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Proskauer Rose acquires Akin Gump attorneys

To build up its private equity transactional practice, Proskauer Rose LLP has retained the services of two former employees of Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld LLP in its New York office. David J. Eisner and Nigel Austin have joined the law firm as partner and senior counsel respectively, based on their experience in private equity and recapitalizations and financings.

Proskauer Rose expects to expand its national and international presence to meet the demands of an ever-increasing private equity market. Currently, the private equity group of the law firm has a team of 100 legal professionals across the U.S. and Paris, dealing with all aspects of private investment funds, including private equity buyout funds, venture capital funds, and hedge funds, as well as matters related to fund formation, investments, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions.

Sidley Austin's London expansion
U.S.-based Sidley Austin has broadened their London expansion policy by hiring Nigel Dunmore, a new partner in their London office. In addition, the firm announced a new round of promotions wherein corporate lawyer Jonathan Wallace becomes partner and employment and pensions associate Sheena McCaffrey becomes counsel in the London office.

Sidley Austin has a vast network of offices throughout Europe, which includes EU Competition and International Trade practices in Brussels, Geneva, and Frankfurt. The London office of the firm offers services in banking, finance, structured products, corporate, capital markets, and insurance practice.

Dechert's salary restructuring in the UK
U.S.-based Dechert is bowing to market trends and restructuring its pay scale in the UK. The firm has rolled out a new flexible salary scale that will resolve differences between the magic circle salaries those of mid-Atlantic firms in the US.

It is also an attempt to compete with US firms who have recently increased associate salaries, including LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae, Weil Gotshal & Manges, and Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton. As reported by, this translates to $103,000 for newly qualified attorneys, an increase of $11,000 from last year. Top salaries will begin at $121,000.

Dechert also plans to increase trainee salaries this year. The salaries for first-year trainees will go up by about $7000 to almost $59,000, whereas second-years will receive $68,000.

Baker Donelson ranks amongst highest grossing firms
Tennessee-based law firm Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz has found a place among the 200 highest grossing law firms in the country. According to a survey by The American Lawyer, the firm is ranked 140th on the list based on the reported gross revenues during 2005.

The only firm from Tennessee to find a place in the list, Baker Donelson reported revenues of $154 million in 2005. Baker Donelson has 85 attorneys in Memphis, which makes it the largest law firm in the City. They have also opened new offices in Birmingham, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Mandeville, LA, in the last three years. It also has a representative office in Beijing, China.

New York-based Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, with 1,616 attorneys, tops the list with gross revenues of $1.61 billion.

Pepper Hamilton boosts bankruptcy practice
Pepper Hamilton LLP has strengthened its corporate restructuring and bankruptcy practice by hiring reputed lawyer Leon R. Barson, who has joined the firm's Philadelphia office as partner. The firm will leverage Barson's 15 years experience of bankruptcy practice in the region and intends to expand its middle market debtor's practice accordingly.

Earlier, as shareholder with the bankruptcy boutique Adelman Lavine Gold and Levin, Barson represented clients in corporate reorganizations, workouts, debtors' and creditors' rights, corporate transactions, restructuring, and complex business sales.

Pepper Hamilton's bankruptcy and reorganization practice group has a reputation for handling managing debtor/creditor matters, bankruptcy, and reorganization matters, including environmental, collective bargaining, transportation, leveraged buyout, toxic tort, pension, intellectual property, healthcare, financial institution, mortgage banking, real estate, construction/surety, insurance, and tax issues.

Cadwalader focuses on expansion
Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft has hired Adam Blackmore and David Burke to serve as partner and special counsel in its London office. The move is expected to beef up the law firm's capital markets, real estate finance, and insolvency practices by offering tax and regulatory support.

The duo has combined expertise in tax issues, especially domestic and cross-border transactions, real estate, private equity financing, joint ventures, and acquisitions and disposals. This will strengthen the international operations of Cadwalader, which is spread across 50 countries.

With a diverse clientele that includes top financial institutions and corporations, the firm offers legal advice and services in the areas of antitrust, banking, business fraud, corporate finance, corporate governance, environmental, healthcare, insolvency, insurance and reinsurance, litigation, mergers and acquisitions, private client, private equity, real estate, securities and financial institutions regulation, securitization, structured finance, and tax.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP

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