Cooley further expands new Chicago office with trio of litigation partner hires

New recruits arrive from Kirkland & Ellis, Mayer Brown and the DOJ

(L-R) Matthew Kutcher, Bobby Earles and partner Lei Shen Images courtesy of Cooley

Cooley has hired a trio of litigation partners in Chicago as the Silicon Valley firm seeks to expand its litigation, investigations and data privacy practices in the Windy City.

The threesome includes Latham & Watkins’ former Chicago litigation group chair and ex-Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyer Matthew Kutcher, as well as former Kirkland & Ellis partner Bobby Earles and ex-Mayer Brown partner Lei Shen. All three join the firm’s recently launched Chicago office.

Michael Attanasio, chair of Cooley’s global litigation department, said: “This group of litigation and privacy/security partners heralds a new era that brings together unique advocacy and advisory expertise in Chicago, while continuing our extraordinary growth and expanding our ability to serve clients with the most complex challenges to surmount worldwide.”

Attanasio described the trio as ‘stars of today and leaders of tomorrow’. 

Kutcher arrives after almost six years at the US Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, where he served as deputy chief in the general crimes section. Prior to his time in the DOJ, Kutcher spent almost eights years at Latham & Watkins, having joined from Cravath Swaine & Moore, where he worked for just over six years. His practice focuses on white collar defence and investigations, as well as securities and general commercial litigation.

Kutcher said: “Cooley’s distinctive platform and entrepreneurial spirit set the firm apart. The litigation group offers the opportunity to work with a national team of all-stars to support the most dynamic and disruptive companies and leaders.”

Earles, meantime, joins the firm’s business litigation practice after just shy of nine years at Kirkland & Ellis. He brings with him broad commercial litigation experience ranging from white collar to bankruptcy litigation, with his practice focusing on private equity, venture capital and M&A-related disputes.

Shen spent the best part of 15 years at Mayer Brown in Chicago, becoming partner at the start of 2018. She joins Cooley’s cyber/data/privacy practice, advising clients on data privacy and security matters. 

Cooley launched in Chicago in May, making nine lateral partner hires to support the opening. Cooley said the move made it the first ‘elite’ Silicon Valley firm to enter the ‘thriving Midwest ecosystem’.

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