Law Firms Make June Splash with Lateral Hires

It’s been an active week for law firm hires. Curious to see how your firm fared? We’ve gone ahead and rounded up the latest announcements from big firms such as Jenner & Block, McGuireWoods, Crowell & Moring and others.

The announcements were collected between Tuesday, May 30 and Thursday, June 1.

Jenner Spree

• Three former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission lawyers will help launch Jenner & Block‘s new practice area focused on energy matters. Suedeen Kelly, Max Minzner, and Jeffery Dennis join existing partner Randall Mehrberg, who re-joined Jenner & Block in 2016 to begin developing the practice after serving as an executive vice president at Chicago-based Exelon Corp., to help launch the group. Mehrberg will serve with Kelly as co-chairs of the practice group.

• Kelly is a former FERC commissioner, Minzner supervised nearly 200 in-house lawyers as FERC’s general counsel, and Dennis used to work as FERC Policy Development Division director. Kelly and Minzner will be Jenner & Block partners while Dennis will serve as special counsel. The full-service practice will provide energy generators, publicly traded utilities, and others with an array of services concerning issues such as state and federal regulatory matters, transactions, tax, and privacy. The three new hires will be based in the firm’s Washington, DC office.

• Jenner & Block also added Robert Gordon to its restructuring and bankruptcy practice. Gordon, who joins as a partner and will work from the firm’s New York office, specializes in complex corporate and municipal restructurings. He has repped creditors’ committees, pension systems and distressed asset purchasers and served as a court-appointed receiver in an U.S. Securities and Exchange enforcement case.

 

McGuireWoods Consulting Beefs Up

McGuireWoods Consulting hired four public-affairs specialists to boost its new emerging technologies team and the firm’s lobbying efforts. Gregory Walden, a former Federal Aviation Administration chief counsel, and Michael Drobac join the firm as senior advisers. Amanda Armistead joins McGuireWoods Consulting as a senior vice president while Casey Duggan joins the firm as an assistant vice president.

• Drobac, a former Netflix government affairs specialist, worked on the staff of three Republican U.S. senators whose specialties include lobbying on issues affiliated with unmanned aerial vehicles. Walden has represented clients before several federal agencies and Armistead worked to reauthorize the Export-Import Bank. Duggan previously served on the staff of House Chief Deputy Whip Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.). McGuireWoods Consulting is a subsidiary of McGuireWoods LLP, the international law firm.

 

Crowell, Otterbourg, Alston & Bird

Crowell & Moring added partners Rick Wallace and Pete Condron, both from Sedgwick LLP, to its mass tort, product, and consumer litigation group. Wallace and Condron are litigators who have handled product liability and environmental cases brought by state attorneys general and consumer advocates. Wallace has experience in multi-district cases involving at times millions of claimants, and both lawyers have represented oil companies in class-action litigation.

Keith Costa, a court certified mediator for New York and Delaware, and Michael Wenger, formerly of Weil Gotshal & Manges‘ banking and finance practice, have joined Manhattan-based Otterbourg PC. Costa, a reorganization and restructuring specialist who was a Riker Danzig Scherer Hyland Perretti partner, will join the firm as a member of its restructuring and bankruptcy practice while Wenger will serve as counsel to the law firm’s banking and finance practice.

Paul Hespel joins Alston & Bird as a partner in its New York office, where his practice will focus on corporate finance and advising alternative capital firms such as hedge funds. Hespel joins the firm from Pepper Hamilton.

 

CFTC Director Joins Zuckerman Spaeder

• Former Commodity Futures Trading Commission enforcement director Aitan Goelman returns to Zuckerman Spaeder as a partner. Prior to his government service Goelman practiced law at Zuckerman Spaeder for 11 years and also worked as an assistant U.S. Attorney. Goelman will lead the firm’s securities and commodities litigation practice and his practice will focus on internal investigations and the securities, commodities and derivatives industries.

 

McDermott, DLA Piper, Kobre & Kim, Michael Best

• Former federal prosecutor Hartley West has joined Kobre & Kim‘s San Francisco office, where she will work in the firm’s government enforcement defense practice group. Previously, West handled securities fraud, money laundering, and asset forfeiture cases while a deputy chief in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of California.

Michael Austin has returned as a partner to McDermott Will & Emery after leading DLA Piper‘s litigation practice group. Based in McDermott’s Miami office, Austin will work to enhance the firm’s complex commercial litigation practice. Austin’s previous legal work has concentrated on litigation matters for hospitals, health systems, physician practice groups, and private equity firms.

• As Austin returned to McDermott, Michael Graham left the firm to join Chicago-based Michael Best & Friedrich as a partner in the firm’s labor and employment relations group. Graham specializes in ERISA litigation and employee benefits controversy work and has litigated fiduciary breach cases and benefit denial claims at the state and federal level.

• Speaking of DLA Piper: Michael Silva joined the firm’s government affairs practice in New York as a partner and leader of the firm’s financial services regulatory subgroup. Prior to his appointment Silva supervised GE Capital Corp.’s compliance and regulatory activities and spent 21 years at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. While at the New York Fed Silva served as chief of staff to the bank’s former president, Timothy F. Geithner, and was an adviser to the Central Bank of Iraq.

Steven Davis joins Wilson Legal Solutions, an analytics software provider to law firms, as an account executive. Davis previously worked for Wolters Kluwers and LexisNexis in compliance and marketing roles. Davis will focus on the Northeast and work out of the company’s headquarters in Newtown Square, Penn.

 

Write to Big Law Business at biglawbusiness@bna.com.

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