Hunton & Williams adds attorneys from Shaw Pittman

Hunton & Williams has added 20 attorneys from Shaw Pittman's insurance group, including practice co-founders Walter Andrews and Lon Berk and partners Paul Janaskie and Edward Grass. The Shaw Pittman departures come just three weeks after the firm announced its merger with Pillsbury Winthrop. Pillsbury and Shaw Pittman had previously indicated that the combined firm would shed about 100 lawyers, and the two firms' insurance practices were said to have significant client conflicts. Hunton has 17 offices in the U.S. and internationally.
Legal Times

Former Tyco attorney Belnick founds his own boutique
Mark A. Belnick, who was found not guilty in one of last year's most closely watched criminal trials, is returning to practice, this time at his own firm. The former Tyco International Ltd. general counsel will open his office this week in midtown Manhattan and will focus on the sort of complex commercial litigation and white-collar criminal defense work he had taken on as a partner at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison. "There's something very exciting about hanging up your shingle and seeing what will happen," Belnick, 58, said, adding that he was "unjustly accused."
New York Law Journal

Morris Manning Lures Lawyers Away From Holland & Knight
Holland & Knight lawyers James "Mac" Hunter and Jason P. Wright have left the firm for Morris, Manning & Martin. The departures follow the firm's loss of four transactional partners and a commercial litigator to Epstein Becker & Green last month. Hunter joins Morris Manning as a partner, and Wright joins as senior counsel, along with Claudette Grooms, a senior paralegal. Morris Manning's managing partner, Robert E. Saudek, said the firm saw potential for growth in Hunter's condemnation work, which meshes well with the firm's real estate and environmental practices. Those groups recently have been active in helping to develop the city's Atlantic Station project.
Fulton County Daily Report

Wolf Block opens Boston office
Wolf Block Shorr and Solis-Cohen has opened a Boston office, which is slated to be run by Robert Crowe, the former financial chairman of the Democratic National Committee during Senator John Kerry's bid for president last year. Crowe will also be chief executive officer of WolfBlock Public Strategies, a lobbying subsidiary created by the merger of WolfBlock Government Strategies with Crowe's government relations firm, The Commonwealth Group. The firm plans to grow the Boston office to as many as 20 lawyers in the next couple of months.
The Legal Intelligencer

Study shows fewer promotions to partner level
A new study by Citigroup Private Bank shows that making partner at big law firms is getting more and more difficult. The study says that the number of equity partners grew by only 2.5 percent, compared to percent in 2002 and 4.5 percent in 2001. While there was a rise in the number of promotions to salaried senior positions, those positions, unlike partners, do not generally qualify for firm profit sharing and do not command the same prestige.
The New York Times

Atlanta's Troutman Sanders acquires New York office
Troutman Sanders has opened a New York office with the acquisition of Jenkens & Gilchrist's 91-lawyer practice. Troutman now has the second largest New York office of any Atlanta-based firm, after King & Spalding which has 176 lawyers, and the third largest is Alston & Bird, with approximately 60 lawyers in New York.
Fulton County Daily Report

International news: Japanese firms merge
Japanese firm Mori Hamada & Matsumoto, a corporate specialist, announced it will merge with the I.P. firm Max Law in July. The combined firm will be larger than Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu, Japan's current No. 1 firm. The newly combined firm will have 204 lawyers and would be considered merely midsized by U.S. comparisons. However, Japan has arguably the stiffest national bar exam in the world, with a pass rate of between 2-3 percent, and the country produces no more than 500 new lawyers each year. Mori Hamada's strengths in mergers and acquisition advice, funds procurement and litigation will benefit from Max Law's expertise in helping clients protect their intellectual property in such areas as media contents and software.
The Deal

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