Biglaw, Law School Deans, Musical Chairs, Patton Boggs

Musical Chairs: 11.09.06

musical chairs above the law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFLateral Moves:
* Litigator DeMaurice Smith, to Patton Boggs, from Latham & Watkins (DC).
When asked about the move, Eric Bernthal, managing partner of Latham’s D.C. office, said that Smith’s practice “will probably fit a little better over there.”
(Meow? Or just a matter-of-fact statement relating to areas of specialization, client conflicts, etc.? We hope the former.)
Legal Academia:
* The three-year contract of Bill Piatt, currently serving as Dean of St. Mary’s University School of Law, won’t be renewed when it expires at the end of this academic year.
* We received a press release about three new partners being named at “growing international firm Ogier.” Because Ogier has no U.S. offices — it operates mainly out of the Cayman Islands and Jersey (no, not THAT Jersey) — we have no idea why this was sent to us.
But since we like it when publicists send us stuff — press releases are fine, party invites even better — we reprint some excerpts, with a few comments, after the jump.
High-Profile Litigator Switches Firms []
Law School Decides Not to Renew Dean’s Contract []

Here’s the Ogier press release:

FOLLOWING the recent merger with WSmiths growing international firm Ogier has announced the appointment of three new partners.

As of 1 February 2007 Jersey-based Philip Le Cornu and Nick Ward will be partners of the Ogier Group. Simon Schlider, who is based in the British Virgin Islands, will become a partner of WSmiths as of 1 December 2006 and, when the merger is complete, a partner of Ogier’s BVI practice on 1 February 2007.

WSmiths: Have they branched out from the airport bookstore business?
Practicing law in the Virgin Islands: nice work if you can get it.

Born and educated in Jersey Mr Le Cornu is a law graduate of the University of Birmingham. A De Lancey and de la Hanty Scholar of Middle Temple, he was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1992. After completing his pupillage at 2 Fountain Court in Birmingham Mr Le Cornu remained a tenant for eight years in what became St. Philip’s Chambers where he gained experience in a wide range of work, including criminal and general common law.

The British legal education and training system is so much cooler than ours. “Middle Temple”? “[C]alled to” the Bar? “Pupillage”/”Tenancy”?
Much more impressive sounding than “law school,” “I majored in English and didn’t know what to do after college,” and “junior associate.”

Mr Ward joined Ogier in April 2002 from City firm Watson, Farley & Williams. He advises on a range of corporate and finance transactions, including capital market and equity finance structures, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and restructurings, as well as local and cross-border banking transactions.

We notice they don’t include periods after “Mr.” How does that make us FEEL?

Duncan Smith, managing partner of WSmiths, said: ‘It gives me great pleasure to announce Simon’s appointment as a partner at such an exciting time for WSmiths. He has been a driving force behind the firm’s expansion and, once the merger is complete, will play an integral role in Ogier’s growth and development in the BVI.’

Chairman of Ogier Jonathan White said: ‘I am delighted to welcome Phil, Nick and Simon to the partnership. The expertise that they bring to Ogier will be invaluable in the continued development of the firm. Their appointments reflect the growth of Ogier in an international context, across all its commercial disciplines in a growing number of jurisdictions.’

To quote the immortal words of Dianna Abdala: “bla bla bla.”
Britlaw managing partners: Just like ours. They’re good at issuing banalities and platitudes for press releases.

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