The Churn
(Illustration by Paul Dilakian)

Weil, Gotshal & Manges is bolstering its antitrust and competition practice by hiring one of the Federal Trade Commission’s top lawyers.

The firm said Friday that it has recruited JEFFREY PERRY as a partner in Washington, D.C. Perry, 39, spent 13 years as a lawyer at the FTC, most recently serving as assistant director of the agency’s competition bureau. In that post, he oversaw a 30-lawyer division that handles a range of antitrust litigation and investigations into transactions involving consumer goods, funeral homes, hospitals, retail outlets and supermarkets.

Perry’s team recently racked up a victory when a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upheld the FTC’s decision to block a proposed merger between health care company ProMedica and St. Luke’s Hospital in Maumee, Ohio. The FTC had ruled that the deal was anticompetitive and ordered ProMedica to divest St. Luke’s to a different buyer.

The health care, retail and supermarket fields have been ripe for consolidation in recent years, making them particularly exciting for antitrust and competition work, Perry says. “We’re seeing a lot of consolidation in the health care arena and, for different reasons, we’re seeing waves of consolidation across the supermarket industry and the retail industry more generally. I think it will be a fun time to be representing clients alongside such great colleagues at Weil,” he says.

While Perry considered several firms as potential landing spots, he says the move to Weil represents “a really exciting opportunity” to join a firm with very active M&A and litigation practices. Heading to Weil also allows Perry to work alongside a number of partners he has come to know during his years at the FTC.

“For me, the antitrust group [at Weil] feels a lot like home,” Perry says. “These are people I have known from working together at the FTC, or working on cases together, for the last 10 or 15 years. So these are people I know as friends and I respect as some of the best antitrust lawyers around.”

In a statement, Weil executive partner Barry Wolf said: “Jeff is one of the most well-respected antitrust officials in the government, and we are thrilled that he has chosen to join Weil. In addition to the high-level government experience he brings, Jeff has worked with and across the table from most of the members of our antitrust group on numerous merger reviews, and we know he will be a great fit with the firm.”

For Weil, the hire comes on the heels of a disappointing year that saw the departure of dozens of the firm’s partners amid significant declines in the firm’s revenues and profits. Weil’s gross revenue dropped 7.4 percent to $1.14 billion last year, according to The American Lawyer, while the firm’s profits per equity partner dipped at the exact same rate, to $2.07 million from $2.23 million.


In other Churn news …

Miami-based DLA Piper partner JOHN HALEY has left that firm to join Broad and Cassel as a partner in the corporate and securities practice. Among Haley’s areas of expertise are cross-border transactions involving parties in Asia, Europe and Latin America.

Corporate partner SAM FEIGIN has joined the Washington, D.C., office of Crowell & Moring, where he will work on corporate matters involving technology, media and telecommunications clients. Feigin formerly served as deputy chair of the business and finance department at Nixon Peabody, where he also chaired that firm’s Israel business group and sat on the life sciences steering committee.

Dickinson Wright is expanding its Grand Rapids, Mich., office with the addition of tax attorney JESSICA WOOD as of counsel. Wood, who arrives from Miller Canfield, focuses on municipal tax and commercial litigation.

Denver-based Burleson partner BRENT CHICKEN has left that firm to join Fox Rothschild as an energy and natural resources partner. He represents oil and gas companies in commercial litigation disputes and transactions as well as in administrative law and title examination matters.

BENJAMIN LAFROMBOIS is now a partner in the commercial transactions practice at Hinshaw & Culbertson. LaFrombois, who is based in the firm’s Appleton, Wisc., office, arrives from WOW Logistics, where he served as vice president and general counsel.

Holland & Knight has brought in TIMOTHY BELEVETZ as a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C., and Northern Virginia offices, where he will be a part of the white- collar defense and securities litigation practices. Belevetz most recently worked in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia as chief of the financial crimes and public corruption unit.

KIRSTEN MILTON has left Morgan, Lewis & Bockius to become a shareholder in the Chicago office of Jackson Lewis. Milton represents employers on a range of labor and employment issues, with a focus on litigation, including class actions.

The Paris office of Latham & Watkins welcomes Shearman & Sterling’s FERNANDO MANTILLA-SERRANO as a partner and global cochair of the firm’s international arbitration practice. Mantilla-Serrano specializes in disputes involving Latin American entities as well as clients in the banking and energy industries.

Manatt Phelps & Phillips has hired DEVEN MCGRAW, former director of the Health Privacy Project at the Center for Democracy & Technology. McGraw is now a partner in Manatt’s health care practice, where she will focus on issues related to patient protection and the secondary use of health data.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough is bolstering two of its offices by adding IP attorneys KARL SAWYER JR. and SUSAN JACKSON as partners in Charlotte and CHARLES “CHUCK” CLAY as of counsel in Atlanta. Sawyer specializes in IP matters involving the mechanical engineering arts, while Jackson focuses on specialty chemicals, additives, antimicrobials, textiles, fibers and medical devices. Clay, who joins the firm’s government relations team, is a former state senator in Georgia and the former chairman of the Republican Party in that state. Sawyer and Jackson both arrive from K&L Gates, while Clay previously practiced at Gregory, Doyle, Calhoun & Rogers.

Corporate attorney BRIAN HASKEL has left Weil, Gotshal & Manges and is now a member in the New York office of Sill Cummis & Gross. Haskel advises clients on M&A, securities offerings and general corporate and securities matters.

Troutman Sanders welcomes CHARLES “CHUCK” WALL as a partner in Richmond, where he will handle large-scale infrastructure projects involving both public and private entities. Wall previously chaired the public-private partnership team at Williams Mullen.

The Chicago office of Vedder Price is expanding with the addition of former Kirkland & Ellis partner RAYMOND BOGENRIEF as a shareholder in the firm’s finance and transactions group. Bogenrief works on such corporate matters as leveraged buyouts, M&A and securities offerings as well as corporate governance issues.

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.