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Fifteen Heenan Partners Join Fasken: Business of Law

Fasken Martineau LLP said 30 lawyers, including 15 partners, joined its offices in Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal from Heenan Blaikie LLP.

In Toronto, Brian Burkett, John Craig, Douglas Gilbert, Sarah Graves, Christina Hall and Mathias Link are joining as partners in the labor, employment and human rights group.

In Ottawa, Sebastien Lorquet and Claire Vachon are joining the labor, employment and human rights group as partners.

In Montreal, Robert Dupont, Stephane Fillion, Simon Laberge, Rheaume Perreault and Yves Turgeon are joining the labor, employment and human rights group as partners,

Also in Montreal, Carl Belanger and Neil Wiener are joining the corporate-commercial group as partners.

Heenan had about 500 lawyers until it announced in February that it was dissolving in the face of competition from larger firms and a slump in mergers and acquisitions.

“We have reinforced the firm’s position as a national leader in labor and employment law, further expanding our capabilities and providing clients with an even greater level of depth and expertise,” Ralph Nero, Fasken’s labor, employment and human rights group leader, said in a statement.

BakerHostetler Adds to Tax Team in Columbus With Litt

Baker & Hostetler LLP said Gordon F. Litt, a tax and private wealth planning lawyer, joined as a partner in the Columbus, Ohio, office. He was previously at Bricker & Eckler LLP.

Firm News

Patton Boggs Is Losing Nine Partners, Reuters Reports

Patton Boggs LLP is losing nine partners, including six to McGuireWoods LLP and two to Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Reuters reported March 28.

Corporate partner Kevin Boardman, along with five other partners, is joining McGuireWoods to open a Dallas office, according to Reuters. The group moving to Pillsbury includes Benjamin Chew, Reuters said.

Pillsbury didn’t return an e-mail or call seeking comment on the report. McGuireWoods declined to comment.

Boardman, who’s no longer listed on the Patton Boggs website, is on the McGuireWoods site. Chew’s profile is on the Pillsbury website. Neither firm has issued a public statement about the reported hires.

Patton Boggs, based in Washington, has been struggling financially and has been in discussions with Squire Sanders LLP about a merger.

“In February, we asked our partners to let us know if they remained committed to the firm, and more than 90 percent responded affirmatively,” according to an e-mailed statement from Patton Boggs. “The partners who have recently resigned were among the few who declined to make that commitment.

‘‘Their departures do not affect our ongoing discussions with Squire Sanders, do not impact our strategic plan and are not material to the firm,’’ Patton Boggs said.

Patton Boggs said this month that it would lose close to two dozen partners through firings and lateral departures. Last month, it said it would shut its Newark, New Jersey, office.

The firm had two rounds of job cuts last year that included at least 32 lawyers.

For more, click here.


Ex-Dewey Billing Managers Reach Plea Deals in Fraud Probe

Former managers of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP’s billing department were among seven ex-employees who agreed to plead guilty to taking part in a $200 million fraud that spurred the largest law firm bankruptcy in history.

Six plea agreements reached with Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. were unsealed March 28 in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan. Cooperating with Vance’s probe were Dianne Cascino, director of revenue support; billing director Lourdes Rodriguez; accounting manager Jyhjing ‘‘Victoria” Harrington; Controller Thomas Mullikin; David Rodriguez, a specialist in accounting for partner compensation; and Ilya Alter, director of budgeting and planning.

The disclosures came a day after the unsealing of a plea agreement from finance director Frank Canellas. Canellas said in the accord that he decided, along with ex-Chief Financial Officer Joel Sanders, “which appropriate and inappropriate accounting adjustments to make” to help Dewey meet financial obligations once it became apparent the firm was failing.

Sanders, ex-Chairman Steven Davis and Stephen DiCarmine, the former executive director, were accused this month in a 106-count indictment of using improper accounting gimmicks at the firm. Lawyers for Sanders, Davis and DiCarmine have denied their clients committed any crimes.

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Port Authority Chief Samson Resigns After Report Blasts Agency

Port Authority Chairman David Samson resigned after a report commissioned by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie to probe lane closings at the George Washington Bridge recommended changes at the agency.

Samson, appointed by Christie to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which runs the span, was linked by e-mails to September traffic jams at the foot of the bridge in Fort Lee, whose mayor didn’t endorse the governor’s re-election. Samson has been wanting to step down for a year, Christie told reporters March 28 in Trenton, saying he asked him to stay on through the election.

“He’s 74 years old and he’s tired,” Christie said at his first press conference in 11 weeks. Samson’s resignation, effective immediately, was “no shock,” Christie said. Samson said the move was needed to alter the direction of the agency, which needs “fundamental structural change,” the Republican governor said.

Samson’s resignation came a day after an internal report commissioned by Christie’s administration blamed former aides and allies for the traffic jam and cleared the governor of wrongdoing. Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, the New York law firm that conducted the review, didn’t interview Samson.

Samson, formerly New Jersey’s attorney general, also has been the subject of reports in the New York Times, the Star-Ledger of Newark and other newspapers about Port Authority votes on projects with ties to his law firm, Wolff & Samson.

For more, click here.

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