Hunton & Williams Hires Former U.S. Attorney: Business of Law

Hunton & Williams LLP has hired Timothy Heaphy, the former U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia, as a partner in its Washington and Richmond, Virginia, offices.

Heaphy, who had been U.S. attorney in Charlottesville, Virginia, since 2009, will lead the firm’s white-collar defense and internal-investigations practice.

Heaphy led an investigation into the mortgage practices of SunTrust Banks Inc., Georgia’s biggest lender. In a settlement last July, SunTrust agreed to pay as much as $320 million to resolve federal criminal allegations it mishandled applicants for mortgage modifications. Heaphy said at the time of the agreement that SunTrust had mismanaged its program but hadn’t committed fraud.

He also led an investigation into so-called off-label pharmaceutical marketing, as well as cases related to national security and financial fraud, the firm said in a statement.

Lawsuit News

Zuckerberg Bedroom Privacy Hinges on Claim of Broken Promise

A number of e-mails are at the center of property war between Mark Zuckerberg, the billionaire founder of Facebook Inc., and a real estate developer who had contracted to buy the property behind Zuckerberg’s home in Palo Alto, California.

The developer, Mircea Voskerician had sent a letter to the Facebook chief executive officer saying he planned to tear down the home and build a 9,600-square-foot replacement which would overlook the Zuckerberg’s master bedroom.

As Bloomberg’s Joel Rosenblatt reports, Voskerician proposed to sell Zuckerberg a slice of the property to afford him more privacy. Within two weeks, they agreed that Zuckerberg would buy Voskerician’s contractual rights to purchase the entire property.

Voskerician claims he had a competing offer and that he sold Zuckerberg those rights at a steep discount. He alleges that Zuckerberg promised to introduce him to contacts in Silicon Valley, although no promise was put into writing.

Zuckerberg’s lawyers deny Voskerician’s claims. Whatever the case, the developer sued and, unless the two sides reach a deal, the case will go to trial.

The case is Voskerician v. Zuckerberg, 114CV264667, Superior Court of the California, County of Santa Clara (San Jose).

For more, click here.

Dow Chemical Settles Whistle-Blower’s Termination Lawsuit

Dow Chemical Co. settled lawsuits by a former company fraud investigator who claimed she was wrongfully fired for uncovering improper spending by Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris and others.

Dow and Kimberly C. Wood “reached an amicable settlement” of her claims, Rachelle Schikorra, a Dow spokeswoman, said in an e-mail Monday. Terms are confidential, she said.

Settling marks a reversal for Liveris, who is also chairman of the biggest U.S. chemical maker by revenue. After a federal judge rejected Dow’s motion to dismiss the suit in December, the company said it would defend the case “vigorously.”

Wood, who filed the case under whistle-blower provisions of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, alleged Dow paid for Liveris family trips, including to the Super Bowl as well as an African safari, prompting the CEO to repay $719,923.

The case is Wood v. Dow Chemical Co., 14-cv-13049, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan (Bay City).

Firm News

Dickstein Shapiro Loses Silicon Valley Lawyers to Kaye Scholer

Dickstein Shapiro LLP is losing four members of its Silicon Valley-based intellectual property to Kaye Scholer LLP.

The four partners are Deborah Fishman, Jeffrey Miller, Krista Carter and Katie Scott, BNA reported. They compose the firm’s Menlo Park, California, office, which Dickstein opened in 2011.

A Kaye Scholer spokesman, Mark Dolgonos, confirmed the hiring of all but Miller. When reached Monday, Miller, declined to comment.

It’s unclear whether Dickstein will keep an office in Silicon Valley. Dickstein Chairman Jim Kelly didn’t return a call seeking comment on its plans for the area.

In a statement, Kelly said the firm’s intellectual-property practice still includes more than 30 lawyers, who represent clients in matters including litigation and patent prosecution.

Holland & Knight Opens Office in Denver With Eight Lawyers

Holland & Knight LLP has expanded into Denver. The firm has hired six litigators -- Aaron Bradford and Thomas Leland have joined as partners, along with senior counsel Leah Capritta and associates Maxwell Shaffer, Cindy Pham and Pippa Balestrieri.

The lawyers, who join two Holland & Knight partners already in Denver, previously practiced with Lathrop & Gage.

Bradford, who focuses on both patent litigation and general commercial litigation, will become the executive partner of the Denver office. Leland is a commercial litigator.

Lateral Moves

Reed Smith Adds Three Partners to Its Ranks

Reed Smith LLP has hired Kim Cagle as a partner in its financial industry group based in Houston. She represents commercial banks, financial institutions and borrowers in financing transactions, and previously was a partner in the finance practice at Burleson LLP.

The firm also has hired Kevin Cadwell as a partner in its intellectual property, information and innovation practice in Houston. He was formerly a partner in the Houston office of Baker Botts LLP and represents companies in commercial litigation and intellectual-property litigation.

Additionally, Paul Gupta has joined the intellectual-property, information and innovation group as a partner in New York and San Francisco. Previously at DLA Piper LLP, he focuses on a litigation involving cybersecurity, licensing and intellectual property, among other matters.

K&L Gates Hires Four New Partners in Several Offices

K&L Gates LLP has added several partners. Marla Tun Reschly has joined the firm’s commercial disputes practice, and Benay Lizarazu has joined the firm’s banking and asset finance practice, both in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Matthew Jones has joined the corporate group in Chicago, while Donald C. Dowling Jr. joins the firm’s labor, employment and workplace-safety practice in New York.

Reschly, who was previously of counsel at Kirkland & Ellis LLP, has also been a trial lawyer with the U.S. Justice Department.

Lizarazu, who previously practiced at Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP, works on corporate and commercial real estate finance transactions.

Jones, who had been a partner at Barack Ferrazzano Kirschbaum & Nagelberg LLP, advises on executive-compensation and employee-benefit plans.

Dowling, formerly a partner at White & Case LLP, advises on cross-border human resources matters.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.
LEARN MORE