Ex-Antitrust Official Joins Gibson Dunn: Business of Law

Scott Hammond, the former head of criminal enforcement in the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust division, will join Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP as a partner in Washington focusing on criminal antitrust and international cartel matters.

Hammond was hired by the antitrust division after graduating from University of North Carolina School of Law in 1988. In 2000, he was promoted to director of criminal enforcement and named deputy assistant attorney General in 2005.

In that position, Hammond supervised domestic and international criminal investigations and prosecutions, leading the division’s enforcement efforts in industries including LCD panels, air transportation and auto parts.

Among those cases was a guilty plea in September by Mitsubishi Electric Corp., Hitachi Automotive Systems Ltd. and seven other Japanese companies, which agreed to pay a total of $740 million in fines for a price-fixing conspiracy targeting automakers that resulted in inflated costs on more than $5 billion of parts.

Hammond also crafted the division’s leniency program that rewards voluntary disclosure of cartel activity in order to avoid criminal conviction, the firm said in a statement.

“Scott is a long-standing leader of global cartel investigations and prosecutions, and his addition will ensure that Gibson Dunn will continue to be the ‘go-to’ firm for cartel defense work,” Gary Spratling, co-chairman of the firm’s antitrust and trade regulation practice group said in a statement.

Spratling, who led the division’s criminal enforcement when Hammond was senior counsel, said, “He first established a model enforcement program that is being replicated around the world, and then was a leading force in facilitating international cooperation among antitrust authorities globally.”

In April, Gibson Dunn hired another well-known antitrust lawyer, Ali Nikpay. He joined the firm after working at the U.K.’s competition authority, the Office of Fair Trading, as the senior director for cartels and criminal enforcement.

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

Quinn Emanuel Adds Cleary International White Collar Lawyer

Juan Morillo will join Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP as a partner and co-chairman of the Washington white collar and corporate investigations group. Morillo was previously a partner in the Washington office of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, where he focused primarily on white collar defense and internal investigations for large corporate clients.

“We have been working hard over the last decade to expand our international footprint. This is another big step in that direction,” managing partner John B. Quinn said in a statement. “Juan has built an impeccable reputation in the international white collar bar representing foreign companies in high profile cases.”

Quinn Emanuel has more than 700 lawyers in its business litigation firm at offices in the U.S., Asia and Europe.

Bracewell & Giuliani Adds Former Federal Prosecutor

Glen A. Kopp, a former federal prosecutor, has joined Bracewell & Giuliani LLP’s New York office as a partner in the white collar defense, internal investigations and regulatory enforcement practice.

Kopp spent almost six years as an assistant U.S. attorney in the Southern District of New York, where he handled investigations and prosecutions of cases involving fraud, terrorism, national security, hostage taking, and narcotics and weapons trafficking, the firm said.

He prosecuted Mario Villanueva Madrid, a former Mexican governor, for conspiring to launder millions of dollars of illegal drug proceeds as well as Manssor Arbabsiar for plotting to assassinate the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the U.S., the firm said.

At Bracewell & Giuliani, Kopp’s practice will focus on criminal trials, regulatory enforcement, litigation, and internal investigations.

“We’ve been consumed with jury trials and complex investigations all around the country in the last couple of years and Glen is the kind of first-rate lawyer we want in those serious cases,” Marc L. Mukasey, who leads the firm’s white collar practice, said in a statement.

Bracewell & Giuliani has 485 lawyers at offices in Texas, New York, Washington, Connecticut, Seattle, Dubai, and London.

Davidoff Hutcher Adds to T&E Practice in Long Island Office

Davidoff Hutcher & Citron LLP announced that Sandra N. Busell has joined the firm as a partner in the trusts and estates group. She was previously managing partner of Busell & Stier in Great Neck, New York.

Busell will continue her elder law and trusts and estates practice, which covers matters related to trusts, estates, Medicaid planning, elder care, guardianships and real estate. Two associates will also be joining her.

Davidoff Hutcher has over 50 attorneys at offices in New York, Albany, Washington and Garden City, Long Island.


Regulator Chilton to Step Down; Bowen Top Candidate

Bart Chilton, a U.S. regulator who pushed for tighter regulation of swaps and derivatives, said he’ll step down from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission.

A leading candidate under consideration to fill Chilton’s spot is securities lawyer Sharon Y. Bowen, according to four people in the financial industry who said they were briefed by administration officials. Bowen, a partner with Latham & Watkins LLP in New York, is acting chairman of the Securities Investor Protection Corp., which restores funds to investors defrauded by brokerages.

Chilton, 53, has been a member of the CFTC since 2007. His announcement during an agency meeting yesterday comes less than two months before CFTC Chairman Gary Gensler, an ally and fellow Democrat, is to leave the agency. With one seat on the five-member commission already vacant, departures by Chilton and Gensler would leave the panel with just two members, Republican Scott O’Malia and Democrat Mark Wetjen.

Chilton said he waited to announce his resignation until the agency voted to propose a rule curbing the size of positions in speculative commodity trading, which Chilton has blamed for driving up consumer prices for gasoline. He didn’t say what he plans to do after leaving the commission.

Bowen didn’t respond to telephone calls seeking comment. The White House press office didn’t respond to requests for comment sent after normal business

Norton Rose Wins Return of Mistakenly Disclosed Legal Documents

Australia’s top court ordered the return of confidential client communications to Norton Rose Fulbright’s Australian office, saying that the law firm that mistakenly got them had a duty to do so.

“In the not too distant past it was understood that acting in this way obviates unnecessary and costly” applications, the High Court of Australia said yesterday, overturning a state appeal court decision that lawyers can’t reclaim rights to confidentiality over inadvertently released documents.

Marque Lawyers, acting for a company suing Norton Rose Fulbright’s clients, refused to return 13 documents they were mistakenly given in 2011. It claimed that attorney-client privilege over the communications in the documents had been waived by being sent to them as part of court-ordered discovery and the state appeal court agreed last year.

“In reality, there was no question of waiver sufficient to be agitated,” the High Court said today in its ruling. “Any allegation of waiver was going to turn on a legal, technical argument tangential to the main proceedings, and should not have been made.”

Michael Bradley, managing partner at Marque, wasn’t immediately available to comment on the ruling.

Australia’s top court, which widened the scope of privileged documents in 1999, hasn’t addressed the issue of them being released by mistake until now.

The case is Expense Reduction Analysts Group Pty v. Armstrong Strategic Management and Marketing Pty. 2013/HCA46 High Court of Australia (Canberra).

Firm News

Real Estate Law Firm Opens San Francisco Office With New Hire

California real estate law firm Miller Starr Regalia is establishing an office in San Francisco with firm attorneys who are relocating as well as with the hire of a real estate shareholder.

F. Gale Connor, who has been practicing eminent domain and real property law in San Francisco for more than 25 years, has joined the firm as a shareholder from Nossaman LLP. 

“With the increase in real estate activity, including the migration of many high tech companies from Silicon Valley to South of Market, the growth of biotechnology, healthcare and pharmaceutical companies, as well as land development and business expansion from clients headquartered in San Francisco or doing significant business here, we believe that establishing an office in SOMA places our transactional, land use and litigation attorneys in the heart of the action,” Anthony M. Leones, Miller Starr’s managing shareholder said in a statement.

Joining Connor in the San Francisco office are Miller Starr shareholders Lance Anderson and Kenneth Styles as well as a litigation associate.

Anderson is a transactional shareholder with experience in retail, office, industrial and laboratory leasing as well as the acquisition and disposition of real estate. Styles is a shareholder whose practice focuses on commercial and real estate litigation and title and escrow regulatory/consulting matters.

Miller Starr is headquartered in Walnut Creek, CA with a Southern California office located in Newport Beach.