Simpson Thacher, Baker Botts, Cooley: Business of Law

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP corporate partner William R. Dougherty took over the chairmanship of the firm’s executive committee yesterday.

He succeeds Philip T. Ruegger, who served as chairman since 2004, the firm said in a statement. Ruegger, 63, will remain a member of the executive committee until his retirement later this year.

“I expect to continue on with the direction Pete Ruegger set, building on core competencies in banking, capital markets, M&A and litigation,” Dougherty said in a telephone interview yesterday.

Under Ruegger’s leadership, the firm expanded local practices in London and Hong Kong and opened offices in Seoul in December and Houston in 2011. Dougherty expects the firm to focus on cross-border litigation in Asia, the California technology practice and the Houston energy practice.

“Our private equity and corporate clients are very active in oil and gas, so we will be focusing on that,” he said.

Dougherty, 51, became a partner at the firm in 1995. He was first elected to the executive committee in 2008 and was co-administrative partner from 2009 to 2012, overseeing the firm’s day-to-day operations.

His practice focuses on merger and acquisition and corporate finance transactions. He was in the Tokyo office from 1990 to 1991 and the London office from 1996 to 2002.

Simpson Thacher has more than 850 lawyers at 11 offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Baker Botts Forms Alliance With Kuwait Law Firm

Energy law firm Baker Botts LLP is expanding its Middle Eastern reach with an alliance with a Kuwaiti law firm, the International Legal Group.

The firm currently has 25 lawyers in the region with offices in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

“Many of our key clients are active in Kuwait, and our arrangement with ILG will enable us to work for them more effectively,” Andrew Baker, managing partner of Baker Botts, said in a statement.

Former U.S. Secretary of State James A. Baker III, who was in office during the first Persian Gulf War in 1990 when Iraq invaded Kuwait, is a senior partner at Baker Botts. He announced the alliance in Kuwait City.

“We believe our alliance with Baker Botts will enable us to offer our Kuwaiti client base a breadth of experience that is superior to that otherwise available in the Kuwaiti legal market,” Rashid Alanezi, chairman of ILG, said in a statement.

Baker Botts has 725 lawyers in 14 offices worldwide.

Haynes & Boone Forms Cooperation Agreement With Brazilian Firm

Haynes & Boone LLP and MMA Lawyers of Brazil said they have begun working together under a cooperation agreement, allowing the Texas law firm to strengthen its cross-border energy practice.

Haynes & Boone clients will benefit from the Brazilian law firm’s position in an emerging market with a strong energy base and growing trade links to Texas and the U.S, the firm said. The firm also expects to expand its relationships with Chinese and Asia clients doing business in Brazil.

“Teaming up with MMA is a big step toward maintaining our identity as one of the top international law firms with a focus on Latin America,” Haynes & Boone managing partner Terry Conner said in a statement. “This helps us to provide an expanded array of services to a broad range of new and evolving clients.”

MMA Lawyers managing partner Marcelo Mello was for almost two decades the international legal division manager for Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned petroleum and energy company.

Haynes & Boone has 50 Latin America-focused attorneys based in Texas, New York, Washington and Mexico, the firm said.

Among its recent representations, lawyers at the firm advised Tarahumara Pipeline, a unit of Grupo Fermaca, which will build and operate a natural gas pipeline in northern Mexico, the firm said.

Haynes & Boone has more than 525 attorneys at 12 offices in North and South America.


U.S. Lateral Round-Up: Cooley, Mayer Brown, Greenberg

Cooley LLP announced that two Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP chairs, Kevin Rooney and Louis Lehot, joined the firm’s business department as partners in the Palo Alto, California, office.

Rooney chaired Sheppard Mullin’s emerging growth/venture capital and technology mergers and acquisitions practices, and Lehot led its capital markets and public company mergers and acquisitions practices.

Rooney represents U.S., and Canadian and other foreign public and private companies in corporate and securities matters. He is an adviser to entrepreneurs at Bay Area accelerators Kicklabs, NestGSV, Factory and Ahead of Fashion, and at Communitech Hyperdrive, a Canadian accelerator, the firm said in a statement.

Lehot advises private and public companies, their investors and investment banks in complex equity and debt securities transactions, as well as mergers and acquisitions.

Also in Northern California, Perkins Coie LLP hired James W. McTarnaghan in the firm’s San Francisco office as a partner in the environment, energy and resources practice group. McTarnaghan was most recently a partner at Duane Morris LLP.

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo PC also expanded its San Francisco office with the addition of Robert E. Burwell, who joins the firm’s corporate and securities section as a member. Burwell was a partner in the private equity practice of Latham & Watkins LLP.

On the East Coast, Mayer Brown LLP hired Lewis J. Greenwald in the New York office as a partner in the tax transactions and consulting practice. Greenwald, who focuses his practice on international tax planning, was previously a partner at Sullivan & Worcester LLP in Boston, where he headed the firm’s international tax practice group.

Greenwald is the third recent partner joining Mayer Brown’s tax practice, following the January arrivals of Jason Osborn in Washington and Mark Leeds in New York, the firm said.

Also in New York, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP hired Anthony Williams, formerly a partner at DLA Piper LLP, as a partner. Williams has experience with commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance and securities, and private equity investments, for both U.S. and non-U.S. clients. He was chairman of Coudert Brothers LLP from 1993 to 2001.

Steven Russo, former deputy commissioner and general counsel at the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, is joining Greenberg Traurig LLP as chairman of the firm’s New York environmental practice at the end of March. In the state post, he supervised the agency’s Office of General Counsel, as well as the Legislative Affairs Department and Office of Environmental Justice, the firm said in a statement.

Barnes & Thornburg LLP announced that Roy A. Ginsburg joined the firm’s Minneapolis office as a partner in the labor and employment law department. He previously was a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP.

Williams Mullen hired two environmental attorneys, John Daniel and Lynne Rhode, as partners in the Richmond, Virginia, office. Both were previously with Troutman Sanders LLP.

Baker Botts, Sidley, Bird & Bird, Fasken Add European Laterals

Among European lateral partner moves this week, Chris Caulfield, who practices complex civil litigation and focuses on export control, joined Baker Botts LLP as a partner in the firm’s London office. He was previously a partner at Squire Sanders LLP.

Resident in both Sidley Austin LLP’s London and New York offices is Mark E. Thompson, a new partner in the mergers and acquisitions and the private equity practices. He was previously with King & Spalding LLP.

Bird & Bird LLP expanded its tax and trade practices in The Hague with partner Brian Mulier, who is rejoining the international tax and international trade and customs practice groups. Mulier, who brings an associate with him, was most recently at Baker & McKenzie LLP for two years, the firm said. He has experience covering customs and trade related matters.

In Paris, Fasken Martineau LLP announced that Ludovic Roche joined the firm’s labor, employment and human rights group. Roche advises French and international companies on the setting-up and implementation of their employment policies and assists them in the daily management of their individual and collective employment relations.


How Facebook’s Lawyers Price Their Services

Silicon Valley’s Fenwick & West LLP, which incorporated Apple and took Facebook public, recently hired a new kind of staff position: a product manager charged with helping clients understand the value of the legal services the firm provides, managing partner Kate Fritz tells Bloomberg Law’s Lee Pacchia.

The firm took “a page off the way our clients think about their customers” in creating the position, she says. The product manager marries client feedback about the firm’s services with historical information about the costs of each element in a prospective engagement, such as the stages of an IPO, she says.

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