White & Case Hires Linklaters Duo: Business of Law

Linklaters LLP’s private-equity co-heads, Ian Bagshaw and Richard Youle, are joining White & Case LLP in London.

“As the European economy continues its recovery, private equity in Europe will see increasing opportunities,” John Reiss, head of the White & Case global mergers and acquisitions practice, said in a statement. “The addition of these talented individuals will allow us to capitalize on these opportunities.”

Bagshaw and Youle have experience in leveraged M&A and portfolio assistance, including restructuring advice. Bagshaw worked with Rhone Capital LLC on its acquisition of Eden Springs and 3i Group Plc on the $700 million sale of the Xellia pharmaceutical group to Novo A/S.

Youle’s work included advising Global Infrastructure Partners on its agreement to acquire a 35 percent stake in Terminal Investment Ltd., according to his firm biography.

White & Case advised on 102 deals in the first six months of the year, including advising BC Partners Holdings Ltd. on the acquisition of Allflex from Electra Partners LLP. The law firm has lawyers in 40 offices across 27 countries.


Ex-Pentagon Counsel Said to Be Obama Homeland Security Choice

President Barack Obama has decided on Jeh Johnson, former Pentagon general counsel, as his next Homeland Security secretary, an administration official said. He is currently a partner in the Washington office of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

Johnson, 56, will be formally announced as the nominee by Obama today, according to the official, who asked for anonymity because the decision hasn’t been made public, Bloomberg News’ Lisa Lerer and David Lerman reported.

The nomination is subject to Senate confirmation. He would replace Janet Napolitano, who left the administration at the end of August to become head of the University of California system.

Johnson, one of the president’s earliest supporters, was a fundraiser and senior foreign policy adviser on Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. Obama appointed him as Defense Department general counsel on Feb. 10, 2009. He resigned last December and returned to private practice.

As the top lawyer at the Pentagon, he was at the center of some of the Obama administration’s highest-profile national security issues. Johnson was directly involved in changing the rules for military commissions such as those used to try accused terrorists at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and responding to the 2010 release of classified documents by Wikileaks about the war in Afghanistan.

“He’s really a good choice,” said Morris Davis, a former chief military prosecutor at Guantanamo Bay who has worked with Johnson. “He was in my view the best general counsel we had in my 25 years in the Air Force. He’s got the legal acumen, the people skills, the organizational skills.”

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Morrison & Foerster Adds Two Corporate Finance Partners

Morrison & Foerster LLP said John A. Good and Justin R. Salon joined the firm’s corporate finance practice in Washington as partners. Both were previously at Bass, Berry & Sims Plc, where Good led the real-estate investment trust and business development company/investment-management practices.

Good’s and Salon’s practices focus on securities offerings and other corporate finance matters, mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and general representation of public and private companies and underwriters, the firm said.

Good has served as outside general counsel to 18 public companies since 2000, and has worked as counsel for underwriters’or issuers on more than 80 securities offerings, including 15 IPOs, since 2005. He has been underwriters’ counsel to Deutsche Bank Securities, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Friedman Billings Ramsey & Co., UBS AG and Wachovia Securities, among others, the firm said.

Salon has represented both issuers and underwriters in connection with IPOs, primary and secondary offerings, private placements, senior and subordinated debt financings and tender offers. He represented AutoZone Inc. and underwriters in $800 million in senior notes offerings, the firm said.

Morrison & Foerster has more than 1,000 lawyers worldwide.

Nelson Mullins Hires Attorneys in Charlotte

Two partners joined Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP’s office in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Sarah Buffett, previously of Moore & Van Allen PLLC, focuses on international, corporate and immigration law practices.

Keith Jones, who had his own firm, focuses on commercial real estate finance, acquisitions, dispositions and leasing of commercial real property, among other matters.

Nelson Mullins has more than 500 attorneys and other professionals with offices in Washington, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.

Bankruptcy and Restructuring Lawyer Joins Morgan Lewis

New York bankruptcy lawyer Glenn E. Siegel joined Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP as a partner in its business and finance practice and co-head of its bankruptcy and restructuring group. He was most recently a partner in the bankruptcy, business restructuring and reorganization practice at Dechert LLP.

Siegel has counseled bondholders, indenture trustees, acquirers of distressed businesses and assets, secured creditors, shareholders, debtors and other participants in bankruptcy and workout matters. “

“Adding Glenn to our practice will help us to effectively serve the needs of a growing contingent of distressed investors playing a more significant role in bankruptcy cases,” Charles Engros, the leader of Morgan Lewis’s business and finance practice, said in a statement.

Morgan Lewis has more than 1,600 legal professionals at 25 offices in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Quarles & Brady Adds Corporate Partner in Washington

Quarles & Brady LLP said Steven M. Goldman joined the firm’s Washington office as a partner in the corporate services practice group.

Goldman was most recently a partner at Parker Hudson Rainer & Dobbs LLP in Atlanta. He also has worked as an executive vice president at Marriott International Inc., the firm said.

Goldman has litigated franchise-termination disputes and bankruptcy and receivership matters, and has handled licensing transactions and provided counseling solutions for franchise, intellectual property and distribution law challenges.

Quarles & Brady has 450 lawyers at nine U.S. offices and an office in Shanghai.


Fracking Opponents Find Lawyers Beat Superglue in Slowing Shale

Campaigners desperate to prevent the birth of a U.K. shale gas industry have glued themselves to walls, barricaded country lanes and climbed drill rigs. Yet their most potent weapon is more prosaic: lawyers, Bloomberg News’ Nidaa Bakhsh reports.

Anti-shale groups including Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace are using environmental and property law to challenge drilling at every turn, and it’s working. Production is now likely to start in 2018, two years later than originally envisaged, partly because getting permission to explore has been so slow, said John Williams, senior principal at Poyry Plc, an energy consultant in Oxford.

The delay is frustrating Prime Minister David Cameron’s goal of boosting economic growth and cutting energy prices through developing shale resources. For the protesters, no good can come from hydraulic fracturing, the process that uses a mix of pressurized water and chemicals to prise fuel out of shale rock. They say it pollutes water and contributes to greenhouse-gas emissions.

“There is a broad range of legal and commercial dynamics for the nascent U.K. shale industry to navigate,” said Jon Clark, head of oil and gas transaction services at Ernst & Young LLP. “Lobby groups are scrutinizing and applying challenges in many of these areas.”

The U.K. isn’t the only country where the law is stopping explorers trying to repeat the success of the industry in the U.S.’s shale fields. France’s highest court upheld a ban on fracking last week, while drillers face a legal battle to develop fields in South Africa. On Oct. 10, the European Parliament voted to tighten regulation on shale drilling.

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Firm News

Law Firms LeClairRyan and Adelman, Sheff & Smith Combine

LeClairRyan acquired 11-lawyer Annapolis, Maryland, health-care firm Adelman, Sheff & Smith LLC.

“Health-care is one of the fastest-growing and most heavily regulated industries, requiring legal counsel that is both agile and experienced,” LeClairRyan Chief Executive Officer David Freinberg said in a statement. “Our new colleagues from Adelman, Sheff & Smith possess both of those qualities.”

The consolidated firm, which will continue to be known as LeClairRyan, will have 344 attorneys and 22 offices in 10 states and the District of Columbia. Adelman Sheff’s lawyers and staff will remain in their current offices in Annapolis and Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Those attorneys focus primarily on representing health-care providers and facilities in federal and state compliance, regulatory and litigation matters, in addition to general corporate services.

“Combining our health-care practice with LeClairRyan’s labor and employment, construction, IP and other practices will help us provide a full range of legal services to health-care providers across the country,” Al Adelman of Adelman Sheff said in a statement.


Ex-Madoff Employees Duped After Years of Loyalty, Jury Told

Former employees of Bernard L. Madoff who are on trial on charges they aided the convicted con man’s $17 billion Ponzi scheme were unaware of the fraud and were duped into helping him keep it going, lawyers told a jury.

Daniel Bonventre, 66, the operations chief who signed checks for Madoff’s securities firm and worked with its general ledger, was fooled by Madoff’s “depraved and pathological lies,” Andrew Frisch, his lawyer, said yesterday in his opening statement in federal court in New York. “Dan did what Madoff told him to do. That’s what the evidence will show. Dan believed Madoff like so many others.”

Bonventre “never lied, never shredded documents, never ran and hid” after Madoff’s arrest in 2008, Frisch said. “He had no reason to. He didn’t know about the Ponzi scheme.”

In his guilty plea in 2009, Madoff said the market-making and proprietary trading side of his firm was “legitimate” while admitting he ran the scheme from the advisory business, Bernard L. Madoff Investment Securities LLC.

Annette Bongiorno, a Madoff employee for 40 years who went from being his personal secretary to helping run the company’s investment advisory business, “never understood that she was involved in a fraud,” her lawyer Roland Riopelle told the jury yesterday in his opening statement.

The lawyers were the first among the defense to present opening statements in the trial of the five ex-employees.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew Schwartz told jurors Oct. 16 that the defendants created millions of false account statements and elaborate trading records to mislead anyone who came in contact with the company, and became rich in the process.

“They enabled the fraud in different but essential ways,” Schwartz told the 12-person jury. “They did it for the most simple reason of all -- greed.”

Jerry Reisman, a lawyer representing 35 victims of Madoff in litigation over the fraud, said yesterday in an e-mail any claim that the defendants were duped by Madoff is “absurd.”

“They were not only complicit, but their actions enabled Madoff to continue his deceitful operation,” Reisman, whose clients lost $125 million, said. “Their ongoing efforts to aid Bernie Madoff made them his partners, not just his workers.”

The former employees, all of whom have pleaded not guilty, are Bonventre, Bongiorno, Joann Crupi, a manager of large accounts who worked closely with Bongiorno; and computer programmers Jerome O’Hara and George Perez, whose expertise was used to generate millions of corporate documents.

O’Hara’s lawyer, Gordon Mehler, yesterday told the jury there was no extortion and that O’Hara and Perez had had a “courageous confrontation” with Madoff after becoming uncomfortable with some of the code they were expected to work on. They expected to be fired and were “relieved” when Madoff accepted their concerns, Mehler said.

Madoff, 75, admitted to federal agents in December 2008 that his company was a sham. He pleaded guilty to 11 counts and was sentenced to 150 years in prison, though he claimed all along that he worked alone and refused to implicate anyone else.

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