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DLA Piper Announces Global Leadership: Business of Law

Feb. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Roger Meltzer and Nigel Knowles will take over as global co-chairmen of DLA Piper LLP on Jan. 1, succeeding Lee I. Miller and Tony Angel.

Cameron Rains and Simon Levine will become global co-chief executive officers of the firm, also at the start of next year, DLA Piper said in a statement. Rains will take over from J. Terence O’Malley, and Levine will succeed Knowles.

Meltzer and Rains will remain co-chairmen of the Americas after assuming their new leadership roles. Stasia Kelly and Mike Poulos will continue to be co-managing partners of the Americas.

Knowles is currently managing partner of the international business, which he will continue handling until next April. Levine, co-managing director of groups and services for the international business, will retain that role until the end of this year.

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

Canadian Firm Heenan Will Shut its Doors, Globe and Mail Says

Heenan Blaikie LLP partners voted to dissolve the Montreal-based law firm, the Globe and Mail reported, citing challenges for mid-sized firms such as a decrease in the number of deals and client pressure to cut billing.

Heenan, which has been in business for 40 years, had about 500 employees until a wave of senior lawyers began defecting recently, the newspaper said.

McCarter & English Adds Energy Law Firm to Open in Washington

McCarter & English LLP opened in Washington with the addition of 14 lawyers from energy law boutique Miller, Balis & O’Neil.

The firm will take over Miller Balis’s office space, and the new attorneys will join McCarter’s existing environment and energy practice group.

Ira Gottlieb, a Newark, New Jersey-based partner, will continue as leader of the environment and energy group.

News

American Airlines Merger Lawyer Butler Leaves Skadden for Hilco

Jack Butler, the bankruptcy attorney who helped negotiate the merger of American Airlines and US Airways, is leaving law firm Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP for Hilco Global.

Butler will be executive vice president at Hilco, according to Gary Epstein, its chief marketing officer. Among other services, Northbrook, Illinois-based Hilco helps bankrupt companies liquidate their assets. The hiring, announced yesterday in an internal memo, takes effect May 1.

Butler represented the official committee of unsecured creditors in the bankruptcy of American Airlines parent AMR Corp. and advised on last year’s merger with US Airways Group Inc., which created American Airlines Group Inc., the world’s biggest airline.

He was at New York-based Skadden for 23 years and worked on several high-profile bankruptcies. Butler was company counsel for Troy, Michigan-based auto-parts maker Delphi Corp. and advised Kmart Corp., which came out of bankruptcy in 2003 and has since merged with Sears Holdings Corp.

For more, click here.

Moves Roundup

Winston & Strawn, Cooley, Schulte Roth: Lateral Moves

Eva Davis, the founding partner of Kirkland & Ellis LLP’s Los Angeles corporate department, where she practiced for 15 years, joined Winston & Strawn LLP and will be chairwoman of West Coast private equity, Winston & Strawn said in a statement.

Davis is the latest Kirkland corporate lawyer with private-equity experience to leave the firm in the past two months. Kirk A. Radke joined Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP and Stephanie McCann and Leonard Klingbaum moved to McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

Cooley LLP said William Donovan joined the firm as a partner in its litigation department and head of the litigation practice in Los Angeles. He was previously at DLA Piper in Los Angeles, where he focused on trial and appellate litigation, with an emphasis on consumer class-action, professional-liability and complex commercial cases.

Todd C. Duffield joined Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC’s Atlanta office as a shareholder. He moved from the New York office of Paul Hastings LLP, where he was co-chairman of the traditional labor group.

Also in Atlanta, litigation and franchise attorney Mark VanderBroek, formerly of Troutman Sanders LLP, joined Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP as a partner.

Jeffrey Lehtman rejoined Richards Kibbe & Orbe LLP’s Washington office as a partner. Lehtman, who was at Allen & Overy LLP, focuses his practice on internal investigations and civil, criminal, and regulatory enforcement matters. 

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP announced that Adam G. Safwat joined the firm as counsel in the white-collar defense and investigations practice in Washington. Safwat was most recently a deputy chief in the fraud section of the U.S. Justice Department’s criminal division.

In-House Counsel

MasterCard Appoints Murphy General Counsel as Hanft Retires

MasterCard Inc., the second-largest U.S. payments network, named Tim Murphy general counsel, replacing Noah Hanft, who is retiring March 31.

Murphy, 46, will join the executive committee and takes the role of chief franchise officer on April 1, the Purchase, New York-based company said in a statement. He has been at MasterCard since 2000 and was most recently chief product officer.

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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