The Churn
(Illustration by Paul Dilakian)

Add JOSEPH BASILE to the growing list of recent departures from Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Basile has left his post as managing partner of Weil Gotshal’s Boston office to join Foley Hoag as a partner and cochair of the firm’s M&A practice.

Basile, 61, left Bingham McCutchen in 2008 to join Weil Gotshal as a corporate partner focusing on cross-border and domestic M&A work. According to our prior reporting, he was a member of the Weil Gotshal team that represented Simmons Company in connection with the mattress-maker’s Chapter 11 filing in 2009. Basile also helped Weil Gotshal advise French pharmaceutical company Sanofi-Aventis on its $20 billion purchase of Genzyme.

Basile was named to lead Weil Gotshal’s Boston office in 2011. He succeeded James Westra, who left the firm to become managing director and chief legal officer of private equity firm Advent International, a longtime firm client.

When asked about the reasons for his move to Foley Hoag, Basile, who declined to discuss Weil Gotshal, noted his new firm’s “terrific reputation” in the Boston market.

“It has a very robust M&A practice, and I was attracted to the firm because I thought that with the experience I have acquired in my career thus far, I could join with a very talented group here,” says Basile, adding that he looks forward to working closely with Foley’s M&A attorneys after serving in a role that included its share of administrative duties.

Foley Hoag co–managing partner William Kolb said in a statement: “Joe brings an incredible depth of experience in corporate law to Foley Hoag. The variety and complexity of the transactions he has led span every element of mergers, acquisitions and investment counseling. He’s a valuable addition to an already strong team that provides innovative, experienced counsel to corporate clients.”

Weil Gotshal has seen dozens of partners depart in the past six months, according to our prior reporting, with Basile being the most recent to leave since senior leveraged finance partner John Cobb jumped to Paul Hastings earlier this month. Many of the departures came after the firm announced last summer that it planned to deemphasize its Houston and Boston offices while cutting the compensation of roughly 10 percent of its partners. The firm also said it would lay off 60 associates and 110 staff members.

When reached for comment on Basile’s departure, a Weil Gotshal spokeswoman provided The Am Law Daily with the following statement: “We are grateful for the contributions he has made to Weil and wish him well in his new position. Marilyn French and Kevin Sullivan have been named co–managing partners of the [Boston] office, which remains a strong and important office for the firm and continues to serve some of our biggest private equity clients.”

(French and Sullivan are private equity partners in the firm’s Boston office. French was named an Am Law Daily “Dealmaker of the Week” in 2012 for her work advising Advent on its $3 billion acquisition of the parent company of Serta and Simmons.)


In other Churn news …

Patent litigator CHRISTOPHER BRIGHT has joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld as an IP partner in the firm’s Irvine, Calif. office, which opened in January. Bright previously worked at McDermott Will & Emery.

Former Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker trial and litigation attorneys BRYAN POLLARD and WILLIAM AKINS have left that firm to bolster the Dallas office of cloud-based law firm FisherBroyles, which boasts more than 80 attorneys in 10 offices across the country. Pollard and Akins handle trial matters ranging from commercial litigation to product liability.

After scattering five new partner hires across the U.S. earlier this month, Holland & Knight welcomes Indian law practitioner and litigator JAMES MEGGESTO as a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office. Previously with Akin Gump, Meggesto—who is an enrolled tribal member of the Onondaga Nation—will be deputy leader of his new firm’s Indian law practice group.

PHILIP HYDE has left Hogan Lovells to become a finance partner at K&L Gates, where he will work out of the firm’s Hong Kong and Tokyo offices. Hyde advises financial institutions on debt capital markets and finance-related transactions.

Loeb & Loeb announced the addition of JAE CHUL “J.C.” LEE as a capital markets partner in the firm’s Hong Kong affiliate, Pang & Co. Lee, who arrives from DLA Piper, represents Korean companies and financial institutions in a variety of transactions and other corporate matters.

Litigator MANDANA MASSOUMI has joined the Orange County, Calif., offices of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, where she will be a part of the firm’s employment and labor practice. Massoumi, who advises employers in class actions and other complex employment litigation, was most recently a partner at Dorsey & Whitney.

Mayer Brown has hired MATTHEW ROSSI as a partner in Washington, D.C., where he will work in the firm’s securities litigation and enforcement group. Rossi previously served as assistant chief litigation counsel in the enforcement division of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, where he investigated and litigated securities violations by members of the finance industry.

London-based transportation finance attorneys GRAHAM TYLER and DEBRA ERNI have left DLA Piper to join Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman along with three associates. Tyler formerly headed the U.K. asset finance practice at DLA and has extensive experience advising on structured asset financing and leasing matters. Erni specializes in international asset finance with a focus on the aviation industry.

The National Law Journal reports that former senior federal prosecutor JACK PIROZZOLO has landed in the Boston office of Sidley Austin as a partner in the white-collar, government litigation and investigations practice. Pirozzolo previously served as first assistant U.S. attorney for Massachusetts—a role that saw him contribute to the apprehension and prosecution of mobster James “Whitey” Bulger as well as to the investigation into last year’s Boston Marathon bombings and the subsequent arrest of accused perpetrator Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. Pirozzolo is the second member of the Bulger prosecution team to move into private practice in recent months. In January former Assistant U.S. Attorney Brian Kelly joined Nixon Peabody’s Boston office as a partner.


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.