DTCC Lawyer to Help Lead Blank Rome Team: Business of Law

James E. Odell joined Blank Rome LLP as co-head of the financial-services industry team and a partner in the finance, restructuring and bankruptcy group in New York.

Odell joins from Depository Trust & Clearing Corp., where he was managing director and legal head, advising DTCC’s general counsel and senior management, the firm said.

Before working at Depositary Trust, Odell was general counsel in the Americas for UBS AG and, previously, global general counsel of investment banking for Citigroup Inc.

U.S. Prosecutor Brown Joins Dechert Litigation Team in New York

Jeffrey A. Brown, co-chief of the general crimes unit for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan, joined Dechert LLP as a litigation partner.

Brown joined the U.S. Attorney’s Office in 2005 and was involved in the prosecutions of Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square bomber, and Abduwali Muse, the Somali pirate who led the attempted hijacking of the Maersk Alabama, the firm said.

Ex-Forest Laboratories General Counsel Joins Lowenstein Sandler

Herschel S. Weinstein joined Lowenstein Sandler LLP as senior counsel and vice chairman of its life-sciences group in New York. He most recently worked as general counsel at Forest Laboratories Inc., where he established the in-house legal function, the firm said.

At Lowenstein, Weinstein will advise on corporate and securities law, licensing and joint-venture transactions and health-care compliance, the firm said.

Covington Adds Former U.S. International Trade Chairman Aranoff

Shara Aranoff, former chairman of the U.S. International Trade Commission, joined Covington & Burling LLP as of counsel in the intellectual property and international trade practices.

Firm News

GM-Recall Law Firms Beasley Allen, Cooper Join in Litigation

Two law firms suing General Motors Co. over alleged wrongful deaths and injuries stemming from ignition switch defects said they joined forces in the litigation.

Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles PC, based in Montgomery, Alabama, and the Cooper Firm, led by Lance Cooper and based in Marietta, Georgia, announced their coordinated effort yesterday.

Cooper helped uncover GM’s faulty ignition switch by taking testimony from GM engineers during a wrongful-death suit he filed in 2011. The defective switches can unexpectedly cut power to cars and deactivate air bags. GM has recalled 2.59 million vehicles for the defect and linked it to 13 deaths.

Beasley Allen was involved in cases over claims that defective Toyota Motor Corp. cars accelerated spontaneously.

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Allen & Overy Opens Myanmar Office Headed by Simon Makinson

Allen & Overy LLP announced the addition of an office in Yangon, Myanmar, the firm’s sixth site in the Association of South East Asian Nations and 12th in the Asia-Pacific region.

The office, managed by Simon Makinson, officially opened in November. Allen & Overy advised Norway’s Telenor ASA on its successful bid for one of two recently awarded telecommunications licenses, Makinson, who is also the firm’s ASEAN group chairman, said in a statement.


Women Lawyers Average 10 Percent Billing Gap, WSJ reports

Female law firm partners bill 10 percent less on average than their male colleagues, despite having similar levels of experience and working in the same markets, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The pay differences begins with new associates and becomes greater as lawyers gain more experience, according to the newspaper. For example, a male partner in New York with 13 to 24 years of experience, representing investment banks at a firm with more than 1,000 lawyers, billed $679 an hour, almost 25 percent more than an equivalent female partner, the Journal said.

Most of those interviewed about an explanation for the pay gap attributed it to subjective practices by firms, the newspaper said.

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Russia Knows Europe Sanctions Are Ineffective With Tax Havens

Two years ago, a Dutch law firm prepared a pitch in Moscow to Russian businesses: come to the Netherlands and we can help you avoid taxes and keep your assets safe.

“You can rely on our legal system!” the firm, Buren van Velzen Guelen, said in a slide presentation.

Such appeals worked. Russia’s biggest oil, gas, mining and retail companies have moved tens of billions of corporate assets to the Netherlands and other European countries often used for tax avoidance and capital flight.

As a result, a handful of European tax havens may hold the key to pressuring Russia to pull back from Ukraine. The extensive use of foreign subsidiaries by Russia’s richest businessmen exposes their assets to sanctions.

Yet capitalizing on this vulnerability requires help from countries that rely economically on Russian capital flight and have traditionally protected investors against foreign laws.

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