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Kirkland Tapped for White House Counsel: Business of Law

April 22 (Bloomberg) -- Veteran corporate lawyer W. Neil Eggleston, a partner at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, was picked by President Barack Obama to succeed Kathryn Ruemmler as White House counsel.

“Neil brings extraordinary expertise, credentials and experience to our team,” Obama said yesterday in a statement. “He has a passion for public service, is renowned for his conscientiousness and foresight, and I look forward to working with him in the coming years.”

Eggleston was an associate counsel in former President Bill Clinton’s White House. A longtime contributor to Democratic candidates and causes, he gave Obama the maximum $4,600 for his 2008 presidential run after contributing $2,300 to Hillary Clinton during the primaries.

Law Firm News

U.S. Ambassador to New Zealand Huebner Moves to Arnold & Porter

David Huebner, the outgoing U.S. ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, has joined Arnold & Porter LLP. Huebner, a partner in the firm’s Los Angeles office, will be part of its international-arbitration, public international law and national-security practices.

He will focus on international commercial arbitration, trade and investments, with an emphasis on intellectual property-intensive industries as well as energy, infrastructure and construction projects, the firm said in a statement. He spent two decades in international law in the Asia-Pacific region.

“With a unique legal career that includes an exceptional record of public service and significant international dispute resolution and commercial law experience, David’s background is an ideal complement to our firm, adding further depth to our international practice,” Thomas H. Milch, Arnold & Porter’s chairman, said in the statement. 

Cozen O’Connor Adds New Partners in New York, Minneapolis

Cozen O’Connor added two members to its ranks.

Linda Riefberg, a former chief counsel in the enforcement department of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and most recently special counsel at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, joined Cozen’s New York office. She will focus on securities enforcement investigations, engage in broker-dealer counseling and handle other regulatory matters.

Will Stute joined Cozen’s Minneapolis office as a member in the commercial-litigation group. He was previously a partner in the Minneapolis office of DLA Piper LLP.

Gibson Dunn Adds Partner Ryan Murr in San Francisco Office

Corporate attorney Ryan Murr is joining the San Francisco office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP as a partner. He will become the co-chairman of the firm’s life sciences practice group, representing technology and life sciences companies as well as investors in these industries, on corporate issues.

Murr was a partner in the San Francisco office of Ropes & Gray LLP. He started his career as an associate in the Orange County, California, office of Gibson Dunn.

Covington & Burling Adds Former Defense Department Counsel Brown

Kathy Brown, most recently an associate general counsel in the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Defense Department, joined Covington & Burling LLP as special counsel, where she will work with the firm’s aerospace, defense and security industry group.

Brown will focus on practices that intersect with transactional work for the defense industrial base. This includes advising companies on government contract cost, audit and compliance requirements; navigating all stages of the acquisition process; and handling regulatory issues concerning mergers and acquisitions in the defense industry.

Brown has more than three decades of experience at the Defense Department.

McKenna Hires Ex-Lautenberg Adviser Dunham for Washington Office

Ben Dunham, the former chief counsel to U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, joined the Washington office of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP as counsel in the public policy and regulatory affairs department concentrating on environment, energy and product regulation.

Dunham spent five years with Lautenberg, who died in June, serving as counsel to the senator’s subcommittee on Superfund toxics and environmental health, and later as his legislative director and chief counsel.

Dunham joins McKenna’s public-policy team, which includes former Vermont governor Howard Dean; Ron Kaufman, political director under former President George H.W. Bush; and Gordon Giffin, an ambassador to Canada under former President Bill Clinton.

To contact the reporter on this story: Ellen Rosen in New York at erosen14@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net Charles Carter, Andrew Dunn

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