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Eversheds Expands African Network: Business of Law

Eversheds LLP added 10 members to its African network, the Eversheds Africa Law Institute, bringing the total number of firms to 33.

The new EALI firms are in Cape Verde, Chad, Djibouti, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gabon, Liberia, Niger, Togo and Zimbabwe. The network, which began in October with 14 member firms, now has 37 offices in 31 African countries.

“Not only are we rapidly achieving our objectives of establishing hubs in key African regions, but we have also received an overwhelming response to EALI,” Boris Martor, head of Eversheds’s Africa Group, said in a statement.

Firm News

Patton Boggs Shrinking by Almost Two Dozen Partners, NLJ Reports

Patton Boggs LLP will lose close to two dozen more partners through firings and lateral departures, Chairman Edward Newberry said, according to the National Law Journal.

The losses come after partners were asked for a vote of confidence Feb. 28 that resulted in 90 percent saying they would stay with Patton Boggs if it continues as a leaner, more profitable firm, the NLJ reported, citing Newberry.

The firm has struggled financially, with two rounds of firings last year that included at least 32 lawyers and the departure of many partners to other firms. Last month, Patton Boggs said it will close its Newark, New Jersey, office. The firm has made public its search for merger partners, including most recently its talks with Squire Sanders LLP.

Between 15 to 20 partners, half equity and half income, were asked to leave and five or six partners who weren’t making enough money have said they will go, according to the NLJ. Some will retire or change status, the newspaper reported.

That will leave the firm with 75 equity partners and about 85 to 90 income partners, a 25 percent decrease from the end of 2012, according to the paper.

Reorganization and bankruptcy lawyer Albert Togut, who was counsel for Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP in its Chapter 11 liquidation, is advising Patton Boggs along with consulting firm Zolfo Cooper, the NLJ said. It cited Newberry as denying the firm may seek bankruptcy.

Partner Moves

Johannes Perlitt Joins Jones Day as Partner in Frankfurt

Business lawyer Johannes Perlitt joined Jones Day as an M&A practice partner in the Frankfurt office. Perlitt joins from Clifford Chance LLP in Frankfurt, where he was head of the automotive industry group.

Perlitt primarily represents global companies on transactions and complex issues of corporate and capital markets law. He advised Volkswagen AG on its combination with Porsche Automobil Holding SE, the firm said in a statement.

“Due to its economic strength and leading role within the EU, Germany is among the most important locations for Jones Day for the long term,” Ansgar Rempp, partner-in-charge of Jones Day Germany, said in a statement.

Corporate and Securities Partner Joins Reed Smith in New York

Reed Smith LLP added Richard D. Smith in its New York office, where he will be a partner in the corporate and securities group. Smith was previously with Allen & Overy LLP. Before that, he was head of Americas M&A and investment banking legal at Barclays Plc, the firm said in a statement.

“Richard has extensive transactional experience,” Paul J. Jaskot, chairman of Reed Smith’s U.S. corporate and securities group, said in the statement. “He brings us the seasoned experience and pragmatism of a financial services industry ‘insider.’”

Insurance Attorneys Join Cozen O’Connor in London

Cozen O’Connor said two litigators in the insurance and reinsurance fields, Mark Meyer and Paul Dowsey, joined its London office as members.

Meyer joined from Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP, and has experience in aviation and aerospace reinsurance experience.

Dowsey, who was previously at Reynolds Porter Chamberlain, focuses on international business, with an emphasis on mining, power generation, construction, industrial processes and oil and gas.


Comcast-Time Warner Review Won’t Be Led by Antitrust Chief

Comcast Corp.’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc. won’t be reviewed by the head of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, Bill Baer, who is recused on the matter, the U.S. said.

Baer previously represented NBC Universal as a lawyer in private practice at law firm Arnold & Porter LLP when Comcast merged with the network in 2011, according to court documents.

The investigation of the Time Warner deal will be overseen by two senior officials at the antitrust division, Renata Hesse and David Gelfand, said Gina Talamona, a Justice Department spokeswoman, in an e-mailed statement.

In-House News

Greenhill Hires Skadden’s Patricia Moran as Chief Legal Officer

Greenhill & Co. hired Patricia Moran from Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP to be chief legal officer as the investment bank founded by Robert F. Greenhill expands in merger advice.

Moran, 54, replaces Gavin Solotar, 49, who becomes a managing director in the corporate advisory business after serving as general counsel since 2012, New York-based Greenhill said in a statement. Moran was a partner at Skadden, where she spent 30 years advising on takeovers, private equity and restructuring across the U.S., Australia, Canada, Europe and Japan markets, the firm said.

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