Lott to Lead Squire Patton Policy Group: Business of Law

Squire Patton Boggs named former U.S. Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and ex-Senate Deputy Minority Whip John Breaux, both partners, as co-chairmen of the firm’s public policy practice.

Lott, a Mississippi Republican, and Breaux, a Louisiana Democrat, joined Patton Boggs in 2010, where they worked as a semi-autonomous group within the firm’s public-policy practice. With the June 1 combination of Patton Boggs and Squire Sanders, Lott and Breaux and their team were fully integrated within Squire Patton Boggs, according to a firm statement.

“One of the many strengths of legacy Patton Boggs is its pre-eminent public policy practice, and we have been evaluating how to best position and integrate the capabilities of the two firms in this area,” Chairman and Global Chief Executive Officer Jim Maiwurm said in a statement.

GM Ignition-Switch Judge Names Lead Lawyers From Toyota Cases

The lead attorneys in lawsuits against Toyota Motor Corp. over sudden acceleration will take temporary charge of claims of alleged economic loss from General Motors vehicles that were recalled because of ignition-switch defects.

Steve W. Berman, Elizabeth Cabraser and Mark P. Robinson Jr., who helped arrange a $1.6 billion settlement with Toyota over lost vehicle value, will “initiate the process” in the GM litigation, U.S. District Judge Jesse M. Furman in Manhattan said in a June 24 order.

General Motors has recalled 2.59 million compact cars with potentially faulty ignition switches linked to at least 13 deaths. Customers have filed at least 87 proposed class actions seeking reimbursement for lost value of the recalled vehicles.

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Barclays Hires WilmerHale to Aid in Dark Pool Case, Reuters Says

Barclays Plc tapped Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP to aid in its defense against allegations that it deceived investors in its “dark pool” trading venue, Reuters said, citing people familiar with the matter.

Matthew Martens, a former litigator at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission who led the civil fraud trial against former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. vice president Fabrice Tourre, is among the attorneys working with Barclays.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a civil complaint June 25 saying Barclays lied to customers and masked the role of high-frequency traders as it sought to boost revenue at one of Wall Street’s largest private trading venues.

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American Airlines Bankruptcy Professionals Ask $371.7 Million

Professionals who worked on American Airlines Inc.’s bankruptcy will have a hearing July 1 on court approval $407.5 million in fee requests.

If the bankruptcy judge in Manhattan follows the advice of Robert J. Keach, the court-appointed fee examiner, he will dispense $371.7 million in fees and another $16.3 million in expenses, or 4.8 percent less than what’s being asked.

Keach, of Bernstein Shur Sawyer & Nelson PA in Portland, Maine, negotiated about $14 million in fee reductions, not counting cuts some firms took voluntarily. Keach’s own fees amount to $3.2 million.

The largest payment, $74.5 million, would go to Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, the airline’s chief bankruptcy lawyers. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, the firm for the official creditors’ committee, is in for a $27.8 million payday.

AMR Corp., the airline’s parent, filed for bankruptcy in November 2011 and exited in December, merging with US Airways Group Inc. to form American Airlines Group Inc., based in Fort Worth, Texas.


Greenberg Traurig, Littler, Kilpatrick: Partner Roundup

Greenberg Traurig LLP added Loretta A. Tuell to its American-Indian, government-and-policy and gaming practices in Washington. Tuell most recently worked as majority staff director and chief counsel for the U.S. Senate Indian Affairs Committee.

Littler Mendelson PC added labor and employment partner Ricardo Martinez-Rojas to its Mexico City office from Baker & McKenzie LLP with a team of four associates.

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP said Heather Preston is joining the Atlanta office’s corporate-tax team from Arnall Golden Gregory LLP.

Troutman Sanders LLP said Charan Brahma joined its intellectual-property practice in Washington from Greenberg Traurig. The firm said Chengfei Ding joined the corporate practice as a partner in Shanghai from Baker & McKenzie.

Larry Feldman, an entertainment and business litigator, joins Liner LLP from Kaye Scholer LLP.

The Chicago firm Arnstein & Lehr LLP announced that Edward Quinlisk joined the corporate transactions and counseling practice from McDonald Hopkins LLC.

Kaufman Dolowich & Voluck LLP said J. Robert MacAneney, who has experience in insurance coverage law on both the corporate and law firm side, joined its New York office from American International Group Inc.


GM Victims’ Lawyer Says Feinberg to Offer Uncapped Payment Fund

Kenneth Feinberg, who’s creating a fund to compensate victims of General Motors Co.’s faulty ignition switch, is expected to offer payments for all drivers, passengers and bystanders killed or hurt in collisions related to the defect, according to a lawyer who said he’s spoken to him.

Money is expected to be offered even if the driver was drinking or GM believes the company could block the claim in court by citing its bankruptcy, said attorney Bob Hilliard, who is suing Detroit-based GM over deaths and injuries allegedly due to ignition-switch failures.

Feinberg, hired by GM Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra to administer the company’s compensation fund, will announce the details today.

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