Debevoise, Littler, Freshfields, Cooley: Business of Law

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP named Mary Beth Hogan co-chairwoman of the firm’s litigation department, replacing Mary Jo White, who was confirmed by the U.S. Senate last month to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission.

John S. Kiernan will share the post with Hogan.

Hogan’s practice focuses on white collar, regulatory and employment actions as well as internal investigations and commercial litigation. She represents companies, boards, law firms and people in civil and regulatory proceedings. In the past several years, her work has focused on the mortgage industry, including servicing, fair lending and securitizations, the firm said.

Her clients include JPMorgan Chase & Co., UBS Financial Services Inc., Owens Corning and Carlyle Group LP.

“Mary Beth is a logical choice for this important role,” Michael W. Blair, presiding partner of Debevoise, said in a statement. “She has consistently demonstrated strong business judgment, client service excellence and leadership in the firm.”

Hogan, who has spent two terms on Debevoise’s management committee, is co-founder of the firm’s Women’s Resource Group, which promotes the advancement of female lawyers at Debevoise, and is also co-chair of the firm’s Talent Development Group.

“Debevoise continues to set a global standard of excellence in advising clients on their most complex litigation matters, and I am eager to help advance the department even further,” Hogan said in the statement.

Debevoise & Plimpton has more than 650 lawyers at eight national and international offices.

Jackson Lewis Names Tammy Baker to Run Birmingham Office

Jackson Lewis LLP named Tammy L. Baker as managing partner of its Birmingham, Alabama, office, succeeding Thomas A. Davis, who held the position for six years. Davis is the office’s liaison for client development and will become its litigation manager.

Baker has experience in workplace law, including multiplaintiff, collective-action and class-action litigation. She advises employers on compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Americans With Disabilities Act and other workplace matters, the firm said.

“We thank Tom for his substantial contributions to our success both in Birmingham and nationwide,” Chairman Vincent A. Cino said in a statement. “Since helping us open the Birmingham office in 2007, Tammy has earned the respect of colleagues and clients alike with her invaluable knowledge of workplace law.”

Jackson Lewis has 750 attorneys at 52 locations nationwide.


Littler Hires Labor and Regulatory Lawyer in Washington

Maurice Baskin, previously a partner at Venable LLP and a past chairman of the firm’s labor and employment practice group, joined Littler Mendelson PC as a shareholder in Washington.

Baskin’s practice focuses on labor relations and union organizing, employment discrimination, and wage-and-hour law. He also counsels small and large employers in labor and employment law.

“Maury’s deep understanding of the complex legislative and regulatory landscape in Washington will help in our efforts to anticipate, evaluate and defend against government action on behalf of our clients,” said Thomas Bender, Littler’s co-president and co-managing director.

In 2012, Baskin led an appeals court challenge to halt enforcement of the National Labor Relations Board’s threatened Notice Poster mandate. Baskin argued the case on behalf of the business plaintiffs at the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Baskin also argued at the U.S. Supreme Court, winning recognition of the rights of employers to file suit against union corporate campaign tactics and overturning the NLRB’s previous standard for finding that such suits were illegal, the firm said.

Littler Mendelson has more than 950 attorneys at 57 offices throughout the U.S. and globally.

Freshfields Adds Shearman Practice Head in London

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP added Tim Pick, a partner and head of Shearman & Sterling LLP’s international project development and finance group, as a new finance partner in London.

He will focus on advising clients in the energy and natural resources sector in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, the firm said in a statement.

Pick has particular expertise in advising on projects in the oil and gas sector, as well as on power projects. He has experience working in the Middle East and East Africa.

“We anticipate huge activity and investment in the energy markets over the foreseeable future as energy demand continues to grow faster than resources can be replaced,” Freshfields’ managing partner Ted Burke said in a statement. “Tim Pick brings a fantastic wealth of experience in advising clients in the energy sector, along with a strong commercial focus. He will complement our existing global credentials to help capitalize on opportunities for growth.”

Pick joined Shearman & Sterling in 1999 and was made partner in 2005. He worked in Abu Dhabi from 2003 to 2009, Freshfields said.

Freshfields has more than 2,500 lawyers at 28 offices worldwide.

Shearman & Sterling Expands Private-Equity Capabilities

Shearman & Sterling LLP added Jeremy Dickens as a partner in New York to focus on expanding the firm’s private-equity practice. He also will advise the firm’s corporate and investment banking clients, Shearman said.

Most recently, Dickens was a member of the board of private equity-backed Opportunity Bancshares.

Dickens spent 18 years at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, where he was a member of the private-equity practice and co-founder and co-head of its global capital markets practice, Shearman said in a statement. In 2007, he represented Riverdeep Group in the $3.7 billion reverse acquisition of Houghton Mifflin, after which he left Weil to become president of the resulting company, Education Media & Publishing Group, the firm said.

“Jeremy’s arrival significantly strengthens our private-equity capabilities and enhances our already well-regarded leveraged finance practice,” Shearman & Sterling’s global managing partner, David Beveridge, said in a statement. “He has exceptional credentials in both areas and is highly regarded by his clients.”

Shearman has about 900 lawyers in 20 offices in 12 countries around the world.

Technology Transactions Lawyer Shaalu Mehra Joins Gibson Dunn

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP announced that Shaalu Mehra joined the firm’s Palo Alto, California, office as a partner.

Mehra, formerly the chairman of the technology transactions group at Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton LLP, will continue to focus his law practice on intellectual property strategy and technology transactions.

“With degrees in physics and computer science and engineering, he combines a strong technology background with a broad range of IP experience, from patent prosecution early in his career to advising clients on the structuring and negotiation of IP transactions and on the development and acquisition of patent portfolios,” Ken Doran, chairman and managing partner of Gibson Dunn, said in a statement.

Mehra advises companies on IP, technology and related corporate matters. He also has experience with cross-border technology transactions, cloud computing, outsourcing and information technology and telecommunications services, the firm said.

Gibson Dunn has more than 1,100 lawyers and 18 offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

Cooley Expands Health-Care and Life Sciences Practice

Cooley LLP added Wendy C. Goldstein to the firm as a partner in its health-care and life sciences regulatory practice in New York.

Goldstein was previously a partner at Epstein Becker & Green PC, where she led the health-care and life sciences practice as well as the pharmaceutical industry health regulatory practice group.

Goldstein counsels clients on the research, manufacture, sale, promotion, distribution, pricing and export of pharmaceuticals, biologics and medical devices, and represents manufacturers on various regulatory matters, drafting and negotiating agreements and conducting health regulatory due diligence, the firm said.

“Wendy’s experience counseling pharmaceutical companies on fraud and abuse, reimbursement, government investigations and FDA matters will complement, support and deepen our current offering to clients around the country,” Barbara Kosacz, head of Cooley’s life sciences practice, said in a statement.

Cooley has 700 attorneys in 12 offices in the U.S. and Shanghai.


Slaughter & May, Cravath Advise on EADS Transactions

Daimler AG, the world’s third-largest maker of luxury cars, said it will sell its stake in European Aeronautic, Defence & Space Co. in the next step of a restructuring of the Airbus SAS parent’s ownership.

Daimler will sell 61.1 million shares, equal to 7.5 percent of the total, the Stuttgart, Germany-based company said in a statement yesterday. The transaction would be worth about 2.27 billion euros ($3 billion) at yesterday’s closing price.

Investors in Europe’s biggest aerospace company last month agreed to change the shareholder structure, clearing the way for Daimler and Lagardere SA to exit their stakes, which the French media company did April 9. EADS will buy 600 million euros of stock from Daimler after its board authorized the repurchase of shares worth 3.75 billion euros in total to smooth the revamp.

Slaughter & May, working with Bredin Prat and Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, advised Lagardere. The Slaughter & May team was led by head of the equity capital markets group, Nilufer von Bismarck. The Bredin Prat team was led by partners Olivier Saba and Emmanuel Masset. The Cravath team was led by corporate partner George A. Stephanakis.

“We will invest the proceeds of the sale in the global growth of our divisions and the extension of our technological leadership,” Daimler board member Bodo Uebber said in the statement. “We are pursuing a corporate strategy with a clear focus on automotive products and services.”

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Goodwin Procter’s Klein Discusses ‘Founders Workbench’

Jeffrey Klein, a partner at Goodwin Procter LLP, discussed the firm’s new “Founders Workbench,” a free online resource that helps entrepreneurs navigate legal and organizational challenges. Klein spoke with Kathleen Hays and Vonnie Quinn on Bloomberg Radio’s “The Hays Advantage.”

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On The Docket

Two Porsche Hearings May Be Postponed, Lawyer Says

Two of three German court hearings scheduled for today in lawsuits over Porsche SE’s failed 2008 bid to take over Volkswagen AG may be postponed because a lawyer is ill.

Franz Braun, who represents companies in the two cases, told the court that he is ill. The judges will probably reschedule the hearings, a spokeswoman for his law firm, CLLB in Munich, said yesterday.

A third hearing in a related suit seeking 1.96 billion euros ($2.57 billion) will probably take place because another law firm represents the investors in that claim.


Citigroup’s Costs at Toxic-Asset Unit Soar on Legal Expenses

Citigroup Inc., the third-biggest U.S. bank, said expenses at a unit holding some of its most toxic assets surged as legal costs mounted.

The Special Asset Pool, or SAP, had operating expenses of $572 million for the three months through March, compared with $63 million in last year’s first quarter, according to data released by the New York-based bank. SAP, which manages a portfolio of securities that Citigroup seeks to divest, had total expenses of $619 million for all of 2011 and 2012 combined, filings show.

The increase helped boost Citigroup’s total expenses by 1 percent to $12.4 billion, showing that debris left over from the 2008 credit crisis can still put a surprise drag on profit. SAP is one of three divisions at Citi Holdings, which houses distressed and unwanted assets. SAP’s $18 billion of investments include corporate debt, equity stakes and subprime mortgage bonds, some worth a fraction of their original value.

“It’s hard to see what’s out there that wasn’t anticipated or wasn’t known,” said David Knutson, a credit analyst with Legal & General Investment Management America. “There’s some detail that we’re missing.”

“We don’t comment on specific legal accruals unless we’re announcing a settlement of some sort,” Chief Financial Officer John Gerspach said on a call with analysts in response to questions about the SAP costs.

The increase drove up total expenses just as Chief Executive Officer Michael Corbat is seeking to cut the lender’s costs. Corbat, 53, a former CEO of Citi Holdings, is firing workers and shutting branches to make the bank more efficient.

Assets in the unit fell 50 percent to $18 billion for the year through March, according to the bank, as Citigroup found buyers for some of the holdings and didn’t replace loans that expired. SAP lost $417 million for the quarter, exceeding the $367 million the business lost for all of 2011 and 2012 combined.

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