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6/28/04

Clifford Chance's San Diego office in jeopardy
One week after the departure of eight partners to Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe and the subsequent closure of both its Los Angeles and San Francisco offices, Clifford Chance is being forced to consider closing its San Diego office after both of the satellite's partners have defected. Maria Sendra, a corporate partner, left CC for Baker & McKenzie, where she will lead the firm's Southern California corporate and securities practice. Faye Russell, a partner specializing in life sciences, joined Latham & Watkins. Both formerly worked at Brobeck Phleger & Harrison in San Diego before heading to Clifford Chance in 2002. Legal Week reported last week that Clifford Chance was already considering shutting down its San Diego office before its only partners left. Now that they have, it is likely a certainty. Legal Week, 6/24/04, Latham Press Release, 6/28/04, Baker Press Release, 6/25/04.

Piper Rudnick expands overseas.
Piper Rudnick has announced that it will open its first international office in the coming weeks via a merger with Parisian firm Cariddi Mee & Rue. The firm's 16th office will maintain a staff of six partners who will offer the firm's clients a wide variety of legal services. Piper Rudnick partners deemed the move necessary to keep up with the firm's clients' growing needs in Europe. Cariddi Mee has been affiliated with Hogan & Hartson since 1995, but will effectively end that partnership when the Piper Rudnick merger goes through in the next few weeks. Baltimore Business Journal, 6/28/04

Morgan Lewis grabs seven attorneys from Wilmer Cutler.
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr has suffered its first major defection after one of the decade's largest law firm mergers. Seven attorneys have left Wilmer Cutler to join Morgan Lewis & Bockius in Princeton, NJ, all of them in the business and finance practice. The team consists of four partners, including David Sorin (whose work helped make the New Jersey/New York technology corrider what it is today), Andy Gilbert, Karen Leisten and Rich Mattessich; as well as one of counsel and two associates. The Princeton office of Morgan Lewis now counts 34 attorneys among its ranks. Firm Press Release, 6/28/04.

Akin Gump continues to expand energy practice
Following up on its stated goal to become the world's leading energy firm, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld announced the hiring of eleven energy attorneys last week. Four partners (Christine LaFollette, Michael Anthony Nunes, Mark Zvonkovik and Kevin Keenan), two senior counsel, three counsel and one associate from King & Spalding in Houston will be joining the firm. Another senior counsel hire will be joining from Kinder Morgan. This is the latest in a series of steps that Akin Gump has taken to increase its already formidable presence in the energy industry. Firm Press Release, 6/23/04

Perkins Coie gets set for merger
Seattle-based Perkins Coie LLP has announced that, effective July 1st, the firm will merge with Brown & Bain. Perkins Coie, a technology-oriented firm, has approximately 550 attorneys in 14 offices spread out across America and Asia. Brown & Bain, a firm known for IP litigation and commercial litigation, is based in Phoenix and employs approximately 70 attorneys. The firm will be known as Perkins Coie Brown & Bain P.A. in Phoenix, but will retain the Perkins Coie brand in the firm's other markets. Both firms lauded the other's ability to complement their current services with nationally recognized practices. Firm Press Release, 6/23/04

Cozen O'Connor launches Houston office
With five lateral partner hires, Philadelphia-based Cozen O'Connor has further expanded its Texas presence by opening its second office in the state. The Houston office will start with the help of three partners from Fowler Rodriguez & Chalos, including Susan Noe, who will join as senior partner. The group brings a maritime defense practice to the firm and will join the international practice group. Two more partners from Beirne Maynard & Parson will join the insurance coverage practice group, including Joseph Ziemianski as senior partner. The firm currently has a 25-attorney Dallas office which was started in 1993, and is looking to possibly further expand in Boston and South Florida. The Legal Intelligencer, 6/24/04

Wildman Harrold on the lookout for a merger partner
The Chicago Sun-Times reported today that Chicago-based Wildman, Harrold Allen & Dixon is actively seeking a partner to merge with to achieve its latest goals of growth. The firm, which currently retains the services of 211 attorneys, has added more than 25 since 2002 and is looking to expand both its local and national presences via either a merger with or an acquisition of a smaller or similarly-situated firm. The firm's goals do not include being absorbed by a larger firm. The Chicago Sun-Times, 6/28/04

King & Spalding poaches from Fish & Neave
Just one month after hiring a partner and a counsel away from Fish & Neave, King & Spalding is once again announcing that they are hiring attorneys from that firm. A. Joy Arnold, who will join as partner, and John Hanish, who will join as counsel, will be reunited with Theresa Moehlman and W. Edward Bailey at King & Spalding's New York office after a month's separation. All four attorneys practice in patent litigation. King & Spalding's New York office has approximately 160 attorneys and its IP practice employs around 50 attorneys in the Atlanta and New York offices. Firm Press Release, 6/22/04

New York, Orange County immigration firms merge
Fragomen Del Rey Bernsen & Loewy, which ranks as the world's largest immigration firm with 130 attorneys in Manhattan, will get a little larger on July 1st. The firm has announced that it will merge with HirsonWexlerPerl, a 15-attorney immigration firm based in Newport Beach, CA. Also involved in the merger is Global Visa Solutions, a separate company that streamlines the process by which corporations can attain international visas and work permits. Crain's New York Business, 6/14/04

EY Law looks to overhaul Paris operations
EY Law, a network of Ernst & Young-affiliated law firms around the world, plans on cutting approximately 80 attorneys from its staff because of restrictions on the type of work it can do. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the French Loi de Securite Financiere, both of which restrict the ability of law firms to work too closely with accounting firms, are the main catalysts for the decision. The firm currently has 600 lawyers and 270 that practice corporate law. Legal Week, 6/24/04

Paul Hastings adds prominent corporate attorney in Asia
Former White & Case partner Raj Pande has joined Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker as the Global Project Finance Group's Head of Asia Project Finance. Pande's practice focuses on project development and finance in the energy sector. Moving from the Singapore office, Pande formerly served as the head of White & Case's India practice. Firm Press Release, 6/23/04

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