The Churn

December 5, 2008 4:11 PM

THE CHURN: Lateral Moves and Promotions in The Am Law 200

Posted by Rachel Breitman

In the modern legal world, there are few international boundaries, and this week firms have shown a particular interest in acquiring talent with the savvy required to advise on global trade issues, cross-border M&A, and international corporate regulatory matters.

Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz is excited about its newest import. With international trade likely to face increased scrutiny from the incoming presidential administration, the firm nabbed trade law veteran Raymond Sullivan, Jr. as a partner in its Washington, DC office. Sullivan previously handled international trade and customs and export control matters for White & Case, where he was the former head of the global customs practice. He has more than 30 years of experience helping companies establish both foreign trade zone operations and overseas U.S. facilities. He is also a former special agent and import specialist for the U.S. Customs Service, where he investigated importers for commercial fraud.

As Legal Times also reported, Sullivan credited Baker's more reasonable rate structure with luring him to leave White & Case and reach out to a wider variety of clients.

"Baker intends to partner with clients on meeting their needs in these tougher economic times," Sullivan tells The Am Law Daily. He also cites the firm's focus on policy work, adding "some of the issues in trade are becoming increasingly political."

Meanwhile, Blank Rome has been rapidly acquiring new talent in Asia, adding commercial litigation partner Martin Downey to its Hong Kong office, Blank Rome Solicitors & Notaries. In Heller Ehrman's Hong Kong office, he was head of the Asia dispute resolution practice and cochair of the international arbitration practice.   

Bryan Cave hired Professor Barry Rider, of Jesus College, Cambridge, and the former director of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, as counsel in the London office. He will work on financial services law, Islamic finance, international investigations, and corporate corruption matters.

Gibbons added new IP partners Frank Bruno, from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, and Nancy Mertzel, from Thelen. Robert MacPherson, also from Thelen, will be a Newark construction practice partner. Bruno handles International Trade Commission matters and work involving semiconductor circuits, telecommunications networks, image compression, and video-image-scaling technologies. Mertzel will advise on IP litigation, arbitrations, and mediations, focusing on copyright infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, and cybersquatting along with television programming deals, music catalog acquisitions, and online music and ringtones distribution.

Frost Brown Todd in Louisville, Kentucky, has a Midwest merger on the mind, with plans to join with Indianapolis's Locke Reynolds. Frost's name will remain unchanged.

The Shanghai office of K&L Gates has added Louis Meng, formerly at DLA Piper, as a partner in the  corporate, M&A, and securities practice. At DLA, Meng focused on cross-border investments in Chinese companies, debt restructurings, nonperforming loans, venture capital, private equity, and structured financings.

Morrison & Foerster is joining the hunt for Thelen lawyers with international credibility, adding Julian Millstein as senior counsel in the global sourcing and technology transactions groups. With more than three decades of work negotiating and litigating outsourcing, e-commerce, and technology matters, Millstein--who will be resident in the New York office--will handle sourcing deals in Asia, Europe, and the United States. Millstein was chair of the technology and sourcing group at Thelen and a founding partner of Brown, Raysman, Millstein, Felder & Steiner before those two firms merged.

Also acquiring new Thelen talent is Sedgwick Detert Moran & Arnold, which added construction practice group special counsel Gregg Dulik and the commercial practices partner Karen Ng.

Finally, Orrick's German office, Orrick Hölters & Elsing hired corporate and M&A expert Erich Michel in Frankfurt from Bird & Bird, where he was one of the founding partners of the Frankfurt office. Michel advised on cross-border M&A and capital markets transactions, including the privatization of the Frankfurt Airport Fraport AG.

The churn is constant. Our reports are twice weekly. Send your news to

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