice at law firm Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP.

After four years as the Enforcement Director of the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Robert Khuzami has joined law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP as partner in the firm’s Government, Regulatory and Internal Investigations Practice Group. Mr Khuzami will be based in both the New York and Washington D.C. offices, and joins with Senior SEC official Kenneth Lench who will also be partner in the same practice, starting from the end of July and based in Washington DC. Previously in his career, Mr Khuzami was a Federal Prosecutor in the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York from 1991 to 2002, and worked as Global Head of Litigation and Regulatory Investigations at Deutsche Bank from 2002 to 2004, and from 2004 to 2009 as the bank’s General Counsel for the Americas. Mr Lench has worked at SEC for 23 years, most recently as Chief of the Structured and New Products Unit created in 2010 by Mr Khuzami.

Chicago-headquartered law firm Sidley Austin LLP bolsters its global finance practice group in Houston with the addition of global finance, banking and securities partner from Baker Botts LLP. Herschel T Hamner III will specialise in lending, acquisitions and energy finance and be based in the firm’s Houston office which opened in February, according to Law360. Mr Hamner is widely experienced in areas such as transactions, syndicated bank financings, high-yield debt offerings and private placement of securities.


Experienced trademark law partner Chumeng Xu (Jessica) has joined Chinese law firm Jun He as partner to be based in the firm’s Beijing office. Prior to this appointment she was the deputy director of the Trademark Division of CCPIT Patent and Trademark Law Office, and has 16 years of experience in areas covering trademark prosecution, litigation, assignment, licensing, enforcement, dispute resolution and copyright and anti-unfair competition services.

Chinese law firm Broad & Bright has hired an experienced Japanese law specialist as a partner to boost the firm’s Japanese desk in its Shanghai office. Dong Hui joined from Shanghai Shi Min Law Offices and specialises in corporate law, FDI, M&A, liquidation and bankruptcy, labour law and intellectual property. Mr Dong has advised many clients from Japan, Honk Kong and Taiwan on establishing foreign invested enterprises in China.

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