The Churn
(Illustration by Paul Dilakian)

Bingham McCutchen lost another practice group leader Friday, as real estate cochair KENNETH LORE took a nine-lawyer team to Katten Muchin Rosenman.

Lore, who joined Bingham in 2006 as part of the firm’s merger with Washington, D.C.–based Swidler Berlin Shereff Friedman, told The Am Law Daily by phone Friday that he will become head of Katten’s East Coast real estate practice.

Joining Lore at Katten as of Monday are partners GLENN MILLER, JEFFREY SCHARFF and MARTIN SIROKA and a total of five counsel and associates. Lore and Siroka will be based in New York, while Miller and Scharff will work out of Washington, D.C. News of the group’s departure was first reported late Thursday by The Wall Street Journal.

A Bingham spokesman told The Am Law Daily in a statement that the firm wishes its former partners well.

The Bingham defectors specialize in residential real estate work, handling the tax and structured finance arrangements necessary to put together such deals. Projects in which the group has had a hand include the Gotham West residential complex in Manhattan, the residential portion of the $4.9 billion Atlantic Yards development in Brooklyn and a $1.4 billion residential site in Orange County, Calif.

One of the key factors luring Lore to his new firm were his longstanding relationships with Katten environmental practice cohead Chuck Knauss and structured finance partner Michael Murphy. “I didn’t want to leave, this was a very tough decision, so it’ll be hard to say goodbye,” Lore says. “But [Katten] was quite insistent.”

At Katten, Lore says he will become a member of the Chicago-based firm’s management committee. According to The American Lawyer’s most recent Am Law 100 financial data, 600-lawyer Katten saw its gross revenue rise 6 percent in 2012 to $490.5 million, while profits per partner jumped nearly 8 percent to $1.3 million. Partner profits at Bingham, meanwhile, dipped slightly to about $1.7 million in 2012, as the 900-lawyer firm’s gross revenue remained flat at $872 million.

Katten’s smaller size notwithstanding, Lore praises the firm’s “broader” real estate platform, which he believes will afford his team opportunities to do residential real estate deals across the country. Lore isn’t the only practice leader to depart Bingham within the past year.

Byde Clawson, the cohead of the firm’s technology transactions practice in Silicon Valley, retired recently. In November, Brown Rudnick picked up Bingham life sciences cochair Robert Funsten in Orange County. Funsten’s move came a month after Washington,D.C.–based environmental, land use, and natural resources cochair Michael Wigmore jumped to Vinson & Elkins.

Last summer, Bingham’s health care industry cochair and pro bono practice head Peter Carson decamped for Sheppard Mullin Richter & Hampton in San Francisco. That followed an 11-partner financial regulatory group that left for Sidley Austin led by former broker-dealer head Neal Sullivan.

And in January 2013, Bingham energy and project finance cochair Tara Higgins took two partners with her to Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe. Orrick dipped into the Bingham pool again a few weeks ago to poach Los Angeles–based litigation partners Marshall Grossman and Stacy Harrison.

Of course, Bingham, which laid off 31 staffers this month, has also done some lateral hiring. The firm added Latin American practice coleader Juan Manuel Trujillo from Arnold & Porter in New York late last year, as well an eight-lawyer DLA Piper team in Los Angeles led by IP and life sciences cochair Richard de Bodo and a seven-lawyer investments funds team in Tokyo from White & Case.

Bingham has also made a concerted effort to grow its London office, picking up Jones Day antitrust partner Frances Murphy and Herbert Smith Freehills investment funds partner Thiha Tun. And as noted in The Churn earlier this month, Bingham recently hired New York derivatives partner Daniel Budofsky from Davis Polk & Wardwell.

In other Churn news:

Bankruptcy partners TARA NAUFUL and LINDSEY LIVINGSTON are joining Adams and Reese in Columbia, S.C., from leading local firm Haynsworth Sinkler Boyd. Joining the pair in making the move are special counsel WILLIAM SHORT JR., and an associate, all of whom specialize in insolvency and restructuring matters.

Ballard Spahr has hired McKenna Long & Aldridge tax practice leader SABA ASHRAF in Atlanta, where she will work with the Philadelphia-based firm’s M&A group. Ballard Spahr opened its Atlanta office in 2008 by acquiring local IP firm Needle & Rosenberg.

An expert on partnership law, LESLIE CORWIN is well-versed in the disputes that sometimes arise between firms and their former partners. Corwin himself is now on the move, leaving Greenberg Traurig for Blank Rome’s New York office, along with fellow litigation partner CAROLINE HELLER. Corwin, 66, spoke with sibling publication the New York Law Journal this week about his decision to leave 1,700-lawyer Greenberg for 470-lawyer Blank Rome, which he hopes will reduce the potential conflicts that often come with being at a larger firm.

DLA Piper, which opened its Delaware office in 2011, bolstered its Wilmington base this week by hiring corporate finance partner CHRISTINE HOUSTON from K&L Gates, according to sibling publication Delaware Law Weekly. It’s the second lateral move in less than a year for Houston, who left leading local firm Potter Anderson & Corroon to join K&L Gates for the launch of the latter’s Wilmington in April 2013.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson added real estate partner DAVID KARNOVSKY this week in New York from the New York City Department of City Planning, where he has been general counsel since 1999. During his time in public service, Karnovsky played a key role in several major real estate projects in the city, including Hudson Yards and the High Line.

Even at it lost Corwin and Heller, Greenberg continued to grow in size this week, adding two New York M&A partners in RON DEUTSCH from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and NICOLE PEREZ from Allen & Overy. The duo had been counsel with their former firms. Greenberg also expanded its labor and employment group in Chicago by hiring Duane Morris partners JON ZIMRING and HOWARD MOCERF.

DON McGOWN, a longtime London-based M&A partner at Allen & Overy, retired last year from the Magic Circle firm, where he also helped oversee a music program that raised money for charitable endeavors. Now McGown is headed to Hogan Lovells, where he will be a partner in the firm’s corporate group. Hogan Lovells also recently hired debt capital markets counsel KATIA MERLINI in Paris from British firm Simmons & Simmons, where she was a senior associate, as well as former general counsel JOHN OSBORN, who joins the firm’s corporate and government regulatory group as a life sciences and health care senior adviser in Washington, D.C.

TIMOTHY KARPOFF, a former director of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Institutions Policy, has joined Jenner & Block as a government controversies and public policy litigation partner in Washington, D.C. Before spending five years with the Obama administration, Karpoff was an associate at Boies, Schiller & Flexner in New York.

Linklaters has snagged Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom counsel NIKOLAOS PERISTERAKIS in Brussels, where he specialized in competition matters. He joins the Magic Circle firm as counsel.

Loeb & Loeb has launched a Food and Drug Administration regulatory and compliance practice in New York with the addition of partner SCOTT LIEBMAN from Porzio, Bromberg & Newman, where he also served as vice president and chair of the compliance committee for the latter’s life sciences arm.

After more than 40 years at Weil, Gotshal & Manges, corporate restructuring partner SIMEON GOLD is leaving the firm’s New York office to join Pepper Hamilton as of counsel. Gold once served as cohead of Weil’s corporate restructuring group, working on matters such as the bankruptcy sale of Blockbuster.

Perkins Coie continued its lateral hiring spree this week by poaching DLA Piper securities litigation partner LUIS MEJIA in Washington, D.C. Mejia left his position as a partner at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in 2005 to become the SEC enforcement division’s chief litigation counsel, a post he held until joining DLA in late 2009.

Quarles & Brady is bringing on corporate partner SARAH AMES in Chicago from local shop Thiedmann & Edler, where she was counsel and specialized in representing German-speaking multinational companies.

DAVID MEISTER will presumably be spending plenty of time soon in the vicinity of David Zornow’s orange desk. Meister—a former Skadden partner who left the firm back 2010 to become the enforcement director at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission—is poised to return to the firm as the head of its white-collar group under. In that role, he will work closely with Zornow, Skadden’s global head of litigation and a Bob Dylan super-fan whose workspace color of choice recently earned the attention of The New York Times.

JOHN MOORE’S decision to leave Morrison & Foerster’s Hong Kong office, where he coheaded the firm’s China capital markets practice, is not your typical lateral move. Slaughter and May, the Magic Circle firm where Moore is headed, has not hired from outside its ranks in 125 years. The Asian Lawyer, a sibling publication, has more on the move by Moore, who previously served as an executive director and senior counsel with Goldman Sachs. Slaughter and May has had several high-profile retirements over the past year, according to U.K. publication The Lawyer.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher litigation counsel MICHAEL EDNEY has left the firm’s office in Washington, D.C., to become a partner at Steptoe & Johnson. Edney, who previously worked in the U.S. Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, served deputy legal adviser to the National Security Council at the White House from 2007 to 2009. At Steptoe, he will represent clients in government investigations.

Thompson Coburn picked up public finance partner THOMAS SMITH in Chicago this week from local boutique Peck, Shaffer & Williams, which he joined in 2009 after spending two years working on the development of affordable housing. Prior to that, Smith had been a partner at Ice Miller.

NEIL POLAND has left his role as Norton Rose Fulbright’s global aviation head to join Vedder Price in London. Poland had been with Norton Rose, which combined with Fulbright & Jaworski last year, since 2001. He specializes in structured finance deals in the transportation sector, predominantly rail and aviation.

Venable has added litigation partners PATRICK BOYLE and JESSIE BEEBER in New York from local firm Frankfurt Kurnit Klein & Selz. The two lawyers have worked with one another since the early 1990s, first at now-defunct Thacher Proffitt & Wood before joining Frankfurt Kurnit at the time of Thacher Proffitt’s late 2008 collapse.

The Churn is compiled from law firm releases and announcements. Moves based on our own reporting will note this. Please send all announcements and news releases to thechurn@alm.com.