Bartholomew Joins Jenner & Block: Business of Law

Litigator and former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission senior trial counsel Christian R. Bartholomew joined Jenner & Block LLP as a partner in Washington and a member of the securities litigation and enforcement practice.

Bartholomew previously worked at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP as a partner in the securities litigation practice and leader of its SEC enforcement practice in Washington and Miami, the firm said.

He has more than 20 years of experience in securities enforcement and resolving securities investigations by the SEC, Justice Department, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and others.

“With the arrival of Christian, we strengthen our commitment to ensuring that our D.C. office is a destination for handling large, multi-regulator securities investigations and related class actions,” Susan C. Levy, Jenner & Block’s managing partner, said in a statement.

Former Obama Administration Liaison Gray Rejoins O’Melveny

Litigator Danielle Gray, who most recently worked as President Barack Obama’s chief liaison to his cabinet, is rejoining O’Melveny & Myers LLP as a partner in the financial services practice group in New York and Washington. She will also be involved in the firm’s appellate and white-collar and corporate investigations practices.

Gray was responsible for policy and communications coordination among cabinet-level agencies and worked closely with the executive branch on congressional investigations and the promulgation of regulations, the firm said.

“Her unique perspective on the inner workings of the government and record for sound strategic guidance will enhance the service we provide clients dealing with an increasingly challenging regulatory environment,” Bradley J. Butwin, the chairman of O’Melveny, said in a statement.

WilmerHale Hires Former FBI Chief of Staff Aaron Zebley

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP said Aaron Zebley, former chief of staff to Robert S. Mueller III, the ex-director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, is joining the firm in Washington.

Zebley was most recently senior counselor in the National Security Division of the Justice Department. Prior to his position with Mueller, Zebley was a special agent of the FBI in the Counterterrorism Division for seven years.

Gibson Dunn Gets New York Appellate Lawyer Halligan

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP said Caitlin Halligan, the former general counsel in the Manhattan district attorney’s office, is joining as a partner in New York. She will focus on appellate law, the firm said in a statement.

“We have tremendous depth in our appellate group, which saw five lawyers argue seven cases during the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 term,” said Ken Doran, chairman and managing partner of Gibson Dunn. “Caitlin is an exceptionally accomplished appellate litigator with a high profile and national reputation who will add even more depth.”


Chevron Allowed to Pursue Fraud Claims Against Patton Boggs

Chevron Corp. may sue Patton Boggs LLP over its involvement in a multibillion-dollar pollution case against the energy company in Ecuador, a federal judge ruled. The decision followed the judge’s findings last month that a $9.5 billion award issued in Ecuador was procured by fraud.

In U.S. District Judge Lewis Kaplan’s ruling yesterday in Manhattan, he granted Chevron’s request to counter-sue in a case Patton Boggs brought to lift a court order barring the firm from collecting on the Ecuador judgment. The firm also sought in the case to obtain $21.8 million posted by the company as a bond.

In court papers in June, Patton Boggs said Chevron’s effort to file those claims was “a bad-faith, legally-futile, and vexatious stratagem designed to divert the resources” of the firm and pressure it to “abandon its clients as a result of unfavorable press.”

Natalie V. Gewargis, a spokeswoman for Patton Boggs, said she couldn’t immediately comment on the ruling.

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Christie Lawyer Turns Aside Lawmakers’ Transcript Request

A lawyer for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s office set up a showdown with a state legislative committee by turning aside a call to produce transcripts of interviews of more than 70 witnesses in an internal probe of the George Washington Bridge lane closings.

The report, by the law firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, concluded on March 27 that Christie had no advance knowledge of a plot by an ex-aide, Bridget Anne Kelly, and a former ally, David Wildstein, to create traffic jams near the bridge. Those tie-ups were intended to punish the mayor of Fort Lee, New Jersey, for unknown ulterior reasons, Gibson Dunn said.

Those conclusions drew sharp criticism from state Senator Loretta Weinberg and Assemblyman John Wisniewski, who lead a panel investigating the tie-ups even as U.S. prosecutors probe for any crimes. The lawmakers want to see the interview notes and other documents Gibson Dunn used to produce its report. Gibson Dunn attorney Randy Mastro yesterday declined the request, which the committee hasn’t formally made yet.

“The Governor’s Office is fully cooperating with the U.S. Attorney Office’s investigation, and in that regard, has not publicly released accounts of interviews conducted in connection with the Gibson Dunn investigation,” Mastro said in a statement released by Christie’s office.

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Law Firm Managing Partners Expect Profit Growth, Survey Says

Law firm managing partners are optimistic about their business prospects after the first quarter of the year, according to the Citi Private Bank Law Firm Group’s Managing Partner Confidence Index.

The leaders told the legal consulting group that they expect revenue growth and foresee a slight drop in expenses, to increasing profit. They also said they’ll increase associate hiring.

The survey, based on interviews with 79 managing partners, included 28 at firms among the 100 wealthiest and 24 from the second 100.

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