The Churn

May 20, 2009 4:13 PM

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

Posted by Rachel Breitman

Bingham McCutchen has hired another departing O'Melveny & Myers litigator. Peter Obstler is joining the firm's San Francisco office. He handles environmental mass torts, child safety, and products liability class actions, business and corporate governance disputes, and bond and indemnity matters. He's also handled several students rights cases involving harassment of gay and Muslim teens.

Bingham also has added an intellectual property litigation partner to its Tokyo office. Tomohiko Makino, formerly a partner with Tokyo's Fuji Law Patent Office, has litigated infringement, invalidation and appellate cases for major Japanese corporations. He also has handled general Japanese licensing, corporate and contract matters, and strategic intellectual property planning.

Baker & Daniels welcomed back Wendy Ponader as counsel in the commercial and bankruptcy practice.  She first joined the firm twenty years ago, and became partner before founding her own firm, Ponader & Associates six years ago. She advises clients in business, commercial, and financial transactions, focusing specifically on creditors' rights, bankruptcy, and business restructuring.

Bryan Cave is growing in London with the hiring of corporate and financial services group partner Stephen Ball. Admitted to practice in England and Hong Kong, Ball was CEO at offshore firm Mourant du Feu & Jeune and the vice chair at a hedge fund. He will counsel global financial services firms on regulation and oversight. 

Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll have two new litigators in New York: Joel Laitman and Christopher Lometti will handle complex securities fraud and investor protection litigation. Both were name partners at Schoengold Sporn Laitman Lometti.

Covington & Burling has brought on seven lateral hires in the past three weeks, including two this week: Demetrios Kouzoukas, former principal associate deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, and Securities and Exchange Commission chief litigation counsel David Kornblau. Kouzoukas will be counsel in the health care and food and drug practice groups in Washington. Kornblau, who led the enforcement division's nationwide litigation practice, will be a partner in the white-collar and securities enforcement and litigation practices in New York.

DLA Piper is building its construction team in China with the addition of new partner Harris Chan. Chan, from Mallesons Stephen Jaques' Hong Kong office, brings along senior associate May Ng. They will focus on litigation, mediation, and alternative dispute resolution involving construction site safety, environmental issues for manufacturing plants, residential developments, infrastructure projects, and civil engineering projects.

Jones Day has hired government regulations partner Lily Fu Claffee, who joins the firm's Washington, D.C., office. Formerly general counsel of the U.S. Department of Commerce and, prior to that, deputy general counsel  of the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Claffee also previously worked in the Washington office of Mayer Brown. She represents corporations and executives in antitrust, class action, and appellate litigation matters and advises on internal corporate and government investigations. 

K&L Gates is building up its corporate and IP groups with two new hires, David Bernstein and Tedd Van Buskirk. Bernstein handled transaction and securities law at Clifford Chance, advising financial, automotive, private equity, and residential and commercial property clients on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, securities transactions, and corporate governance. He also chaired Rogers & Wells' corporate department before the firm joined with Clifford Chance in 2000. Van Buskirk was a partner in Hogan & Harton's IP group, handling pharmaceutical, software, electronics, and medical device patent litigation.

Katten Muchin Rosenman is also growing in the IP sector, with New York partner Jeffrey Hovden joining from Frommer Lawrence & Haug. He handles patent infringement and invalidity litigation for pharmaceutical companies.

O'Melveny & Myers added new U.K. acquisition finance partner Sherri Snelson, will join the London office's corporate finance/capital markets practice from Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson. She'll advise on the financing of U.S. and European leveraged acquisitions, representing both borrowers and senior and mezzanine lenders.

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr nabbed new Los Angeles commercial litigation and IP partner David Marcus from Susman Godfrey. He'll handle patent infringement, antitrust, securities, breach of contract, and fraud litigation. He was previously an assistant U.S. Attorney in the Central District of California.

Additional reporting by Anthony Lin in Hong Kong.

The Churn is compiled from law firm new releases and announcements. Moves based on our own reporting will note this.





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