Musical Chairs

musical chairs 2 Above the Law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFIt has been a while since our last round-up of notable moves within the legal profession. So there’s a lot to report today:
Law Firm to… Prison?
* Former Milberg Weiss name partner Steven Schulman resigned from the firm to pursue “new ventures.” The most important of these “ventures” will surely be fighting federal charges of making illegal payments to plaintiffs in past cases.
Law Firms to In-House:
* Securities lawyer Stephen Cutler is leaving his partnership at WilmerHale to become general counsel of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., the banking giant. From a tipster who works in securities law: “This is a big deal.”
Colleagues of Cutler described the JP Morgan gig to the WSJ Law Blog as a “once-in-a-lifetime” opportunity. Translation: Who wouldn’t want to make mid- instead of low-seven-figures?
* Another WilmerHale departure: J. Kevin McCarthy is taking over as top lawyer of the Cowen Group, an investment bank.
Government to Private Sector:
* Former New Jersey Chief Justice Deborah Poritz joins the Princeton office of Drinker Biddle & Reath, as of counsel. She stepped down from the New Jersey Supreme Court in October, after reaching the mandatory retirement age.
Government Promotion:
* David Nocenti, current counsel to New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, will become counsel to the governor effective January 1.
Academia-Biglaw Alliance:
* Harvard Law School Professor Laurence Tribe, the renowned constitutional scholar and SCOTUS litigator, is entering into a consulting arrangement with Akin Gump.
Akin Gump is developing a Supreme Court practice. Earlier this year, they added young SCOTUS superstar Tom Goldstein to their line-up.
Lateral Moves:
* Securities-enforcement lawyer Chuck Davidow, to Paul Weiss (DC), from WilmerHale.
Another loss for WilmerHale — on top of the previously reported departure of Paul Eckert for the White House Counsel’s Office.
Why are so many partners leaving WilmerHale? A Hillary Clinton administration is still two years away.
* IP lawyer Joseph Gioconda, to DLA Piper (New York), from Kirkland & Ellis.
* Corporate lawyer Eric Lerner, to Kramer Levin, from Katten Muchin Rosenman.
* Tax lawyer Thomas Giegerich, to McDermott Will & Emery (NY), from Dewey Ballantine (about to merge with Orrick to form Dewy Orifice).
New Partners:
* Bryan Cave: Eleven new partners. Names here.
Due to the sheer number of links today, we’ve placed them after the jump.

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musical chairs 2 Above the Law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFAt the White House:
* On the heels of Christopher Oprison and Cheryl Stanton, former Wilmer Hale partner Paul Eckert joins the White House Counsel’s Office.
Lateral Moves:
* Nicholas H. Politan, to Gibson Dunn & Crutcher (NY), from Bingham McCutchen, where he served as co-head of the project and structured finance group.
(Wild guess: He’s the son of former federal judge Nicholas H. Politan (D.N.J.).)
* IP litigator Duane David-Hough, to Fish & Richardson, from Ropes & Gray (NY).
A few more moves, plus links, after the jump.

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Noah Feldman Noah R Feldman Jeannie Suk Jeannie C Suk Above the Law.JPGProfessor Noah Feldman — the brilliant, gorgeous, legal academic superstar / public intellectual — is abandoning NYU Law School (its student body hotness notwithstanding). He’s heading up to Harvard Law School, where his similarly beautiful and brainy wife, Jeannie Suk, is already on the faculty.
(Most readers of ATL are probably familiar with this celebrity couple. But if you’re not — if you don’t know about their Rhodes and Marshall Scholarships, their D.C. Circuit and Supreme Court clerkships, their multiple published books, and their storybook-perfect life — we refer you to The Latest Triumphs of the Elect: It’s Good to Be Noah and Jeannie!)
From what we’ve heard, Noah Feldman’s move was a long time in coming. HLS apparently made an offer to him quite some time ago. The rumor that he might be decamping for Cambridge was circulating in legal academia for a while.
Noah Feldman Professor Noah Feldman Above the law.jpgAlthough the move makes sense, Professor Feldman had good reason to think carefully before leaving Gotham. NYU tried very, very hard to keep him. And here are three considerations that probably crossed his mind:
First, he has strong ties to the NYU law school community. It has been his academic home for the past few years, which have been very good to him, and he is worshiped around campus by students (who surround him like groupies to a rock star).
Second, being based in New York, the media capital of the country, was great for his career as a public intellectual. It facilitated his frequent contributions to the New York Times (both the magazine and the op-ed page), his regular appearances on major talk shows, and his efforts on the book publishing front (three books and counting).
Third, and perhaps most importantly, he and Jeannie have a FABULOUS apartment in the heart of Greenwich Village. And as every New Yorker knows, a good piece of real estate is very hard to find.
At the end of the day, though, Harvard Law School is still Harvard Law School. And when your wife is already on the faculty up there, it’s kinda hard to say no when HLS’s hot dean comes calling.
Congratulations, Professor Feldman, on your new post and the big move!
Noah Feldman to join Harvard Law faculty [Harvard Law School]
The Latest Triumphs of the Elect: It’s Good to Be Noah and Jeannie! [UTR]
Most Beautiful Brainiac: Noah Feldman [New York magazine]
Noah Feldman bio [New York University Law School]
Jeannie Suk bio [Harvard Law School]

musical chairs 2 Above the Law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFLaw Firm Mergers:
* One of Seattle’s top firms, Davis Wright Tremaine, is acquiring D.C-based Cole, Raywid & Braverman, a telecom boutique with 35 lawyers. The acquisition will be effective on January 1.
Lateral Moves:
* Intellectual property/M&A lawyer Leonard Jacoby, to Cleary Gottlieb, from Wilson Sonsini. Jacoby’s practice focuses on IP issues related to mergers and acquisitions — a nice speciality to be in these days.
* IP lawyers David Bloch and Becky Troutman, to Winston & Strawn, from McDermott, Will & Emery and Thelen Reid & Priest, respectively.
(Thelen Reid, you’ll recall, is merging with Brown Raysman.)
New Partners:
* Kirkland & Ellis, which was recently named “USA Law Firm of the Year” by Chambers & Partners — congratulations! — has named 64 (!) new partners. Names here.
(We’re guessing that most, if not all, are non-equity partners.)
* Preston Gates & Ellis — the “Gates” in the firm name is Bill Gates’s dad — has named 15 new partners. Names here.
(One of them, the brilliant Theodore Angelis, is a law school classmate of ours. Congrats, Theo!)
* Milbank Tweed has named six new partners. Names here.
Davis Wright, Cole Raywid Set to Merge [Legal Times]
NY Partner Switches Firms []
NY Associates Making Partner []
Left-Coast Lawyers On the Move []
Kirkland & Ellis LLP Appoints 64 New Partners [Kirkland & Ellis]
Preston Gates & Ellis LLP Names 15 New Partners [Preston Gates & Ellis]
Milbank Elects Six Attorneys to Partnership [Milbank Tweed]

musical chairs 2 Above the Law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFLateral Moves:
* Antitrust lawyer Paul Kaplan, to Bryan Cave (NY). from Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton.
* Bankruptcy lawyer Alan Gover, to White & Case, from Dewey Ballantine, where he was co-head of the bankruptcy practice.
(Dewey Ballantine is the process of becoming Dewy Orifice. Perhaps Gover’s departure is related to the merger.)
* Same move, different city: energy lawyers Earle O’Donnell and Donna Attanasio, to White & Case from Dewey Ballantine, but in Washington rather than New York.
* Government contracts lawyers Gregory Smith and Kevin Mullen, to Cooley Godward Kronish, from DLA Piper.
New Office:
* Howrey has opened a New York office, headed by Thomas Engel and James McCarney, formerly of the litigation boutique Engel McCarney & Kenney (which Howrey swallowed up).
On The Move: Paul M. Kaplan to Bryan Cave [Antitrust Review]
Paul M. Kaplan Joins Bryan Cave in New York [Bryan Cave]
NY Practice Leader Switches Firms []
Bonus Season Doesn’t Stop Partner Pair From Switching Firms []
With Boutique Raid, Firm Opens NY Office []
The Churn [New York Times]

musical chairs 2 Above the Law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFAt the White House:
Positions in the White House Counsel’s office are some of the most prestigious and interesting jobs in the entire legal profession. And now two new lawyers are coming on board as associate counsels to the president:
* Christopher Oprison, formerly of Skadden Arps (Washington, DC); and Cheryl Stanton, a former law clerk to then-Judge Alito, and most recently of Olgetree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart (Morristown, NJ).
The arrival of Oprison and Stanton will mean that the lawyers in the office will reshuffle their portfolios for judicial nominations. We hear that Stanton will be in charge of Fifth Circuit nominations — a subject of great interest to us.
* Also, a third lawyer — Alan Swendiman, previously general counsel of the GSA, everybody’s favorite government agency — is joining the White House staff. He’ll serve as special assistant to the President and director, Office of Administration.
At Google (which is arguably more powerful than the White House these days):
* John Kent Walker Jr., formerly deputy GC of eBay, joins the search engine giant as general counsel.
Unusual structure: Walker will report to David Drummond, Google’s senior vice president of corporate development, who will take on the title of “chief legal officer.” But hey, Google is an unusual company.
Biglaw moves, after the jump.

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musical chairs 2 Above the Law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFFrom Biglaw to business:
* Another Wachtell Lipton partner is leaving the firm. Corporate partner Mitchell Presser recently left to join Fox Paine. We now hear that WLRK real estate partner Michael Benner may be leaving to become general counsel at real estate giant Tishman Speyer.
New Partners:
* Dorsey & Whitney: Banking lawyer Mark Jutsen.
Lateral Moves:
* Speaking of Dorsey & Whitney, they’re closing their San Francisco office. Ten IP lawyers from that office are joining Morgan, Lewis & Bockius.
* With the Brown Raysman-Thelen Reid & Priest merger about to become official, two entertainment and IP lawyers are leaving Brown Raysman’s L.A. office. Partner Brian Pass and associate Kevin Straw are joining the Century City office of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton.
NY Lawyers On the Move []
As Firm’s Outpost Sinks, 10 IP Attorneys Jump Ship []
Firms’ Merger Spurs More Exits []

musical chairs 2 Above the Law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFWe’ve fallen a bit behind in telling you who is going where, and why. So here’s a short recap of notable recent moves within the legal profession:
From Law to Finance:
* It’s rare for partners to leave Wachtell Lipton, but it does happen. Earlier this month, former WLRK corporate partner Mitchell Presser left the firm, to join Fox Paine. Presser, renowned at Wachtell for his impeccable taste in sushi, focuses on deal structuring and new investment opportunities at Fox Paine.
New Partners:
* Simpson Thacher & Bartlett: Eight new partners in New York. Corporate: Barrie Covit, John Ericson, Ellen Reilly Patterson, Kathryn King Sudol. Executive compensation and employee benefits: Gregory Grogan. Real estate: Sasan Mehrar. Litigation: Michael Garvey and George Wang (whom we know, and who are both very fine lawyers — congrats, guys).
* Willkie Farr & Gallagher: Eleven new partners in New York. Corporate and financial services: Leah Campbell, Mark Cognetti, Morgan Elwyn, Rita Molesworth (luv the name), Adam Turteltaub. Litigation: Mary Eaton, Scott Rose, and former AUSA Michael Schachter. Tax: Christopher Peters. Business reorganization and restructuring: Rachel Strickland.
You may recall Michael Schachter as the superstar federal prosecutor in the Southern District of New York, who helped send Martha Stewart to prison (where she learned to make delicious dishes using vending machine fare and the inmates’ communal microwave).
* Weil Gotshal & Manges: Twenty new partners around the country. That’s too many for us to reprint here, so check out the list in the press release.
A majority of these twenty partners are women, and two are “flex-time partners.” Details here.
Out the Door:
* Myron Olesnyckyj, former general counsel of Monster Worldwide Inc. (which owns Stock options backdating. Yawn.
* And a bunch of execs at ACS and Quest Software, also because of backdating. Some lawyers, some not. Double yawn.
NY Biglaw Associates Making Partner []
Another GC Axed Over Stock-Options []
Backdating: More Resignations, More Legal Business [WSJ Law Blog]
Weil Gotshal Elects Twenty to Partnership and Appoints Five as Counsel [Weil Gotshal & Manges]
Weil’s Partnership Class Has More Women Than Men: News? [WSJ Law Blog]

musical chairs 2 Above the Law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFHere are a few of the most notable moves within the legal profession:
Reunited and It Feels So Good:
* Former Massachusetts Governor William Weld has returned to the New York office of McDermott, Will & Emery. This year, Weld unsuccessfully ran for the chance to get trounced by Eliot Spitzer the Republican nomination for governor of New York.
* Intellectual property lawyer Brian O’Shaughnessy is back at Buchanan Ingersoll — after Womble Carlyle crowed loudly about scooping him up. Nate Carlile of the Legal Times has the story:

O’Shaughnessy started at Womble the day after Halloween, never spent a moment there practicing law, and was gone before the end of the week. (Actually, it appears he cleared out at about the same time Womble was touting his hire.)

How bizarre, how bizarre.
Government to Private Sector:
* Guy Singer — who worked on the Jack Abramoff corruption case, among several other high-profile prosectuions — is heading for the D.C. office of Florida-based Akerman Senterfitt.
New Partners:
* Cravath, Swaine & Moore: Over at the Death Star, four new partners have been announced: corporate lawyer Craig Arcella, litigator Teena-Ann Sankoorikal, corporate lawyer Andrew Thompson, and corporate lawyer Damien Zoubek. The partnership decisions will be effective January 1, 2007.
A tipster tells us that both Craig and Teena are “very good-looking.” (Feel free to send us pictures.)
* Paul Hastings: Sixteen new partners — three more than last year. Evidently they enjoyed working at the firm more than this guy did. Their names appear here.
Firm Names Larger Class of New Partners []
Well-Travelled Politician Rejoins Old Firm in NY []
Abramoff Prosecutor Quits DOJ for Firm []
NY Associates Making Partner []
After Three Days, Flip-Flopping Partner Quits New Firm for Old Firm [Legal Times]
Paul Hastings Elects Sixteen To Partnership [Paul Hastings]

musical chairs 2 Above the Law legal blog above the law legal tabloid above the law legal gossip site.GIFNew Partners:
* Proskauer Rose: Fourteen new partners, three new senior counsel. Names here.
* Baker Botts: Eighteen (!) new partners. Names here.
* Wilson Sonsini: Thriteen new partners. Names here.
(Only two members of the class of 1998. How long is the WSGR partner track as a practical matter?)
At Risk:
* Some are speculating that William Haynes II, general counsel to the Department of Defense, will be replaced after CIA Director Robert Gates gets confirmed as Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s successor (as expected).
But with his Fourth Circuit nomination in limbo, where would Haynes go? The Legal Times suggests that he’ll end up with “a high-powered legal job at one of the nation’s top defense contractors,” which sounds likely to us.
* Anthony Lapham, counsel at Goodwin Procter and former general counsel to the CIA, at the age of 70, of a heart attack.
Proskauer Rose Promotes 17 Attorneys [Proskauer Rose LLP]
Baker Botts Announces New Partners for 2007 [Baker Botts LLP]
Firm Names 10 New NY Partners []
Firm Raises 13 to Partnership []
Will the Pentagon’s Top Lawyer Follow Rumsfeld Out the Door? []
Law Blog Obituary: Goodwin Procter’s Anthony Lapham [WSJ Law Blog]
Anthony A. Lapham, 70, Former C.I.A. Lawyer, Dies [New York Times]

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