Dewey, Cozen, Mayer Brown, Fried Frank: Business of Law
Fred Gander, a Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP partner who helped manage the firm, has left for KPMG LLP.
Gander, who was the chairman of Dewey’s European supervisory committee, will head KPMG’s U.S. tax practice for Europe and the Middle East, Robert Nihen, a KPMG spokesman, confirmed. Gander was the managing partner of Dewey Ballantine before its merger with LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & McRae in 2007.
Dewey & LeBoeuf has struggled since the beginning of the year with partner departures that are reported to top 70, according to the online publication legalweek.com. The firm said last month it would set up a new chairman’s office with five equal members from its most profitable groups.
Legalweek.com reported yesterday that a team of London partners from Dewey are in talks with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. Those considering a jump to Akin Gump include oil and gas partners John LaMaster and Marc Hammerson, finance partner Bruce Johnston and banking partner Amanda Jennings, the publication said.
“Akin Gump regularly talks to potential lateral candidates who may be a good fit with the firm,” Rick Burdick, international managing partner, said in a statement. “However, we are unable to provide any confirmation of hires until there is an agreement between all parties. If the firm has an announcement, it will be made through the usual channels.”
The Wall Street Journal also reported yesterday that Dewey is continuing merger discussions with Greenberg Traurig LLP. Dewey owes about $75 million to a syndicate of bank lenders and has until the end of the month to extend its $100 million credit line, according to the newspaper.
Cozen O’Connor Continues IP Expansion with Washington Hire
Heidelberger follows a number of new lawyers brought into Cozen O’Connor. On April 16, the firm announced that it had hired nine IP attorneys from Duane Morris LLP, including seven members, five in the Washington office. The following day, it announced three Dewey LeBoeuf LLP energy lawyers, including one partner, were joining the firm. In June, the firm added 19 New York-based IP attorneys from Cohen Pontani Lieberman & Pavane LLP, according to a statement.
“We are now one of the largest IP practices in the country for generic pharmaceutical patent litigation,” Camille Miller, who heads Cozen O’Connor’s intellectual property practice, said in a statement.
The firm’s hiring spree stems from “the continued implementation of our strategic plan to expand our depth and national scope across our IP, energy, commercial litigation and real estate practices,” Miller added in an e-mail.
Heidelberger has more than 35 years’ experience representing clients in a variety of areas including intellectual property counseling, due diligence, licensing, transactions, litigation, opposition and cancellation proceedings, reissue and reexaminations, and domain name and anti-cybersquatting matters.
Google Was Never Told by Sun to License Java, Schmidt Says
Google Inc. (GOOG) Chairman Eric Schmidt testified that his company developed the Android operating system using the Java programming language after partnership talks with Sun Microsystems Inc. fell through and Sun made no demand for a license to use Java.
Sun sought $30 million to $50 million and tight control over Java’s use for Android, Schmidt told jurors yesterday in federal court in San Francisco during Oracle Corp. (ORCL)’s trial against Google. When deal negotiations fell through in 2006, Google built the Android software for mobile devices using aspects of the Java platform without infringing on Sun’s intellectual property, he said. Oracle now owns Java.
Schmidt said that based on his understanding of Sun’s licensing requirements for Java, Google’s use of the programming language’s tools in Android without a license was “permissible” and “legally correct.” He said Jonathan Schwartz, who started as Sun’s chief executive officer in April 2006, never asked the search engine operator to take a license.
Oracle is seeking $1 billion in damages and a court order blocking sales of Android, now running on more than 300 million smartphones, unless Mountain View, California-based Google pays for a license.
“Schwartz didn’t express any concerns about the use of Java?” Robert Van Nest, of Keker & Van Nest LLP, Google’s lawyer, asked Schmidt yesterday. “Did he complain?”
“He did not,” said Schmidt, a former chief technical officer at Sun who was the primary executive in charge of Java.
“Did he tell you that you needed a license to use Java’s APIs,” or application programming interfaces? Van Nest asked.
“He did not,” Schmidt said.
Google plans to call Schwartz as a witness, according to a court filing.
Oracle acquired Java as part of its 2010 takeover of Sun. The Redwood City, California-based database maker alleges that Google infringed copyrights on 37 APIs -- tools programmers use to create applications using Java -- and infringed two Java patents.
Schmidt said Java, a free programming language, is useless without the APIs, which are used to tell computers how to print, sort and perform other applications. Google implemented the Java language and APIs, not Java source code, which would require a license, he told the jury.
David Boies, of Boies Schiller & Flexner LLP, Oracle’s attorney, showed Schmidt e-mails written by Google engineers saying the company needed a Java license.
“Were you told in 2005 that the people responsible for Android believed Google must take a license for Java?” Boies asked.
“I don’t recall, but given the way the Sun licensing model works this is actually not correct,” Schmidt said.
U.S. District Judge William Alsup, who is presiding over the trial, said Schmidt’s answer wasn’t responsive to the question and ordered jurors to disregard it.
The trial, expected to last eight weeks, is divided into three phases. Oracle rested its case yesterday for the first phase, which deals with copyright infringement. Google began its defense of those claims yesterday, and the jury is expected to deliberate on those claims as early as next week.
The next phases of the trial will address patent claims and damage claims.
The case is Oracle America Inc. v. Google Inc., 10-03561, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).
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Ex-Morgan Stanley Manager Appeals Insider Trading Conviction
Former Morgan Stanley (MS) Managing Director Du Jun yesterday appealed a Hong Kong insider trading conviction for which he was sentenced to seven years in prison, saying prosecutors didn’t prove he committed the crime.
“The prosecution failed to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant knew it was relevant information,” said his lawyer John Griffiths, referring to an e-mail Du received from Morgan Stanley colleagues before buying shares of Citic Resources Holdings Ltd. (1205)
Du is serving the longest jail sentence doled out by the court since the former British colony criminalized insider trading in 2003. District Court Judge Andrew Chan in 2009 found Du guilty of nine counts of the offense and one count of advising his wife to trade Hong Kong-listed Citic Resources, a Chinese oil and coal producer, in 2007.
The Beijing native, who was also fined HK$23.3 million ($3 million), bought shares of Citic Resources after learning of its plan to purchase a Chinese oilfield while helping the company sell bonds. He sold half of the shares in July 2007 for a profit of about HK$33.4 million after the company announced the deal on May 9, according to prosecutors.
Griffiths said on the first of four scheduled hearing days in Hong Kong’s Court of Appeal that an acquisition in Kazakhstan, also announced on May 9, and the resumption of trading after a one-week suspension contributed to the surge in Citic Resources shares. The lower court judge’s evaluation of the relevance of the information Du had from the e-mail was “fallacious,” Griffiths said.
During the appeal yesterday, Du sat silently in a navy jacket and blue shirt, hunched at times over trial documents provided to him in the prisoner’s dock.
The case is Hong Kong SAR v. Du Jun, CACC334/2009 in the Hong Kong’s Court of Appeal.
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Mayer Brown Expands European Antitrust Practice
Mayer Brown LLP said yesterday that Robert Klotz joined the firm as a partner in the antitrust and competition practice in Brussels.
Klotz was previously at Hunton & Williams LLP. Before that, he was an official of the European Commission’s Directorate General for Competition.
“Robert’s DG Competition experience complements and strengthens the Brussels office’s growing antitrust practice,” Kiran Desai, partner in charge of Mayer Brown’s Brussels office, said in a statement.
Fried Frank Expands Intellectual Property Platform
Corporate lawyer Daniel C. Glazer joined Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP as a partner in the New York office.
Glazer was previously a partner at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler LLP, where he was one of the leaders of the intellectual property transactions group.
Glazer, who will be in the corporate department, handles IP/IT-related commercial agreements, such as licensing, outsourcing, consulting, development, sponsorship, marketing and distribution arrangements, as well as the IP/IT aspects of mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, securitizations and other corporate transactions. His practice also includes trademark and copyright counseling, enforcement and prosecution.
Energy Partner Joins Vinson & Elkins’ Tokyo Office
James Watson joined Vinson & Elkins LLP as a partner in the global energy transactions/projects practice group in the firm’s Tokyo office.
Previously joint head of energy and infrastructure at Herbert Smith LLP’s Tokyo office, Watson has more than 20 years of experience in corporate transactions, the firm said in a statement. He focuses his practice on oil and gas exploration, power projects, LNG, petrochemicals and renewables, as well as infrastructure development projects.
“Over the past five years, our Asian book of business has grown significantly across all aspects of the energy industry,” James Atkin, managing partner of V&E’s Tokyo office, said in a statement.
Vinson & Elkins has 15 offices worldwide, including in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East.
Manatt Phelps Land-Use Lawyer Moves to Loeb & Loeb
Loeb & Loeb LLP expanded its land-use practice with the addition of partner Paul Rohrer, who joined the firm’s Los Angeles office. Previously, Rohrer was a partner in the Los Angeles office of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP.
Rohrer represents governmental entities, nonprofit educational institutions and developers in land use and entitlement matters in connection with the acquisition, sale, optioning and ground leasing of real property. He is also involved in the structuring and negotiation of various agreements, including joint development agreements, owner participation agreements, and construction-related agreements, the firm said in a statement.
Loeb & Loeb has more than 300 attorneys at five offices in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington and Nashville, Tennessee. The firm also has a representative office in Beijing.
Duane Morris’s San Diego Office Adds Special Counsel Swit
Duane Morris LLP added Michael A. Swit to its trial practice group as special counsel in the San Diego office. Swit will bolsters the firm’s life sciences practice, particularly in U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulatory matters.
Before joining Duane Morris, Swit served for seven years as vice president of Weinberg Group Inc., a scientific and regulatory consulting firm.
Swit advises life sciences firms on complying with FDA requirements for drugs, medical devices and other products. His work includes FDA development strategies, compliance and enforcement initiatives, recalls and crisis management, submissions, labeling and advertising, and clinical research efforts.
Duane Morris has more than 700 attorneys in 23 offices worldwide.
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