The Firms

September 20, 2011 4:13 PM

Office Openings: Wilson Sonsini Lands in Europe, Kramer Levin Heads to Silicon Valley

Posted by Tom Huddleston Jr.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is establishing a European beachhead by opening an office focused on antitrust and M&A work in Brussels next month, the firm announced Tuesday.

The office will be led by former Hunton & Williams Brussels managing partner Michael Rosenthal, who most recently chaired that firm's European competition practice.

Rosenthal—who advises clients on European Union and German competition law issues—joins Wilson Sonsini with Hunton competition partner Paul McGeown, a counsel, and three Hunton associates. The departures will leave Hunton's Brussels branch with four partners, Legal Week reports.

Shearman & Sterling antitrust partner Götz Drauz is also joining the new Wilson Sonsini office, the firm said. Drauz, the European Commission's former deputy director general for competition, advised Nestle on the sale of its Alcon eye-care business to Novartis last year, Legal Week notes.

Wilson Sonsini chairman Larry Sonsini said that he expects the new hires and the Brussles office to put his firm in a better position to work with clients on M&A and antitrust matters before the European Commission.

"Opening an office in Brussels, the seat of the European Commission, is a natural evolution of our mission to serve our clients as they seek to grow and compete on a global basis," said Sonsini, whose firm already has offices in eight U.S. cities, Shanghai, and Hong Kong; the latter outpost opened in 2010.

Another firm launching in a new location is Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, which will open a Silicon Valley office aimed at expanding the firm's intellectual property practice.

The firm said Monday that it has hired King & Spalding intellectual property partners Paul Andre and Lisa Kobialka to open the Silicon Valley office. Andre and Kobialka, who focus on technology and life sciences litigation, will work closely with attorneys in Kramer Levin's New York office, the firm said. The pair represent clients in the biotechnology, medical devices, and computer science industries.

Andre said that his King & Spalding litigation team, which includes about ten associates, will follow him to Kramer Levin's new Menlo Park, California, office, Am Law Daily sibling publication The Recorder (subscription required) reports. At least two clients, Finjan, Inc., and Trilliant Inc., will also follow, Andre told The Recorder.

"The addition of these well-known and respected IP litigation attorneys will further augment our representation of clients in the technology and life sciences industries, two areas in which we are particularly strong," Kramer Levin managing partner Paul Pearlman said in a statement.

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