The Churn

September 6, 2011 5:22 PM

The Churn: Lateral Moves and Promotions in The Am Law 200

Posted by Sara Randazzo

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison snagged hedge fund partner UDI GROFMAN from Schulte, Roth & Zabel for its New York office. Grofman began his legal career in Israel in 1996, joining Schulte in 2001 and becoming a partner there six years later.

His practice focuses on structuring hedge funds and private equity funds, as well as structuring seed and strategic relationships. He also advises investment management firms on risk management, regulatory compliance, mergers and acquisitions, and other issues.

News reports tie Grofman to advising a team of Goldman Sachs traders who left late last year for Kohlberg Kravis Roberts because of a rule in the Dodd-Frank Act prohibiting bankers from trading with their own capital. The New York Times reported that Grofman later represented KKR in the creation of a public equities business utilized by the new traders.

In other Churn news . . .

VANESSA ABERNETHY left Simmons & Simmons in Dubai for Baker Botts. Abernethy represents clients on capital markets transactions in the Middle East, including equity securities, mergers and acquisitions, and listings on Nasdaq Dubai. 

Dewey & LeBoeuf added ALICE KANE, former general counsel for the Americas of Zurich Financial Services, to its D.C. partnership ranks. Earlier in her career, the insurance lawyer held business and legal roles with Blaylock Asset Management, American General Life Insurance, and New York Life. 

Dinsmore & Shohl boosted its sports and entertainment practice group with new partner ERIC COMBS, previously with Taft Stettinius & Hollister. Combs, who will work in the Cincinnati office, is a general litigator as well as sports law expert. He serves as an adjunct professor of sports law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.

DLA Piper's London office hired two new partners for its finance and projects team from CMS Cameron McKenna: TREVOR BUTCHER, a former partner at CMS Cameron, and TRESNA TUNBRIDGE, a former associate. Butcher's work covers infrastructure projects in developed and developing countries.

White-collar criminal defense attorney MICHAEL LIPMAN joined Duane Morris as a partner in its San Diego and Los Angeles offices. Lipman previously worked with San Diego firm Coughlan, Semmer & Lipman, now known as Coughlan, Semmer, Fitch & Pott. A former assistant U.S. attorney, Lipman represents clients in matters involving securities, insider trading, political corruption, health care billing fraud, criminal environmental violations, and other crimes.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson added corporate partners on the East Coast and in Asia. DOUGLAS FREEMAN and VICTOR CHEN join from O'Melveny & Myers; Freeman in both the Hong Kong and New York offices, Chen in Hong Kong. The pair represent private equity sponsors, multinational corporations, and global investment banking firms in Asia. Fried Frank also hired real estate partner FIONA KELLY, previously with Clifford Chance in London, for its New York office. Her specialty is negotiating cross-border real estate transactions.

MATHEW ROSENGART left the Los Angeles office of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips for Greenberg Traurig, where he joins as shareholder. Rosengart, a former federal prosecutor, will focus on commercial, media and entertainment, and white-collar defense litigation. His practice ranges from representing movie directors and actors in defamation and breach of contract suits to working for financial institutions involved in investigations and trials before the National Association of Securities Dealers.

K&L Gates hired PAUL SIMPSON, Simmons & Simmons's former regional managing partner of the United Arab Emirates, for its finance group in Dubai. Simpson represents clients on corporate work related to energy, transportation, investment, finance, M&A, and project development matters.

Transactional lawyer BRITTAIN ROGERS has left Cravath, Swaine & Moore in New York for the Atlanta office of King & Spalding. Rogers, who joins as counsel, specializes in M&A and divestitures, syndicated loan transactions, and debt and equity offerings.

Linklaters grew in Paris with the hire of partner PATRICK DOAT and three associates from French firm Gide Loyrette Nouel. A capital markets attorney, Doat specializes in securitization and structured products, including covered bonds.

Lowenstein Sandler expanded its tech group, which counsels venture-backed companies and investors, with the hire of CHARLES TORRES from Reitler Kailas & Rosenblatt. Torres, who will be resident in the New York office, is a transactional lawyer with clients in the venture capital and private equity markets.

In Los Angeles, KRISTIN ESCALANTE left the partnership of Munger, Tolles & Olson for Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. Her broad commercial litigation practice covers such areas as consumer class actions, complex commercial matters, trade secrets, copyright, and civil fraud.

In London, Mayer Brown hired COLIN SCAGELL as a partner in its corporate and securities practice and insurance industry group. He joins from Debevoise & Plimpton. His practice focuses on the insurance sector, particularly cross-border public transactions including takeovers, listings, and secondary securities offerings.

ALEXIS REISIN MILLER is the latest partner in Morgan, Lewis & Bockius's Washington, D.C., office. Miller worked at Morgan Lewis as an associate from 2006 until 2010, when she left to serve as regulatory counsel at the FDA's Center for Drug Evaluation and Research. She joins Morgan Lewis's FDA and health care practice, where she will focus on regulatory issues concerning pharmaceuticals, medical devices, cosmetics, and dietary supplements.

Nixon Peabody hired a team of tax lawyers from Paul Hastings in New York, including partners ALAN COHEN and MARK KREITMAN, one associate, and a paralegal. Cohen and Kreitman led Paul Hastings's affordable housing tax credit practice. Cohen concentrates on tax-advantaged investments, particularly capital formation and transactional structuring. Kreitman specializes in the areas of affordable housing and tax credits.

Nossaman added a partner on each coast. In Los Angeles, YUKIKO KOJIMA joins the firm's infrastructure practice group from Davis, a law firm with offices in Japan and Canada. In Washington, D.C., LINDA MORGAN joins the infrastructure and public policy practice groups from Covington & Burling.

TIMOTHY CLARK traded the New York office of Proskauer Rose for that of O'Melveny & Myers. A partner in the investment funds and securitization practice, Clark represents hedge funds, private equity funds, and venture capital funds in fund formations and transactions.

MARC MAYERSON jumped to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in Washington, D.C., from litigation-only firm Hollingsworth. He specializes in insurance coverage litigation in such areas as environmental liabilities, asbestos bodily injury claims, medical device liability, and fidelity losses.

Corporate lawyer DAVID LEE has left White & Lee, the Silicon Valley law firm he helped found, to be a partner in the Palo Alto office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton. Before forming White & Lee in 1996, he worked as a partner at Cooley. Lee counsels primarily technology and emerging-growth companies on matters such as corporate formation, financing, corporate governance, and intellectual property counseling. He is joined in the move from White & Lee by TOBIN DOMMER, who will be a special counsel at Sheppard Mullin.

Sidley Austin brought on MATTHEW SOLOMSON as counsel in its Washington, D.C., government contracts practice. Solomson's work focuses on the pharmaceutical, health care, manufacturing, and defense contracting sectors. He last worked for the federal government as a trial attorney with the commercial litigation branch of the Department of Justice.

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr welcomed back DAVID DONOVAN, most recently general counsel and chief operating officer with the Washington Redskins, who spent two decades at the firm before joining the football team in 2005. Donovan joins Wilmer's litigation and controversy department and business trial group as a partner in the Washington, D.C., office.

Gide Loyrette Nouel lost two labor and employment partners in Paris, PHILIPPE DESPRES and DEBORAH ATTALI, to Winston & Strawn. Despr├Ęs concentrates on advising international companies on restructuring operations in France, while Attali advises French and international clients on day-to-day social relations issues.

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

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I believe Hollingsworth no longer has any insurance coverage, policy holder side lawyers. 10 years ago it had a substantial practice. There has been a major consolidation in DC of policyholder practices. But it's still great work (except for the conflicts with almost every AmLaw 100 firm).

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