Sidley, Patton Boggs, Bird, Perkins Coie: Business of Law

Sidley Austin LLP hired three lawyers who have held various positions at the Federal Trade Commission to bolster the firm’s antitrust practice.

The hires are William Blumenthal, a former general counsel of the FTC; Kenneth L. Glazer, an ex-deputy director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition; and Karen Kazmerzak, also formerly with the FTC’s bureau.

Kazmerzak is joining Sidley as counsel. All three will be in the Washington office.

Mark Hopson, managing partner of Sidley’s Washington office, said in a statement that Blumenthal and Glazer “will provide immediate strength to our antitrust agency practice, particularly with respect to pre-merger clearance, while complementing our already prominent global competition enforcement and litigation practices.”

Blumenthal was most recently Clifford Chance LLP’s chairman of the U.S. antitrust group. He has advised clients on all aspects of antitrust law, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and pricing and distribution practices, the firm said.

Glazer, formerly of K&L Gates LLP, is an antitrust practitioner who has represented clients before the FTC, the U.S. Justice Department, and foreign antitrust agencies on merger and non-merger matters, the firm said. He has also worked as the senior competition counsel for The Coca-Cola Co.

Kazmerzak, formerly of K&L Gates, has experience in pre-merger clearance before both the FTC and DOJ.

Clifford Chance spokesman Mike Kachel said in a telephone call that the firm wishes Blumenthal well.

Sidley has about 1,700 lawyers in 18 offices worldwide.

Firm News

Patton Boggs Opens Dubai Office With Kilpatrick Partner

Patton Boggs LLP said it opened an office in Dubai with three lawyers from Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

Patton Boggs now has four offices in the Middle East/North Africa region including Doha, Qatar; Abu Dhabi and an affiliate office in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Thomas P. Wilson, formerly a partner at Kilpatrick, will head Patton Boggs’s construction practice in the region. Scott Hutton and Jonathan M. Taunton, both formerly associates at Kilpatrick, also join along with Angie Hegazi, who will be Patton Boggs’s regional director of business development and marketing.

“Patton Boggs is committed to continued growth in the MENA region,” Edward J. Newberry, managing partner of Patton Boggs, said in a statement. “Our move into Dubai fulfills another of our key strategic objectives for MENA, toward expanding and strengthening our capabilities to best meet the needs of public as well as private sector clients.”

Patton Boggs’s new legal team has experience with the construction and infrastructure sector in the region, with a particular focus on public and private capital improvement projects, dispute resolution, contract negotiations, contract compliance issues, and project risk management and mitigation, the firm said.

In 2012, the firm affiliated with the Khalid Al-Thebity Law Firm, in Riyadh.

Patton Boggs has about 550 attorneys in six offices in the U.S. and four in the Middle East.

Bird & Bird Signs Cooperation Agreement With Swiss Firm

Bird & Bird LLP entered into a strategic cooperation agreement with Swiss law firm BCCC Avocats LLC, covering French-speaking Switzerland.

“Switzerland is emerging as a key European arbitration hub, increasing 15 percent year on year,” Frederique Dupuis-Toubol, Bird & Bird’s head of France, said in a statement. “This combined with the recently founded Swiss Federal Institute of Intellectual Property presents great opportunities for us to develop and expand our work in this region.”

BCCC has 30 lawyers based in Geneva and Lausanne, with expertise in technology, media and telecommunications, health care and life sciences as well as employment, corporate and intellectual property practices, the firm said. The two firms have worked together over the past five years.

“As the only international law firm with a presence in Lyon we have been uniquely positioned in the area for a number of years and this agreement will allow us to strengthen our relationships and better support new and existing clients, Dupuis-Toubol said in the statement.

Bird & Bird has more than 900 lawyers in 23 offices across Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Greenberg Traurig Opens South Korean Office in Seoul

Greenberg Traurig LLP is the latest international law firm to open an office in Seoul, the firm’s 36th worldwide.

‘‘Unlike the many firms who quickly sent large numbers of foreign lawyers to work on the ground, Greenberg Traurig’s focus is on adding extraordinary value through strategic and deep relationships with the people, companies and governing bodies of Korea with both legal and cultural understanding of how they operate,” Richard A. Rosenbaum, Greenberg Traurig’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We are not entering the Korean legal market to compete with local law firms, but rather to work closely with them to serve the global needs of Korean corporations.”

Greenberg Traurig shareholder Chang Joo Kim will lead a team in the new office that includes shareholders Hyun Chung, Richard A. Edlin and Rosa S. Jeong, along with a firm associate.

The Seoul office will provide legal advice with respect to U.S. law, international treaties involving the U.S. and international law.

Greenberg Traurig has about 1,750 attorneys at 36 offices in the U.S., Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.


U.K. Office of Fair Trading’s Nikpay to Join Gibson Dunn

Ali Nikpay, a senior director at the Office of Fair Trading, the U.K.’s competition authority, will join Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP as a partner in the worldwide antitrust and competition law practice group on April 15.

Nikpay will be based in Gibson Dunn’s London office, where he will lead the competition practice, the firm said in a statement.

Nikpay spent nine years at the OFT, where he held several leadership posts, including most recently head of the Cartels and Criminal Enforcement division. He was also a member of the OFT’s executive committee. He will advise clients on European Union and U.K. cartels, mergers, monopolization cases and other regulatory investigations.

“Ali has a fabulous reputation in the U.K. and across Europe in the antitrust/competition space,” Ken Doran, chairman and managing partner of Gibson Dunn, said in a statement. “He will be a great addition to the firm’s premiere competition practice and will enable us to better serve our clients in Europe and around the globe.”

Nikpay will be accompanied by his colleague, Deirdre Taylor, assistant director in the OFT’s Cartel and Criminal Enforcement division. Taylor, who will join the firm’s London office as of counsel, has 15 years of experience as a competition lawyer, including five years with the OFT, the firm said.

Gibson Dunn has more than 1,100 lawyers at 18 offices in the U.S. and internationally.

Perkins Coie Adds Five Partners in Three Offices

Perkins Coie LLP took on five new partners this week, including a trio of patent litigation partners in Chicago and partners in Palo Alto and Denver.

In Chicago, the three new hires are Michael R. Osterhoff, Adam L. Marchuk and Heather A. Boice, who were most recently partners at K&L Gates LLP. Osterhoff focuses on litigating intellectual property cases involving patents, trademarks, false advertising, unfair competition and industrial espionage. Marchuk concentrates on intellectual property matters involving patents, trademarks, trade secrets, false advertising, commercial disparagement and breach of contract. Boice concentrates on litigation dealing with patents, trademarks, copyright and trade dress.

Lowell Ness joined the Palo Alto, California, office in the emerging companies practice from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP.

Michael R. Henson, previously of Holland & Hart LLP, joined the firm’s intellectual property practice as a partner in the Denver office.

Perkins Coie has more than 900 lawyers in 19 offices in the U.S. and Asia.

King & Spalding Strengthens Middle East Real-Estate Practice

King & Spalding LLP added real-estate partner Stephen Kelly in the Dubai office. He previously worked at Clyde & Co, where he was a partner and led the firm’s Middle East real-estate development team, the firm said in a statement.

Kelly represents developers, hotel operators and service providers on property issues, with an emphasis on the title structuring of complex large scale master communities and mixed-use hotel developments. He has a particular focus on advising clients with developments impacted by the region’s various “strata title regimes,” the firm said.

Kelly has been involved in developments in the region such as Burj Khalifa, Palazzo Versace, Dubai Pearl and Sun & Sky Towers, the firm said.

“We are committed to building our global real estate practice to serve our clients, covering developers, financiers and service providers,” Sarah Borders, leader of King & Spalding’s capital transactions and real estate practice said in a statement. “The capital transactions and real estate team now has around 80 lawyers across the firm’s international network and we will continue to strengthen the practice.”

King & Spalding has 800 lawyers in 17 offices in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Capital Markets Lawyer Kenji Taneda Joins Morrison & Foerster

Capital markets lawyer Kenji P. Taneda joined Morrison & Foerster LLP in Tokyo as a partner. He was previously a special counsel for Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.

Taneda’s recent transactional work includes serving as U.S. counsel to Japan Airlines in its $8.5 billion global initial public offering; U.S. counsel to Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. in a $3 billion senior notes offering and U.S. counsel to Nippon Prologis REIT Inc. in its $1.08 billion global IPO.

“We’ve worked across the table from Kenji on numerous transactions over the years, and know him to be a superb attorney,” Ken Siegel, managing partner of Morrison & Foerster’s Tokyo office said in a statement. “His extensive capital markets experience will further strengthen our practice in this key area and enhance our ability to provide our clients here and around the world with the highest levels of service.”

Morrison & Foerster is the largest international law firm in Japan, with 125 lawyers in its Tokyo office, the firm said.

The firm has more than 1,000 lawyers at 16 offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Energy Regulatory Attorney Andrea Chambers Joins Ballard Spahr

Andrea J. Chambers, who advises energy industry clients nationwide on policy, regulatory, and compliance matters, has joined Ballard Spahr LLP’s Washington office as a partner in the energy and project finance group. She was previously at Foley & Lardner LLP.

Chambers provides regulatory counsel to clients in the electric, gas, and alternative energy sectors and strategic advice to private equity investors in energy assets, the firm said. She also has experience as a litigator.

Ballard Spahr has more than 500 lawyers in 13 offices in the U.S.

Venable Adds Northern Virginia Business Litigator

Venable LLP announced that northern Virginia litigator Randall K. Miller has joined the firm as a partner in the Tyson’s Corner, Virginia, office, where his practice will focus on complex contract and business litigation matters. Miller joins the firm from Arnold & Porter LLP, where he was partner in the business litigation group, the firm said in a statement.

Miller has experience handling complex business disputes in Virginia, such as those involving breach of contract, fraud, tortious interference, trade secrets, employment, false advertising and unfair competition claims, the firm said. Venable has more than 500 lawyers at eight U.S. offices.


Obama Labor Pick’s Immigration Advocacy Seen Testing Republicans

When Thomas Perez was nominated in 2009 to a top Justice Department post, Senate Republicans delayed a vote for months over his past work with a group that aids immigrants, regardless of their legal status.

Perez returns to the Senate for a confirmation hearing April 18 as President Barack Obama’s pick to lead the Labor Department, the only Hispanic in his second-term Cabinet so far, this time posing a political challenge to the Republican Party. Republicans are seeking to woo Latino voters lost in 2012 by quelling their anti-immigration rhetoric, and some members are working with Democrats on a path to citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in the U.S.

“Most Republicans will be gun-shy over asking the hard immigration questions because of the Hispanic vote,” said Ron Bonjean, a Republican strategist who was a top aide to former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott of Mississippi and former House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois. “It would be wise for Republicans to be very careful in raising an immigration argument against Perez.”

Obama’s nomination of Perez drew swift criticism from some Republicans. Perez’s leadership of the Justice Department civil rights division prompted Republicans, including Senator Pat Roberts of Kansas, to argue that some of his decisions were based on ideology. Roberts and Senator Charles Grassley of Iowa want to examine whether Perez acted improperly when he persuaded St. Paul, Minnesota, to drop a Supreme Court case that, had it prevailed, risked harming a central enforcement tenet in housing discrimination law.

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