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Jones Day, the Washington-based law firm, hired Barbara M. Harding, a former partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, as the firm expands its mass-tort litigation practice.

Harding, 48, has experience in litigation related to asbestos liability, tobacco cost recovery and products liability, Jones Day said in a statement. She previously served as trial counsel for W.R. Grace & Co. in its asbestos personal-injury lawsuits in 2008, and represented the company in bankruptcy court that year, the firm said.

“Her arrival here in Washington gives our defense teams and clients around the country access to her vast experience dealing with the scientific issues and experts that often play a key role in high-stakes litigation,” Greg M. Shumaker, partner-in-charge of the firm’s Washington office, said in the statement.

Harding will join the firm as a partner in the business and tort litigation practice in Washington.

Jones Day, which has more than 2,500 lawyers worldwide, was ranked the seventh-highest-grossing law firm in 2010, with more than $1.62 billion in revenue, according to the American Lawyer, a trade magazine.

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