Goodwin, Minter Ellison, Pepper, Bingham: Business of Law
By Elizabeth Amon - Jul 1, 2013 12:01 AM ET
Goodwin Procter LLP is closing its San Diego office at the end of the law firm’s fiscal year, leaving about two-thirds of the 34 lawyers and staff without jobs on Sept. 30.
Four partners, six other lawyers and 12 staff members will be let go, Lee Feldman, a firm spokesman, said June 28 in an e-mail. The remainder will be offered opportunities to relocate or pursue other work arrangements. The office has six partners, 12 associates and 16 staff members, according to a memo by Chairman Regina M. Pisa and managing partner Robert S. Insolia.
“When we opened the office in March 2007, we envisioned that the San Diego office would be a significant source of corporate transactional work, particularly in the life sciences and biotech areas,” Pisa and Insolia said in the memo. “While this was the case initially, and while these practices have continued to grow nationally at the firm, we haven’t been able to realize our initial vision.”
Some law firms are trimming payrolls because of a slowdown in business since the 2008 financial meltdown and competition from lower-cost legal-service providers. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, based in New York, said last week that it will fire 60 salaried lawyers and 110 staff and cut some partners’ pay. Patton Boggs LLP, based in Washington, fired 65 employees in March, including 22 associates.
Goodwin Procter said it plans to build the firm’s life sciences and biotechnology practice inCalifornia through its three other offices in the state in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
The Boston-based firm was ranked 39th on the American Lawyer magazine’s list of wealthiest U.S. law firms, with $715.5 million in gross revenue last year, a 2.9 percent increase from the previous year.
The San Diego closing will leave Goodwin Procter with about 800 lawyers at eight offices in the U.S., London and Hong Kong.
Courthouse Safety Compromised by Sequestration, Bar Group Says
The U.S. government spending cuts known as sequestration are compromising courthouse safety, a lawyers group said in a letter to President Barack Obama and Congress.
The Federal Bar Council, an organization of attorneys who practice before the federal courts in New York, Connecticut and Vermont, said it’s “imperative” that the president and lawmakers reach an agreement to restore funding to the courts.
Minter Ellison Elects Bruce Cowley New Chairman
After two two-year terms, Minter Ellison’s chairman, Russell Miller, today is handing the reins to Bruce Cowley, who was unanimously elected to the position.
Cowley, a corporate lawyer, has been with Minter Ellison for 32 years and was appointed partner in 1987.
“During a time of tumultuous change in the Australian and Asian legal markets, Minter Ellison has quietly gone about its business — expanding its regional footprint, building a strong regional capability and emerging as one of the region’s market leaders,” Cowley said in a statement.
Miller will return to his practice as an adviser to boards and as a member of the Australasian competition group. Under his leadership, the firm focused on integrating its offices in working on behalf of clients and financially as well as opening a second office in mainland China and an office in Mongolia, the firm said.
The firm has lawyers at 15 offices in Australia, Asia and London.
Norton Rose West Coast Health Head Joins Pepper Hamilton
Mark A. Kadzielski and four other lawyers from Norton Rose Fulbright LLP, join Pepper Hamilton LLP in Los Angeles. Kadzielski, who will head Pepper’s health-care industry group, previously headed Norton Rose’s West Coast health-law practice.
“Mark has a substantial health-care practice in the Western U.S. that will complement our busy East Coast practice,” Pepper Hamilton Chief Executive Officer Scott Green said in a statement. “With a national platform, we look forward to servicing our clients coast to coast, under Mark’s leadership.”
Kadzielski and his team represent hospitals, medical staffs, managed care enterprises and institutional and individual health-care providers, the firm said. His work includes government regulatory investigations, contracting issues, credentialing, peer review, and other matters.
Pepper Hamilton has more than 500 lawyers at 12 U.S. offices.
Ex-Ticketmaster General Counsel Joins Bingham in Los Angeles
Bingham McCutchen LLP added corporate lawyer Chris Riley as a partner in the firm’s Los Angeles office. Riley was general counsel and senior vice president of Ticketmaster Entertainment, Inc., prior to its merger with LiveNation.
He also has been general counsel and vice president of online dating and personals business Match.com. Ticketmaster and Match.com have been operating companies of IAC/InterActiveCorp, headed by Barry Diller, the firm said.
“Chris’s deep connections throughout the Internet and technology business community and his years of experience as in-house counsel for leading global Internet companies represent a great skill set for Bingham,” Rick Welch, co-chairman of Bingham’s corporate area, said in a statement.
Bingham has approximately 1,000 lawyers in 14 offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Energy Lawyer Hornstein Joins DLA Piper in Washington
DLA Piper LLP announced that Michael Hornstein has joined the firm’s corporate and finance practice as a partner in the Washington office. He was previously at Day Pitney LLP.
Hornstein focuses his practice on federal regulatory and transactional energy issues, with an emphasis in the electricity and renewable energy sectors, the firm said.
He was previously general counsel and vice president at Trans Bay Cable LLC and vice president of its parent company SteelRiver Transmission Company LLC. He began his energy-law career with FERC, where he worked with two FERC chairmen, the firm said.
“Mike brings to the firm an impressive regulatory skill set in the electricity and power industries which, combined with our first-rate corporate and finance practice, will strengthen our capabilities in the areas of energy M&A, project development and commodity trading, among others,” Bob Gruendel, global chair of DLA Piper’s energy practice said in a statement.
DLA Piper has 4,200 lawyers in more than 30 countries throughout the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.
International Corporate Partner Joins McCarter & English
McCarter & English announced that David L. Woronov joined as a partner with the firm’s corporate, securities and financial institutions practice in Boston. He was previously with Posternak Blankstein & Lund LLP.
Woronov represents U.S. and foreign clients in international transactions, with a focus on European and Asian markets, according to the firm. He concentrates on mergers and acquisitions and private equity. His experience includes the establishment of equity joint ventures and contractual joint ventures for American and European companies in China, the firm said.
“Our growing base of clients with overseas business interests will benefit from David’s global transactional experience,” said firm Managing Partner Stephen M. Vajtay Jr. “He complements the strengths of our corporate, securities and financial institutions practice and adds tremendous value to the firm as a whole.”
K&L Gates Adds Raleigh Labor and Employment Partner
The Raleigh office of K&L Gates added David C. Lindsay as a partner in the labor, employment and workplace-safety practice. He was previously at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.
Lindsay focuses on employment litigation, class-action, international employment and wage and hours matters.
K&L Gates has lawyers at 48 offices in the U.S., Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East andSouth America.
Bird & Bird Strengthens International Finance Practice
Bird & Bird LLP added Bernhard Gemmel as a partner in the international banking and finance practice group. He joins the Frankfurt office today. He was previously a partner at Dentons LLP in Frankfurt.
Gemmel has 17 years’ experience advising on domestic and international project finance, real estate finance, export/trade finance as well as acquisition finance/LBO transactions, the firm said.
Gemmel and an associate also joining the firm will target the outbound business of Russian financial institutions and companies, an area which the firm is looking to strengthen, it said.
“He is a very experienced transaction expert with an international network, whose expertise in the area of real estate as well as energy and infrastructure perfectly complements our strategy,” Alexander Schroder-Frerkes, managing partner of Bird & Bird in Germany and head of the international corporate/M&A group, said in a statement.
Bird & Bird has more than 1,000 lawyers in 25 offices across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.
William Fendley Rejoins Troutman Sanders in Richmond, Virginia
Troutman Sanders LLP announced that corporate and tax lawyer William G. Fendley IV has returned to the firm as a partner in the Richmond, Virginia, office. Fendley had been a partner at McGuireWoods LLP, where he practiced in areas including partnership taxation, taxation of indebtedness, financial instruments, structured products and innovations in global capital markets.
Fendley’s practice includes domestic and cross-border M&A, divestitures, taxable and tax-free reorganizations.
Troutman Sanders has more than 600 lawyers and offices in the U.S. and China.
Bar President: 3Ls Should Get Paid for Internships
John Thies, outgoing president of the Illinois State Bar Association, talks with Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia about his organization’s report on the impact of law school debt on the delivery of legal services. Among the changes ISBA recommends is the implementation of apprenticeships for third-year law students to better prepare graduates to enter the profession. As current rules prevent law students from receiving compensation while obtaining academic credit, the proposal would require a substantial policy change.
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