Fenwick Advises Facebook on Oculus Bid: Business of Law

Fenwick & West LLP represented Facebook Inc. (FB) in its $2 billion bid for Oculus VR Inc., the maker of a ski-goggle-like device called Rift, now used for playing games, that eventually could immerse people in experiences including classes and sporting events.

A Bingham McCutchen LLP team led by partner Andrew Ray represented Oculus. Additional partners include Jacqueline Cookerly Aguilera, Donald-Bruce Abrams, Natascha George and Matt Schnall.

Goodwin Procter LLP advised a group of venture investors in Oculus in connection with the sale. The investor group included Andreessen Horowitz, Matrix Partners and Spark Capital.

The Goodwin team was led by partners Larry Chu and Jared Jensen. Partner Kelsey Lemaster also provided additional support.

The Fenwick transaction team included corporate partner Greg Roussel; executive compensation and employee benefits partner Scott Spector; technology transactions partner Stephen Gillespie; and tax partner Adam Halpern. 

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Firm News

Patton Boggs, Squire Sanders Sign Letter of Intent, WSJ Says

Merger talks between Washington-based law firm Patton Boggs LLP and Squire Sanders LLP took a step forward as the two firms signed a letter of intent to continue the discussions exclusively with each other, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Patton Boggs, which has about 370 lawyers and is known for its lobbying practice, and Squire Sanders, a 1,300-lawyer firm with broad international reach, announced their merger discussions last month in a joint statement saying the talks were in the early stages.

Angelo Kakolyris, a Squire Sanders spokesman, declined to comment on the discussions. Patton Boggs didn’t respond to a request to confirm that a letter of intent had been signed.

Patton Boggs, which announced in December that merger talks were called off with another firm, Locke Lord Bissell & Liddell LLP, has been struggling financially.

The firm said this month that it would lose close to two dozen partners through firings and lateral departures. Last month, it said it would close its Newark, New Jersey, office. The firm had two rounds of job cuts last year that included at least 32 lawyers.

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Moves

Mayer Brown’s Government and Trade Group Adds Land-Use Lawyer

Mayer Brown LLP said Edgar Khalatian has joined the firm in Los Angeles as a partner in its government and global trade group. He was previously at Paul Hastings LLP.

Holland & Knight Adds Real Estate Finance Lawyer From Bingham

Erica Weiss, a real estate finance lawyer, joined Holland & Knight LLP’s real estate practice as a partner in the Washington office. She was previously at Bingham McCutchen LLP.

Dentons Adds Insurance Regulatory practice in New York

Dentons added Matthew J. Gaul in its insurance regulatory practice as a partner in New York. He joins from Steptoe & Johnson LLP, where he was a partner.

Manatt Adds Partner to Capital Markets Practice in California

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP said Thomas J. Poletti has joined its capital markets practice as a partner in Orange County, California. He was previously a partner at K&L Gates LLP.

Ulmer & Berne Adds Litigator David Pope From Mayer Brown

Ulmer & Berne LLP announced the addition of litigator David D. Pope as a partner in the firm’s Chicago office. Pope joins after spending the past 13 years at Mayer Brown LLP, the firm said.

Curtis Adds Shaya Rochester to Restructuring Group

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP said Shaya Rochester, previously at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, has joined the firm as a New York-based partner in the restructuring and insolvency practice group.

Litigation

Malaysian Air, Boeing Data on Lost Jet Sought in U.S. Court

Malaysian Airline System Bhd. (MAS) and Boeing Co. (BA) records of Flight 370’s maintenance and crew are being sought by a law firm representing the uncle of one of the missing plane’s passengers, the opening salvo in what may become extensive litigation over its disappearance.

The jet carrying 239 people vanished from radar on March 8 after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing. Citing satellite data, Malaysia’s government said March 24 that the flight ended in the southern Indian Ocean, southwest of Perth, Australia, and the airline said there is no hope of survivors.

“Both defendants named are responsible for the disaster of Flight MH370,” Monica Kelly, a partner at Chicago-based Ribbeck Law Chartered, said in a statement announcing the filing March 25 in Illinois state court in Chicago.

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net Andrew Dunn, Peter Blumberg

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