Sidley Gets Corporate Governance Lawyer: Business of Law

Holly J. Gregory joined Sidley Austin LLP as a partner and a global coordinator of the firm’s corporate-governance practice in its New York office. She was previously at Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.

Gregory counsels clients on governance issues, including fiduciary duties, risk oversight, conflicts of interest, board and committee structure and board leadership structures. She also advises on special committee investigations, board audits and self-evaluation processes, shareholder initiatives, proxy contests and governance best practices, the firm said.

She was involved in the drafting of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s Principles of Corporate Governance and also drafted the National Association of Corporate Directors’ Key Agreed Principles of Corporate Governance, according to the firm.

“Holly is very well-known and respected for her deep experience in helping companies and their boards navigate the complexities that have evolved as a result of changing regulations and an increased scrutiny into corporate governance practices,” John P. Kelsh, a partner and a global coordinator of the firm’s corporate governance and executive compensation practice, said in a statement.

Sidley has more than 1,800 lawyers in 19 offices worldwide.

Cadwalader Adds Hadjis, Yohannan to Lead ITC Patent-Trial Team

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP said trial attorney Alex Hadjis joined as a partner and Kristin Yohannan came on as special counsel in Washington, where they will head the firm’s new U.S. International Trade Commission patent litigation practice.

Hadjis and Yohannan join from Morrison & Forester LLP, where both were partners. Hadjis was co-chairman of Morrison’s IP group and led its ITC practice.

“Alex and Kristin are outstanding litigators who will strengthen our intellectual property litigation practice, and will be instrumental in leading a highly focused ITC patent litigation team for the firm,” W. Christopher White, Cadwalader’s chairman, said in a statement.

Hadjis has led high-stakes patent cases for companies in the technology arena, including recently before the ITC for Huawei Technologies Co., the firm said. Yohannan has 19 years of experience, including ITC patent trials.

Cadwalader has lawyers at offices in New York, London, Washington, Houston, Beijing, Hong Kong, Brussels and Charlotte, North Carolina.

Akin Gump Gets Foreign-Bribery Lawyer Murphy From Latham

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP announced that Aaron G. Murphy joined the firm in San Francisco as a partner in its litigation practice.

Murphy, the author of the “Foreign Corrupt Practices Act: A Practical Resource for Managers and Executives,” joins the firm from Latham & Watkins LLP. His practice focuses on FCPA compliance counseling and investigations for large and mid-sized companies, the firm said.

“Aaron’s presence at the firm will add further depth to Akin Gump’s FCPA international investigation practice, while adding additional corporate investigations and white-collar experience on the West Coast,” Akin Gump Chairwoman Kim Koopersmith said in a statement.

Murphy’s non-FCPA work includes domestic bribery and corruption matters, investigations by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, money laundering and federal criminal gambling offenses, securities enforcement actions, criminal tax and Medicare fraud, and congressional investigations and public-corruption scandals, the firm said.

Akin Gump has more than 850 lawyers in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Katten Expands Aviation Practice With Herman and Goldstein

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP said Stewart B. Herman and Jonathan C. Goldstein joined the firm’s aviation practice as partners in New York. Herman was previously with Kaye Scholer LLP and Goldstein was head of transportation finance at Shearman & Sterling LLP.

“Stewart and Jonathan both bring tremendous experience to our aviation practice and will also enhance our global structured finance, securitization and transactional practices,” Vincent A.F. Sergi, Katten’s chairman, said in a statement.

Herman focuses his practice on commercial and business-aircraft transactions and has experience in structuring, drafting and negotiating lease, sale and financing transactions for aircraft and other asset classes, the firm said.

Goldstein represents clients in connection with international financial and corporate transactions.

Katten has more than 600 attorneys in the U.S., London and Shanghai.

Entertainment Lawyer Wise Joins Loeb & Loeb in Washington

Loeb & Loeb LLP said Robert M. Wise joined the firm’s Washington office as a partner in the entertainment department. He was most recently the principal of his own law firm, Wise Entertainment Law, which he formed in 2007. 

Wise has more than 20 years of experience in the television and film industries. He focuses on representing independent TV production companies in negotiating U.S. cable network deals and other transactions relating to the development, production, financing, distribution and licensing of non-scripted/reality programs, the firm said.

“With Bob on the ground in D.C., the firm is able to strategically enhance its profile on both coasts,” Craig A. Emanuel, chairman of Loeb & Loeb’s entertainment department, said in a statement. “His reputation in the entertainment industry and unique capabilities in the reality TV production, distribution and development space -- already a strong and growing practice area for us -- will provide significant additional depth of service for the industry.”

Loeb & Loeb has more than 300 attorneys in Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Washington, Beijing and Nashville, Tennessee, as well as an affiliate office in Hong Kong.

Miller & Chevalier Adds Linda Carlisle to Tax Practice

Former White & Case LLP partner Linda E. Carlisle joined Miller & Chevalier Chartered as a member in the tax department in Washington.

At White & Case, Carlisle focused on the taxation of corporations and flow-through entities. She has experience in international tax, partnerships, transfer pricing, corporate tax and financial products. She also advises on administrative proceedings as well as legislative and regulatory matters.

“A number of us have known Linda for many years through mutual client work and professional activities,” Patricia Sweeney, head of the firm’s tax department, said in a statement. “We are thrilled that she is bringing her extraordinary talents, diverse practice and high energy to Miller & Chevalier.”

Miller & Chevalier is a Washington law firm with practices in tax, employee benefits, international law and business, white-collar and internal investigations, complex litigation and government affairs. 

LeClairRyan Adds 10 Trial Attorneys in Newark from Clyde & Co.

LeClairRyan added 10 attorneys and five professional staff, including four litigation partners, to its Newark, New Jersey, office from Clyde & Co. LLP.

The litigation partners are Jeffrey O’Hara, Matthew Bauer, Bryan Couch and Matthew Schultz. Six associates also joined the firm, along with a law clerk, two paralegals and two professional staff members. 

“Through the addition of our new colleagues, we are significantly increasing the experienced, complex litigation and trial services that LeClairRyan is able to offer,” David Freinberg, the firm’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.

O’Hara and his team focus primarily on defending casualty cases involving large exposure, catastrophic events, the firm said. The team will become part of LeClairRyan’s commercial litigation, corporate litigation and professional liability and transportation practices.

LeClairRyan has about 350 attorneys at its U.S. offices.

Franchising Lawyer Wayne Bunch Joins DLA Piper in Houston

DLA Piper LLP said Wayne P. Bunch Jr. joined the firm’s franchise and distribution practice as a partner in Houston. He comes to the firm from Jackson Walker LLP.

Bunch provides business and legal counsel to emerging and established franchisors.

“Wayne is among the most highly regarded franchise lawyers in Texas and has an impressive skillset in the rapidly growing field of domestic and international distribution, licensing and franchising law,” Dennis Wieczorek, chairman of DLA Piper’s franchise and distribution practice, said in a statement.

Bunch previously worked as general counsel, president and CEO for Crescent City Beignets Inc.

DLA Piper has about 4,200 lawyers in more than 30 countries throughout the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.

Litigation

Ergen Group May Drop LightSquared Bid, Lenders’ Lawyer Says

An entity owned by Charlie Ergen, chairman of Dish Network Corp. (DISH), may withdraw its $2.22 billion offer to buy the wireless spectrum of Philip Falcone’s LightSquared Inc. over a technical matter, a lawyer said.

The lawyer, Thomas Lauria, the global head of the financial restructuring and insolvency practice at White & Case LLP, who represents a group of LightSquared lenders with plans to reorganize the company around an auction led by the bid, told U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Shelley Chapman in Manhattan court yesterday about Dish’s concerns.

“Dish has raised a technical issue they believe is serious and if not fixed would impair utility of LightSquared’s spectrum,” Lauria said. He said that while LBAC, the Ergen entity offering to buy the spectrum, hasn’t yet withdrawn its bid, it has the right to do so and is considering the move.

The lenders are still in talks with LBAC and Dish, and they believe LightSquared can be reorganized through an auction that sells to another party if the Dish affiliate drops out, Lauria said.

LightSquared filed for bankruptcy in 2012 after the Federal Communications Commission blocked its initial proposal to use wireless spectrum, saying it would interfere with satellite-based navigation gear.

Since the filing, LightSquared has battled Ergen to retain control of its assets, which it has said are worth as much as $10 billion. The Reston, Virginia-based company has said it’s close to getting the regulatory approval necessary for LightSquared to reorganize on its own terms.

The case is In re LightSquared Inc., 12-bk-12080, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

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Firm News

Dickinson Wright Names Harlan Robins Practice Head

Dickinson Wright PLLC said Harlan Robins was appointed practice department manager for the firm’s real estate, environmental and energy and sustainability practices.

Robins is a member in the firm’s Columbus, Ohio, office where he focuses on real estate finance, development and land use, acquisitions and dispositions, and banking and financial services.

He represents lenders in complex, multistate workouts, deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure and foreclosure of real estate-secured loans, loan modifications and loan origination for permanent and construction financings, as well as mezzanine financing.

Dickinson Wright has more than 350 lawyers in Michigan, Ohio, Nevada, Tennessee, Arizona, Washington and Toronto.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Amon in New York at eamon2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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