Berry Appleman to test Houston market

San Francisco-based corporate immigration law firm, Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP has confirmed its plans to expand to Houston and Dallas. The firm which plans to open doors mid February is busy headhunting top immigration attorneys in the area to man its new offices. Shawn Orme will serve as managing partner of the Houston office, while Steven Ladik will be the managing partner in Dallas.

Dallas-based Jenkens & Gilchrist's entire staff, consisting of more than 40 attorneys, paralegals and staff will be part of Berry Appleman, making the latter's total head count shoot up to more than 200 employees in its San Francisco; McLean, VA; Dallas; and Houston offices.

The firm hopes to pipe up its immigration compliance practice with the new strength it acquired from the new senior-level professionals' recruitment into the firm. Stating this the firm's managing partner at BAL, Warren Leiden said the expertise and experience of the veterans will help the firm assist multinational companies bringing foreign employees into the U.S., sending American employees abroad or transferring employees between countries outside the U.S. manage a global workforce.

Skadden adds teeth to antitrust practice group
Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP & Affiliates has raided law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft's antitrust practice. It has hired Cadwalader's top antitrust lawyer Steven Sunshine as partner, along with Jess Biggio also as partner, and Matthew P. Hendrickson as counsel. The trio, who had joined Cadwalader about two years ago, will work on Skadden's M&A and antitrust practice.

Sunshine, a former lawyer with the Department of Justice's antitrust division, advises on antitrust aspects of M&A. On his part, Sunshine said he joined Skadden because of its huge M&A practice as well as its well-known antitrust practice. His clients include big names like De Beers, Deutsche Bank, Watson Pharmaceuticals, etc. and will assist Skadden's group which is currently advising Nasdaq on the competition elements of its £2.7bn bid for the London Stock Exchange.

Some more associates are also expected to join Skadden from Cadwalader in the coming weeks. Skadden's firmwide antitrust competition group will total at 24 with the new additions. One of the top corporate law firm's in the United States, New York-based Skadden was established in 1948 and has about 1,750 lawyers. Its M&A group topped the U.S. deal rankings for 2006 closed deals worth a combined $540bn (£274bn).

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