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Pepper Opens Silicon Valley Office: Business of Law

Nov. 13 (Bloomberg) -- Pepper Hamilton LLP opened a Silicon Valley office yesterday with a team of lawyers from Goodwin Procter LLP. The office is the firm’s third outpost in California and first in the northern part of the state.

The three former Goodwin partners are Gregory S. Bishop, Thomas F. Fitzpatrick and Andy H. Chan. Bishop will be the new office’s partner in charge. Fitzpatrick will join Philadelphia partner Paul J. Kennedy and Washington partner Goutam Patnaik as co-chairmen of the national intellectual property litigation practice.

Bishop specializes in complex patent litigation and other technology-related disputes. Fitzpatrick focuses his practice on intellectual property, including litigating patent, trade secret, trademark, technology licensing and other related disputes.

Chan focuses on intellectual property matters with a concentration on patent litigation involving complex technology in the biotechnology, chemical and information technology fields.

“While Pepper Hamilton has long had a presence in Southern California, the northern part of the state is strategically important as it is where many of our clients are based,” Chief Executive Officer Scott Green said in a statement. “We are especially pleased that three of the top IP litigators in the country will help us grow there.”

Pepper has offices in Orange County, California, and Los Angeles, which opened last year. The firm has more than 500 lawyers at its U.S. offices.

Dickinson Wright Links With Bulgarian Firm on Gambling Law

To meet the needs of its gambling clients, Dickinson Wright PLLC entered into a cooperative agreement with Sofia, Bulgaria-based law firm Velchev & Co., headed by Pavel Velchev.

Velchev is a 12-member firm whose lawyers have corporate and commercial, administrative law, licensing procedures and related regulatory affairs and litigation experience. The firm has a special focus on consulting with new technology businesses. Nadya Hambach leads the gambling law practice at the firm.

“With recent and pending changes in the taxation of gambling and already legalized Internet gambling with compliance with European principles, Bulgaria is vying to become the Eastern European leader in the development of the gambling industry,” the firm said in a statement.

Dickinson Wright’s practice group has more than 30 lawyers who handle matters related to the commercial and American Indian gaming industries, both nationally and internationally. The firm has counseled clients on many forms of gaming, including sweepstakes, raffles, charitable gaming, Internet gaming, social gaming and lotteries, it said in a statement.

The firm represents casino owners and operators, equipment makers and suppliers, investors and financial institutions on matters related to the acquisition, development, financing, licensing and operation of casinos and other gaming facilities.

Dickinson Wright’s agreement with Velchev is similar to those the U.S. firm arranged with WH Partners in Malta, Varela & Fonseca Abogados in Lima, Peru, and MdME in Macau.

Dickinson Wright is a full-service law firm with more than 350 lawyers in offices in the U.S. and Canada.

Edwards Wildman’s Aarestad Takes Lead of Securities Practice

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP’s Boston business law partner Stacie Aarestad was chosen to be the chairwoman of the firm’s securities offerings and public company counseling practice group.

Stan Keller, a business law partner also in the Boston office, and Gene McDermott, a business law partner in Providence, Rhode Island, will continue as co-chairmen of the group.

Aarestad focuses on corporate and securities law matters, public company representation and merger-and-acquisition deals. She represents issuers in capital market transactions, including public and private offerings of debt and equity securities, the firm said in a statement.

Aarestad also advises companies with respect to tender offers, exchange offers, debt repurchases and stock buybacks.

Edwards Wildman has 600 lawyers at offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia.


Winston & Strawn Adds Private-Equity Partner in New York

Winston & Strawn LLP said Jared A. Hershberg joined the firm’s New York office as a private-equity partner in its corporate practice. He was most recently a partner at Morrison Cohen LLP.

Hershberg focuses on private-equity investments, private investment funds and mergers and acquisitions. He advises private equity and other investment funds, limited partners and public and private businesses in connection with formation, acquisitions, divestitures, mergers, recapitalizations, equity and debt financings and joint ventures, the firm said.

“Jared brings to the firm tremendous experience advising on highly complex and high-profile transactions involving investment entities and financial institutions both in the U.S. and globally,” Michael Elkin, managing partner of the New York office, said in a statement. “His skills will greatly complement the firm’s expanding private-equity and corporate practices.”

Hershberg also worked as a management consultant in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industries with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Winston & Strawn has lawyers in 17 offices in North America, Asia and Europe.

Davis Polk Brings on Finance Lawyer Nick Benham in London

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP said Nick Benham, a finance lawyer, will join the firm as a partner in its London office. Benham joins from Ashurst LLP, where he was a partner in its credit group since 2010.

Benham concentrates on complex finance transactions with a focus on domestic and international leveraged finance transactions and financial restructurings, acting for debt providers and borrowers at all levels of the capital structure. He also has experience acting for strategic debt investors.

Davis Polk’s London-based English law practice started in 2012 with the hiring of capital markets partner Simon Witty, tax partner Jonathan Cooklin and M&A partner Will Pearce.

“Our commitment to developing an English law practice in London was subject to only one qualification -- that we attract lawyers of the same high caliber as our U.S. practices,” Thomas J. Reid, Davis Polk’s managing partner, said in a statement. “With Nick, once again, we have a lawyer of exceptional intellectual and client capabilities.”

Davis Polk’s London office, which opened in 1972, is the headquarters of the firm’s Europe practice and operates as Davis Polk & Wardwell London LLP.

The firm has about 900 lawyers in offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Senate Judiciary Committee’s Chief IP Counsel Joins Covington

Aaron Cooper, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee’s chief counsel for intellectual property and antitrust law, is joining Covington & Burling LLP’s global public policy and government affairs practice as of counsel.

“Aaron’s extensive experience in IP, antitrust law and policy development will be an important addition to our capabilities in helping clients address the multiple IP issues moving through Congress, the executive branch and the courts,” Timothy Hester, chairman of the firm’s management committee, said in a statement.

Cooper plans to work closely with Covington lawyers and former lawmakers Jon Kyl and Howard Berman, with whom he worked in the government. At Covington, they will help corporate clients navigate legislative initiatives in the IP and antitrust fields, the firm said.

Richard Hertling, former chief counsel and staff director of the House Judiciary Committee and policy expert on IP issues, joined the firm’s public policy practice in April.

“Aaron was among the most knowledgeable Senate staffers on intellectual property, antitrust and other issues of importance to U.S. and international business,” according to a statement from Kyl, a former Republican U.S. senator from Arizona, and Berman, a Democratic ex-congressman from Southern California. “He was widely respected on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the Capitol for his substantive expertise and his ability to get things done.”

In his role on the Judiciary Committee, Cooper had primary responsibility for all aspects of Chairman Patrick Leahy’s intellectual property and antitrust initiatives, including drafting, negotiating and developing the legislative strategy for passage of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act of 2011, the firm said. He started his legal career at Covington as an associate in 2001.

Covington has lawyers at 10 offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia.


Obama Nominates Ex-Cravath Partner to Succeed CFTC Chairman

Timothy Massad, the Treasury Department official responsible for overseeing the U.S. rescue of banks and automakers after the credit crisis, was nominated to head the country’s top derivatives regulator.

Massad was picked by President Barack Obama yesterday to succeed Gary Gensler as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, an agency with expansive new authority under the 2010 Dodd-Frank Act to regulate trading by banks including Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and JPMorgan Chase & Co., according to a White House statement. His nomination requires Senate confirmation.

A former partner at Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP in New York, Massad was a legal adviser to a congressional panel that oversaw the Troubled Asset Relief Program, which loaned billions of dollars in banks and auto companies to help stabilize the economy during the 2008 crisis. The program, which he then was confirmed to manage at Treasury, spurred a political backlash that drove congressional supporters from office in the 2010 election and fed criticism of Wall Street.

“Nobody ever wants to see TARP repeated. But the fact is, TARP is a program that did its job,” Massad said Sept. 30 at the Brookings Institution. “It has worked faster, better, and cheaper than most people ever thought possible.”

As of Nov. 8, $421.5 billion had been disbursed under the TARP program, while $406.5 billion had been repaid, according to the latest numbers from the Treasury Department.

Massad worked at Cravath for 25 years, and his work included advising the Singapore exchange that handled stocks and derivatives, a senior administration official said.

For more, click here.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Amon in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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