Bloomberg News

Herbert Smith, Proskauer, Ropes & Gray: Business of Law

August 03, 2012

Herbert Smith LLP hired a team of six commercial litigation partners from Chadbourne & Parke LLP, five of whom will open a New York office in September, the firm’s first in the U.S.

Thomas Riley, Chadbourne’s former litigation head, Gregory Loss, Chadbourne’s former products liability counseling and defense practice group head, David Wallace, Allison Alcasabas and Joseph Falcone will handle complex litigation ranging from general commercial disputes to regulatory matters, securities, investigations and product liability in the New York office.

A sixth partner, Philip Pfeffer, who is U.S. qualified and based in London, will work in Herbert Smith’s dispute resolution practice in London. Pfeffer focuses on product liability, public international law and other commercial work including shareholder disputes, the firm said.

“We remain committed to a strong products liability litigation practice in the U.S. and internationally,” Chadbourne managing partner Andrew Giaccia said in a statement. “We wish the tobacco team well. They are distinguished lawyers and good colleagues. We are grateful for the many contributions that they have made to the firm.”

Herbert Smith’s New York office will focus solely on disputes work, with particular emphasis on cross-border investigations, international arbitration and cross-border litigation for network clients. The new team’s primary focus will be on advising international clients with U.S. litigation issues, the firm said.

They will be joined in New York by international arbitration partner Chris Parker, who is relocating from London to establish an arbitration practice.

“We have recruited a very high caliber team whose reputation will allow us to hit the ground running in New York,” Jonathan Scott, Herbert Smith’s senior partner, said in a statement.

Herbert Smith has more than 1,400 lawyers, including more than 250 partners, in 17 offices in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The firm announced that it will merge with the Australian law firm Freehills on Oct. 1, so the New York office will become part of the new firm.

Duffie Named Head of Littler Mendelson’s Atlanta Office

Littler Mendelson PC named L. Traywick Duffie head of its Atlanta office, succeeding Cameron Pierce.

Pierce, a founding shareholder of the office, was head of the Atlanta office for more than 10 years. He will continue his practice at Littler, focusing on employment litigation and counseling.

“For more than a decade, Cameron has done a tremendous job in building a strong and significant presence in the Atlanta market and we thank him for his efforts,” said Marko Mrkonich, president and managing director of Littler. “Traywick is the ideal candidate to lead the office’s future growth with his extensive experience in starting, growing, and managing law offices and labor and employment practices.”

Duffie represents corporate clients in a range of industries throughout the U.S. He has successfully defended numerous class and collective matters and countered union organizing campaigns in more than 40 states, the firm said.

Littler has more than 900 attorneys at 56 offices in North America and South America.

Moves

Proskauer Hires Seyfarth Litigator, Begins New Practice

Proskauer Rose LLP hired employment litigator Steven J. Pearlman as a partner in the firm’s Chicago office.

Pearlman is a former partner and co-chair of Seyfarth Shaw LLP’s national Sarbanes-Oxley whistle-blower team, Proskauer said. He joins Proskauer’s labor and employment law department as co-head, along with partner Lloyd Chinn, of its new whistleblowing and retaliation practice group.

“Steve is one of the country’s foremost whistleblower defense and employment litigators,” said Elise Bloom, co-chair of Proskauer’s labor and employment law department and co-head of the firm’s class/collective action group.

Pearlman has experience defending management against whistle-blower claims arising under federal laws, state statutes and common law. He also counsels clients on strategies to avoid litigation, in addition to defending employers against class action and single-plaintiff claims of discrimination, harassment and violations of wage-and-hour laws, the firm said.

Pearlman is the latest in a series of lawyers who have recently joined Proskauer’s labor and employment law department. In April, the firm added Los Angeles partner Kenneth Sulzer as co-head of its California labor and employment law and class/collective action groups. In June, it added Cédric Jacquelet as international counsel in Paris.

Proskauer’s labor and employment law department has more than 160 lawyers globally. The firm has 13 offices worldwide.

Litigator Carl Buchholz Joins DLA Piper in Philadelphia

Carl Buchholz, a former Blank Rome LLP managing partner and chief executive officer, joined DLA Piper LLP’s litigation practice in the Philadelphia office.

Buchholz served as managing partner and CEO of Blank Rome from 2006 to 2010. He concentrates on government relations and complex commercial litigation. He is experienced in federal and state administrative, regulatory and legislative matters; government contracts; commercial and general litigation; environmental law; insurance; and intellectual property and patent matters, the firm said.

Buchholz also served as special assistant for Homeland Security to President George W. Bush from 2001 to 2002 and worked as transition team chairman for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. He was also co-chairman of the transition team for Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, who is now that state’s governor, and worked as Pennsylvania general counsel for the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign in 2004, the firm said.

“Carl is an accomplished and well-known lawyer with a proven track record,” said Robert Mathias, joint global leader and U.S. chair of DLA Piper’s litigation practice. “In addition to complementing our existing litigation and corporate practices, Carl’s extensive government work will be a valuable asset to the firm and our Philadelphia office.”

DLA Piper’s litigation practice comprises more than 1,500 lawyers globally. The firm has 4,200 lawyers in 31 countries and 77 offices throughout the Americas, the U.K., Continental Europe, Middle East, Asia and Australia.

Holland & Knight Hires IP Litigator Weiss to Head Practice

Holland & Knight LLP said Charles A. Weiss joined the firm as a partner and head of its New York Intellectual Property Group. He was previously a partner with Kenyon & Kenyon LLP, the firm said.

Weiss has litigated patent, trade secret, license and false advertising cases involving matters such as the expression of recombinant proteins, controlled-release pharmaceuticals, medical diagnostic agents, endocrine and hormone products, nutritional supplements, food chemistry and processing, high- caustic detergents, pipe liners and tube fittings.

“Charles’s vast experience with technology-driven litigation and transactions, primarily in the pharmaceutical, chemical and biotechnology areas, will prove beneficial to our clients,” said John M. Hogan, chair of the firm’s litigation section.

Weiss also has experience in the investigation of product counterfeiting and pursuit of those responsible.

Holland & Knight LLP has more than 1,000 lawyers and other professionals in 17 U.S. offices, as well as Abu Dhabi, Beijing, Bogota and Mexico City.

Deals

Bain Capital Agrees to Purchase Stake in Genpact for $1 Billion

Bain Capital Partners LLC agreed to buy a stake in outsourcing company Genpact Ltd. (G:US) from General Atlantic LLC and Oak Hill Capital Partners LP for $1 billion.

Ropes & Gray LLP is representing Bain on the deal. Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP is representing Genpact. Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP advised the selling shareholders, funds associated with General Atlantic and Oak Hill Capital Partners.

The Ropes & Gray team was led by Boston corporate partner Newk Stillwell. Additional corporate partners include Will Shields, Alison Bomberg and Marcia Ellis. Finance partner Byung Choi and tax partners Chris Leich and David Saltzman were also involved.

The Cravath team was led by partner Sarkis Jebejian and included partners Thomas E. Dunn, corporate; James C. Vardell III, finance; and Michael L. Schler, tax.

The Paul, Weiss team included corporate partners Matthew Abbott, Neil Goldman and David Lakhdhir and tax partners Richard Bronstein and David Sicular.

Bain, a private-equity firm, is buying about 30 percent of Genpact’s stock outstanding for $14.76 a share, according to a statement. The transaction is expected to be completed this year after a special dividend of $2.24 a share to all shareholders, including General Atlantic and Oak Hill.

Oak Hill and General Atlantic acquired 60 percent of the company, formerly known as GE Capital International Services, for $500 million in 2004.

For more, click here.

Litigation

Whitman Lawyer Challenges Motey’s Trial Testimony on Inside Tips

A lawyer for Whitman Capital LLC founder Doug Whitman tried to undermine the testimony of a government witness who testified that he passed inside information about Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (MRVL:US) revenue to Whitman.

Karl Motey, a former computer-chip industry analyst, testified at Whitman’s criminal trial that he got detailed non- public information about Marvell’s revenue figures from two sources inside the company and shared them with his clients, including Whitman. He told jurors that Whitman knew the information was illicit.

A defense lawyer cross-examined Motey yesterday, trying to show that Whitman thought the information he was getting from Motey wasn’t confidential because it had been widely disclosed. Motey agreed with the lawyer, David Rody, a partner at Sidley Austin LLP, that he told Whitman that “Marvell was leaky.”

Motey, one of the government’s two key witnesses, testified for a second day in Whitman’s trial in Manhattan federal court. Prosecutors claim Whitman used inside information from Motey and from Roomy Khan, a former Intel Corp. (INTC:US) executive, to make almost $1 million for his Menlo Park, California-based hedge fund.

The trial is part of a broad government investigation of insider trading involving hedge funds. Since August 2009, at least 70 people have been charged with illegal trading by the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara. More than 60 have pleaded guilty or been convicted at trial.

Motey pleaded guilty in 2010 to conspiracy and securities fraud. He told jurors Aug. 1 he’s testifying in hopes of avoiding a prison sentence.

Rody showed Motey copies of research reports he published on companies in the semiconductor industry, including Marvell, before the time when Motey admits he was passing inside tips.

“Sources indicate MRVL’s storage segment remains strong,” one report from 2005 read, referring to Marvell’s ticker symbol.

Whitman’s lawyers have told U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff, who is overseeing the trial, they are trying to show that the words “source” and “mole,” which Whitman is alleged to have used in discussing Motey’s contacts at Marvell, refer to sources of legitimate company information.

Rody also got Motey to agree that some of the information he got from his Marvell sources was inaccurate.

Marvell, based in Hamilton, Bermuda, makes computer chips that run smartphones and that are used in computer hard drives.

The case is U.S. v. Whitman, 12-cr-00125, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

News

JPMorgan Lobbying Chief Scher to Add Oversight of Philanthropy

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM:US) said corporate-responsibility head Peter Scher, who runs the bank’s lobbying staff, will also supervise philanthropy, according to an internal memo obtained by Bloomberg News.

Scher, who reports to Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, will oversee Kim Davis, president of the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, according to the memo. The contents were confirmed by Jennifer Zuccarelli, a spokeswoman for the New York-based bank, the largest in the U.S. by assets.

Scher, 51, joined JPMorgan in May 2008 after serving as the managing partner of the law firm Mayer Brown LLP. He previously was chief of staff to U.S. Senator Max Baucus, a Montana Democrat, and in 2004 managed the vice presidential campaign of John Edwards.

The bank and foundation gave more than $150 million during 2010 in 28 domestic markets and more than 25 countries, according to its website. The foundation concentrates on neighborhoods with high rates of poverty and historic disinvestment, the company said.

Obama to Nominate Meade as Treasury Department General Counsel

Christopher Meade will be nominated for Treasury Department general counsel, President Barack Obama announced Aug. 1, BNA reported.

Meade is currently principal deputy general counsel at Treasury and has served as acting general counsel since June.

From 2005 to 2010, he was a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP, where he was a member of the litigation and securities departments, as well as the appellate and Supreme Court litigation group.

Fees

Madoff Trustee Firm Charges $43.3 Million for Oct. 1-Jan. 31

The liquidator of Bernard Madoff’s brokerage, Irving Picard, and his law firm put in a bill for $43.3 million in fees for work from Oct. 1, 2011, through Jan. 31, according to a federal court filing in Manhattan.

The firm, Baker & Hostetler LLP, previously has been paid $273 million for liquidating the estate since 2008.

Madoff is serving a 150-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to running the biggest Ponzi scheme in U.S. history.

The Madoff brokerage liquidation case is Securities Investor Protection Corp. v. Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC, 08-01789, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Amon in Brooklyn, New York, at eamon2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.


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Companies Mentioned

  • G
    (Genpact Ltd)
    • $18.24 USD
    • 0.00
    • 0.0%
  • MRVL
    (Marvell Technology Group Ltd)
    • $13.96 USD
    • 0.01
    • 0.07%
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