Latham, Kirkland, Wachtell on Darden: Business of Law

Latham & Watkins LLP advised Darden Restaurants Inc., which agreed to sell the Red Lobster seafood-restaurant chain to Golden Gate Capital for $2.1 billion.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP represented Golden Gate. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is legal adviser to Darden directors.

Latham & Watkins’s M&A team was led by partners David Dantzic, Jennifer Perkins and Edward Sonnenschein. Advice was also provided by partners Pardis Zomorodi and Laurence Stein on tax matters, and James Hisiger on the related real estate sale-leaseback transaction.

The Kirkland team includes corporate partners Mikaal Shoaib and Tana Ryan and real estate partners John Caruso and Joshua Hanna.

Wachtell Lipton’s team was led by Daniel A. Neff and Sabastian V. Niles and included corporate partners Daniel A. Neff, and Stephanie J. Seligman.

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Senior White House Official Edward Siskel to Join WilmerHale

Edward Siskel, deputy White House counsel and deputy assistant to the president, is joining Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP in Washington, where he will be among the leaders of the strategic-response group.

At the White House, Siskel provided legal and strategic advice on compliance, oversight, national security and risk management.

He previously held a senior position in the office of the deputy attorney general at the Justice Department. He advised senior officials of the Justice Department, Securities and Exchange Commission and other law enforcement agencies on legal and security matters, the firm said.

Perkins Coie, Sheppard Mullin: Lateral Lawyer Moves

Perkins Coie LLP said Chris Gavin has joined its New York office as a partner in the financial transactions and restructuring group.  He was most recently at Mayer Brown LLP.

Also in New York, Michael V. Solomita joined Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP as a partner in the intellectual-property practice. Solomita joins from Amster, Rothstein & Ebenstein LLP.

Dennis J. Dozis joined Littleton Littleton Joyce Ughetta Park & Kelly LLP’s New York office as a partner in the appellate and construction practices. He was previously at Kaufman, Borgeest & Ryan LLP.

The London law firm Lewis Silkin LLP announced that Wagman Adair partner and co-owner Jane Robinson is joining its media, brands and technology team as a consultant.

Howard Weissman, who was most recently associate general counsel-international at Lockheed Martin, joined Baker & McKenzie LLP’s compliance practice as counsel.

Law Firm News

Patton Boggs and Squire Sanders to Vote on Tie-Up, Reuters Says

Patton Boggs LLP and Squire Sanders will vote this week on merging the two firms, according to Reuters, which cited unidentified people familiar with the matter.

The news comes in the wake of Patton Boggs’s agreement May 7 to pay $15 million to settle Chevron Corp’s lawsuit over the law firm’s involvement in obtaining a $9.5 billion judgment against the oil company in Ecuador.

Patton Boggs, with about 350 lawyers, is known for its government and lobbying practice. Squire Sanders is a 1,300-lawyer firm with broad international reach. They announced merger talks in February. The new firm would be called Squire Patton Boggs, according to Reuters.

Spokesman at both firms didn’t immediately return e-mails sent after regular business hours seeking comment on the merger talks.

Patton Boggs has struggled with declining revenue, partner defections and layoffs in the past year. The Chevron settlement came after a federal judge determined in March that an attorney from another firm resorted to bribery and fraud in procuring the judgment in Ecuador that held the oil company liable for polluting the Amazon rain forest.

Troutman Sanders Opens Charlotte Office With K&L Gates Team

Troutman Sanders LLP is opening an office in Charlotte, North Carolina, with a team of five real estate and corporate partners from K&L Gates LLP.

Walter D. Fisher Jr. will be managing partner of the new office. He will be joined by partners G. Lee Cory Jr., David H. Jones, Patrick L. Ridinger and Paul A. Steffens.

This is the firm’s second office in North Carolina. The Raleigh office opened in 2003. The firm has been focused in North Carolina on real estate, real estate finance, banking, litigation, environmental and energy matters.


Senate Confirms Morgan Lewis Partner for Justice Department Post

Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP litigation partner Leslie Caldwell was confirmed May 15 by a voice vote of the U.S. Senate as assistant attorney general in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

Caldwell joined Morgan Lewis’s New York office as a litigation partner in 2004. She co-led the corporate investigations and white-collar practice from 2004 to 2009.

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