Venable Adds Four From Saul Ewing: Business of Law

Venable LLP added four attorneys in Baltimore, increasing the size of its litigation, regulatory, environmental and energy practices there.

The four were previously with the firm Saul Ewing LLP, Venable said in a statement.

J. Joseph “Max” Curran III and William DuBois joined as partners. Christopher Gunderson is of counsel to the firm’s commercial-litigation practice, and Jessica Raba joins as an associate in the regulatory group.

Curran, a former commissioner with Maryland’s Public Service Commission, and Dubois, an energy and environmental attorney, represent energy, utility, telecommunications and water companies in regulatory matters before the commission. They also have advised clients in energy sector mergers.

During his six-year term at the commission, Curran played a role in policy making. Dubois represents energy companies in environmental matters before state and federal agencies.

Gunderson represents institutional and corporate clients in litigation and regulatory matters, the firm said.

Lateral Moves

Lori Johnson to Join Chamberlain Hrdlicka’s IP Practice

Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry announced that Lori Johnson, an intellectual-property lawyer and former patent examiner for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is joining the firm as an equity shareholder in Atlanta.

Johnson previously was a partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP.

“Lori is going to be an enormous asset to our practice,” said Collin Rose, practice leader of Chamberlain Hrdlicka’s intellectual-property section. “Her level of institutional knowledge and technical expertise adds tremendous depth to our team.”

Johnson will represent clients “with IP portfolio establishment and landscape analysis, as well as due diligence for acquisitions and new product launches, and dispute resolution in the chemical area,” according to a statement by Chamberlain Hrdlicka.


Davis Polk, Cravath Swaine Advise on Roche-InterMune Merger

Roche Holding AG and InterMune Inc. entered into an agreement for Roche to fully acquire InterMune in an all-cash transaction valued at $8.3 billion, according to a statement by InterMune.

The merger was approved by the boards of both companies. Roche will get InterMune for $74 a share.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP represented Roche. The firm’s team was led by corporate partners Arthur F. Golden and Marc O. Williams. Additional partners on the team were Jean M. McLoughlin and Edmond T. FitzGerald, executive compensation advice; and Ronan P. Harty, antitrust and competition; and Michael Mollerus, tax. Citigroup Inc. was a financial adviser to Roche on the deal.

Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP partners Faiza J. Saeed and Ting S. Chen of the firm’s mergers-and-acquisitions practice represented InterMune, with Christine A. Varney providing antitrust advice.

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP corporate partners Francis J. Aquila, Brian E. Hamilton and Krishna Veeraraghavan represented Centerview Partners, a financial adviser to InterMune.

Court News

Kilpatrick’s Dietz to Become North Carolina Appeals Court Judge

Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP partner Richard Dietz will join the North Carolina Court of Appeals, Governor Pat McCrory said yesterday in a statement.

Dietz will fill the seat of Judge Bob Hunter Jr., who will become a state Supreme Court justice Sept. 6, according to the statement.

Dietz, who is in the firm’s Winston-Salem office, is a board-certified specialist in appellate practice and a member of Kilpatrick Townsend’s appellate and Supreme Court team.

In 2013, McCrory appointed Dietz to the North Carolina Courts Commission, which studies and the courts and recommends reforms.

Firm Research

Baker & McKenzie Reports Common Economic Challenges for Media

A report by lawyers at Baker & McKenzie LLP found common ground among global media companies when it came to economic challenges and differences regionally in regulatory barriers to industry recovery.

The report by Sydney-based partners Adrian J. Lawrence and Andrew Stewart draws from a study of 187 media companies as far flung as Australia, Hong Kong, the U.S., and the U.K.

They found that media companies worldwide confront common business concerns: 95 percent face “challenged revenue growth due to economic uncertainty;” 85 percent anticipate loss of advertising revenue; and half report saturation of free online content. Economic conditions were paramount on the minds of media executives, especially in the U.S.

When it came to regulations, cross-media ownership restrictions were identified as “a significant barrier to investment and growth” in Australia, Singapore and Hong Kong, but not in the U.S., where concerns were expressed about regulation hindering competition and free speech.

The change in advertising models calls into question whether the cross-media ownership barriers such as those in Australia are still necessary, said Stewart.

Media regulation in Australia is based on the pre-digital markets “and is struggling to keep up,” said Lawrence.

Three-fourths of the respondents worldwide favored industry self-regulation.