Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP co-chairmen Jeffrey Kessler and Richard Shutran left to join rival law firms, leaving just two members of Dewey’s new chairman’s office in place.
Kessler, head of litigation, will start next week at Winston & Strawn LLP, which has hired about 60 Dewey lawyers at its offices, including 24 litigation partners, said the Chicago-based firm’s chairman, Dan Webb. Shutran, head of the corporate department, will join O’Melveny & Myers LLP with four other Dewey partners, that firm said in a statement yesterday.
Webb, who was the New York Stock Exchange’s lawyer for its pay case against ex-Chairman Richard Grasso, called Kessler after Dewey told partners in an April 30 memo they were free to explore other job opportunities, he said. Kessler’s sports-litigation group is the best in the U.S. and the hirings will add to Winston & Strawn’s group dealing with antitrust and securities litigation, he said in a phone interview yesterday.
“It’s a big transaction,” Webb said. The Dewey lawyers will mostly be based in New York, where Winston & Strawn wants more litigators, with some joining in Chicago, Washington and Los Angeles, he said.
Amid mounting defections in March, New York-based Dewey said it was creating a new chairman’s office with five co-equal members from its most profitable groups. They included Martin Bienenstock, who runs the firm’s restructuring group; Shutran, Kessler; and Charles Landgraf, who runs the Washington office and the legislative and public policy group.
Dewey ousted the fifth member of the chairman’s office, Steven Davis, formerly sole chairman, after Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. began a probe into possible wrongdoing at the firm, Dewey told partners in an April 29 memo obtained by Bloomberg.
Michael Sitrick, a spokesman for Dewey, didn’t return a call seeking comment on the departures.
Walsh to Head McDermott’s International Restructuring Group
McDermott Will & Emery LLP hired restructuring lawyer Timothy W. Walsh away from DLA Piper LLP and appointed him international head of the firm’s restructuring and insolvency practice.
The hire is part of the firm’s effort to expand its worldwide restructuring and bankruptcy capabilities, McDermott said in a statement.
Walsh was previously vice chairman of DLA Piper’s restructuring practice group. His practice focuses on all aspects of restructuring transactions in major domestic and cross-border bankruptcy-related proceedings as well as out-of-court restructurings.
With the addition of Walsh, the firm is also bolstering its offerings to the private-equity community.
“As we build our international restructuring practice, we will also be able to deliver more holistic services to our private-equity clients, such as in- and out-of-court restructurings as a means of facilitating acquisitions as well as dispositions of portfolio companies,” David Goldman, partner and head of McDermott’s corporate advisory practice group, said in the statement.
McDermott’s restructuring and insolvency practice has more than 40 lawyers around the world. In the past 60 days, McDermott has brought on board nine corporate partners in the U.S. and Europe. The new hires reflect an expansion of the firm’s international transactional capabilities, with a focus on private equity, energy and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, the firm said.
McDermott has more than 1,000 lawyers with offices in Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Dusseldorf, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan, Munich, New York, Paris, Rome, Washington and Orange County and Silicon Valley, California, and a strategic alliance with MWE China Law Offices in Shanghai.
Ex-CFTC Commissioner Dunn Named Chairman of U.S. Swap Database
Patton Boggs LLP’s Michael V. Dunn, a member of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission until last year, was named non-executive chairman of the largest database of U.S. swap information as regulators prepare to complete an overhaul of financial regulations required under the Dodd-Frank Act.
The Depository Trust & Clearing Corp. yesterday said Dunn, who joined the commission in December 2004, would help the database align the needs of participants in the markets and regulators. Dodd-Frank intends for so-called swap data repositories to provide regulators access to information about the price and volume of trades in an effort to increase transparency about the $708 trillion global swaps market.
“I’m just looking forward to taking the next step toward fulfilling the Dodd-Frank Act,” Dunn, also a senior adviser at Washington-based Patton Boggs, said in a telephone interview. Dunn stepped down on Oct. 24 from the CFTC, the main U.S. derivatives regulator implementing Dodd-Frank.
The 2010 financial-regulation overhaul was enacted after largely unregulated swaps helped fuel the 2008 credit crisis.
Quinn Emanuel Woos Allen & Overy London Arbitration Partners
Two Allen & Overy LLP arbitration partners, including head of the international arbitration practice Stephen Jagusch, are joining Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan LLP’s London office as partners.
Jagusch will become head of Quinn Emanuel’s international arbitration practice. He and Anthony Sinclair specialize in international commercial and treaty arbitration.
“London is the epicenter of international arbitration. We are delighted that advocates of Stephen and Anthony’s stature are joining us,” said Richard East, co-managing partner of the firm’s London office.
With the addition of Jagusch and Sinclair, whose start date hasn’t been determined, the firm has added five new partners to the international arbitration group in the last 12 months.
Managing partner John Quinn said that the firm’s expansion in the international arbitration area isn’t over. “We will be adding more partner and senior level talent in other arbitration centers in the coming months.”
Allen & Overy said in a statement that “Stephen Jagusch and Anthony Sinclair have given notice of their intention to resign from Allen & Overy at the end of the 2013 financial year.” Judith Gill will assume the role of head of the practice at Allen & Overy.
Quinn Emanuel has more than 650 lawyers in its business litigation firm with offices in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Washington, Chicago, Tokyo, London, Moscow, Hamburg, Mannheim, Germany, and Silicon Valley, California.
Office of Thrift Acting Director Joins Venable Team
Venable LLP added to its financial services practice with the addition of former Office of Thrift Supervision Acting Director John E. Bowman, who joins the firm in Washington and Los Angeles as a partner.
As head of the OTS, Bowman also served as a director on the five-member board of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. He joined the OTS, which regulated thrifts, savings and loans, and their holding companies, in 1999, rising to the position of deputy director and chief counsel before taking over as acting director in early 2009.
Earlier in his career, Bowman served for many years as the Assistant General Counsel for Banking and Finance at the U.S. Treasury Department. During his 14-year tenure at Treasury, he provided advice and counsel to the senior leadership of the department on legal and strategic implications on a broad range of issues from financial modernization to the financing of the Federal debt.
Brock Landry, co-head of Venable’s government division, said in a statement, “Venable’s finance and consumer protection regulatory practices already boast former government officials from the Treasury, OCC, FDIC, SEC, FTC, DOJ, and numerous other agencies, and John’s extensive experience at the highest levels of government brings a new dimension to that lineup.”
Venablehas more than 500 attorneys at seven U.S. offices.
Mayer Brown Adds to Real Estate Practice in New York
David M. Stewart, a partner with Latham & Watkins LLP, has moved to Mayer Brown LLP real estate practice in New York.
Stewart has experience representing clients in subordinate real estate lending and structured finance transactions, primarily in and around the commercial mortgage-backed securities market. He has a particular focus in his practice on master repurchase agreements and other structures that allow mortgage finance companies to raise their source capital.
Mayer Brown has 20 offices worldwide in the Americas, Asia and Europe.
Kirkland & Ellis Adds Four IP Lawyers in New York Office
Four lawyers at Kaye Scholer LLP have left the firm to join the New York office of Kirkland & Ellis LLP.
Leora Ben-Ami, Thomas Fleming, Patricia Carson and Christopher Jagoe are now partners in Kirkland’s intellectual property practice group.
Ben-Ami focuses on patent litigation and has represented pharmaceutical and biotechnology firms such as Pfizer Inc., Genentech Inc. and DuPont Co., according to Kirkland’s statement.
Fleming specializes in IP litigation and has tried cases in the areas of biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and chemical products, as well as in the areas of wireless technology and telecommunications. Carson focuses on patent litigation and patent counseling matters, including IP due diligence and licensing in a variety of fields such as pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical, medical device and consumer health care.
Jagoe focuses on patent litigation related to chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology matters. He has represented clients such as Roche Holding AG, Ariad Pharmaceuticals Inc., Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. and DuPont.
Kirkland & Ellis LLP has 1,500 attorneys with offices in New York, Chicago, Hong Kong, London, Los Angeles, Munich, Shanghai, Washington, San Francisco and Palo Alto, California.
Bed Bath & Beyond Agrees to Buy Cost Plus for $495 Million
Bed Bath & Beyond Inc. (BBBY), the operator of more than 1,000 home-furnishings stores, agreed to buy Cost Plus Inc. for about $495 million in cash to add its World Market and Cost Plus Imports chains.
Proskauer Rose LLP as legal adviser to Bed Bath & Beyond. The firm’s New York mergers and acquisitions partners Peter Samuels, Rima Moawad and Reid Arstark were involved.
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP acted as legal advisers to Cost Plus. The Skadden team included Los Angeles M&A partners Rick Madden and Brian McCarthy; Palo Alto, California, partner Joseph Yaffe from the executive compensation and benefits group; and Los Angeles partner Eric Waxman from the commercial litigation and trial practice.
The offer of about $22 a share will be funded with available cash, the companies said yesterday in a statement. The companies expect the deal to be completed in Bed Bath & Beyond’s fiscal second quarter and add “slightly” to earnings in the current year. The offer is 22 percent higher than Cost Plus’s $17.99 closing price May 8.
The deal would give Bed Bath & Beyond, which operates 1,173 locations in 50 states, 259 new stores while also adding another e-commerce platform as it competes with retailers ranging from Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) to Target Corp. Demand at Cost Plus stores has surged as consumers increase home-related spending amid the housing market recovery, said Bradley Thomas, an analyst for Keybanc Capital Markets Inc. in New York.
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