Morrison & Foerster, Dentons, Jones Day: Business of Law

Morrison & Foerster LLP is opening a Berlin outpost by poaching most of Hogan Lovells LLP’s 30-lawyer office in the German capital, giving the firm nine new transactional partners.

The Berlin expansion fits with MoFo’s long-term strategy of building its mergers and acquisitions practice in key markets while strengthening its representation of technology, media and telecommunications companies, Robert Townsend, co-chairman of the global M&A group, said in a statement.

“Our goal in Germany is to be nothing less than the leading TMT transactional practice in the country,” he said. Adding the Hogan Lovells lawyers “is a giant step in that direction.”

The partners joining MoFo include Christoph Wagner, a mergers and acquisitions lawyer who handles technology, media and telecommunications regulatory matters. Tax and real estate partner Jens-Uwe Hinder and employment and data privacy lawyer Hanno Timner will be the office managing partners.

“Berlin is one of five offices that we have in Germany and by far the smallest,” Chris Hinze, head of corporate communications for Hogan Lovells, said in a telephone interview. “It represents 8 percent of our German revenues.”

Hinze said that Wagner left the firm two months ago by agreement and he confirmed that the additional eight partners in the office will move to MoFo. The firm is currently in discussions about transferring the office to MoFo but intends to relocate staff who don’t wish to leave, he said.

Additional partners joining MoFo are Karin Arnold, corporate; Dirk Besse, corporate M&A; Eckhard Bremer, competition; Andreas Grunwald, TMT regulatory and antitrust; Thomas Keul, litigation; and Jorg Meissner, corporate M&A.

The Berlin office is MoFo’s second new outpost this year, following a January opening in Singapore, the firm’s fifth site in Asia. MoFo has more than 1,000 lawyers in 17 offices worldwide.

“Our clients across the United States, Japan, China and Europe are doing the deals that are driving the fast-paced convergence in the TMT sector,” Larren Nashelsky, chairman of MoFo, said in a statement. “The addition of the Berlin team enhances our ability to help our clients advance their business objectives in Germany and other key European markets.”

Dentons Opens Houston Office to Focus on Energy Market

Dentons LLP will open an office in Houston for its energy clients that will be staffed by existing firm lawyers and used as a hub for its global energy team.

The new office is Dentons’s first since the firm was created in March by combining Fraser Milner Casgrain, Salans and SNR Denton. It’s the firm’s 16th U.S. location and 79th globally.

“With the largest energy practice, our expansion into the capital of American energy is a natural extension of becoming Dentons,” Mike McNamara, the firm’s U.S. managing partner, said in a statement. “Growing in Texas has been a priority, and Dentons’ Houston office will allow our lawyers and professionals to leverage the firm’s extensive global energy network to help clients capture opportunities and adapt to evolving sectors, technologies and regulations.”

Dentons partners Barry Cannaday, Terrence Dill, Martin Gibson, Karl Hopkins, Steve Molina, C. Michael Moore, Mark Nelson, Sinan Pismisoglu, Jason Schumacher, Ryan Sears and Susan Wood are among lawyers who will be based at the office.

Houston is the firm’s second Texas office. The Dallas site opened in 2007 and has about 50 professionals. Dentons has about 2,600 lawyers and professionals in Africa, Asia, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.


Weil Advises Applied Materials on Tokyo Electron Purchase

Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP advised Applied Materials Inc., the largest chipmaking-equipment supplier, on its agreement to acquire Tokyo Electron Ltd. for $9.39 billion in stock in the largest deal for a Japanese company from outside the country in six years.

Jones Day is representing Tokyo Electric along with Nishimura & Asahi. Mori Hamada & Matsumoto and De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek also advised Applied Materials.

Weil’s deal team included Keith Flaum and James Griffin, mergers and acquisitions; Steven Newborn and John Scribner, antitrust; John Brockland, technology and IP transactions; and Ellen Odoner and P.J. Himelfarb, Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure.

Nishimura & Asahi’s lawyers included Kazuhiro Takei, Ryutaro Nakayama, Shinnosuke Fukuoka, Masaki Noda and Stephen Bohrer.

Mori Hamada’s leading lawyers on the transaction were partners Yuto Matsumura, Atsushi Oishi, Rintaro Shinohara and Koji Toshima.

The Jones Day team was led by M&A partner Scott Cohen and included Troy Lewis, M&A; Jim O’Bannon, capital markets; Lester Droller, Lodewijk Berger and Koichi Inoue, tax; Ferdinand Mason and Marc Rijkaart van Cappellen, M&A; Mike Shah, employee benefits and executive compensation; Joe Sims, antitrust; Kathryn Fenton and Ryan Thomas, antitrust; Noel Francisco, government regulation; Carsten Gromotke and Yizhe Zhang, antitrust; David Longstaff, private equity; Mike Davitt, securities litigation and SEC enforcement; and Peter Wang, global disputes.

Gary Dickerson, who became chief executive officer of Applied Materials on Sept. 1, will be CEO of the combined manufacturer, the companies said in a statement yesterday. Applied Materials shareholders will own 68 percent of the new entity.

Dickerson, who replaced Mike Splinter as CEO, is moving to consolidate the industry across continents amid slowing demand for equipment used to prepare silicon during the early stages of chip fabrication. Applied Materials in August forecast revenue that missed analysts’ estimates for the second straight quarter amid a record slump in the personal-computer market and muted semiconductor demand.

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Fox Rothschild Hires Two South Florida Partners

Fox Rothschild LLP hired two Greenberg Traurig LLP attorneys as partners in its West Palm Beach, Florida, office -- real estate partner Howard Bregman and litigator Gary M. Dunkel.

“The addition of these two talented attorneys will help us to continue to provide exceptional value for our clients in South Florida,” Amy S. Rubin, office managing partner, said in a statement.

Bregman, who was managing shareholder of Greenberg’s West Palm Beach and Boca Raton offices for 20 years, handles commercial development, financing, sales and acquisitions, resort and hotel development and property leasing matters.

Dunkel works in business disputes, real estate litigation, creditors’ rights, bank litigation, non-compete lawsuits, foreclosures and commercial landlord-tenant disputes.

Fox Rothschild has more than 550 attorneys in 19 U.S. offices.


Boston Bomb Suspect Loses Bid for Second Death-Penalty Lawyer

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 20-year-old Russian immigrant charged with bombing the Boston Marathon, lost a court bid to be represented by a second lawyer experienced in saving accused terrorists from the death penalty.

A request to hire David Bruck, a professor at Washington & Lee University School of Law in Lexington, Virginia, who directs the campus’s death-penalty defense clinic, was denied Sept. 23 by U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole Jr. in Boston. The ruling was indicated in a brief posting in the case’s online docket. A written decision wasn’t available.

Tsarnaev is charged with killing two women and an 8-year-old boy and injuring 260 others with homemade bombs left in crowds near the marathon’s finish line. The April 15 bombing was the first deadly terrorist attack in the U.S. since Sept. 11, 2001.

The request to hire Bruck was made by Tsarnaev’s current death-penalty lawyer, Judy Clarke, who has represented murder and terrorism convicts including “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski and 1996 Olympics bomber Eric Rudolph. Both men received life sentences after Clarke arranged plea deals to avoid capital punishment.

Clarke said in court papers filed July 15 that the marathon bombing defense is too complex for one specialist. She didn’t return a call seeking comment on the ruling.

Tsarnaev, an ethnic Chechen who’s now a U.S. citizen, was inspired by al-Qaeda and motivated by the U.S. military’s killing of Muslim civilians, according to prosecutors. Tsarnaev pleaded not guilty on July 10 to 30 counts, including claims he shot to death a university police officer in the days after the attack.

Prosecutors haven’t said whether they will seek the death penalty in the case -- a decision that must come from Attorney General Eric Holder. Whatever penalty the U.S. seeks, a jury will decide following a trial that hasn’t been scheduled.

Bruck and Clarke previously worked together representing Susan Smith, the South Carolina woman who was convicted in 1995 of drowning her two young sons the previous year by locking them in her car and letting it roll into a lake.

Bruck negotiated a life sentence in 2004 for Jordanian Zayd Hassan Safarini, who hijacked Pan Am flight 73 on the tarmac of a Pakistani airport in 1986 and executed an American on board. Safarini and his accomplices later opened fire on the passengers and flight attendants with automatic weapons and threw hand grenades at them, killing 20.

The case is U.S. v. Tsarnaev, 13-10200, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

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