The Churn
(Illustration by Paul Dilakian)

As we compiled this Memorial Day edition of The Churn, partners at Squire Sanders and Patton Boggs had just approved a merger that will create a 1,500-lawyer firm on June 1 known as Squire Patton Boggs.

But not everyone will be joining what will become one of the world’s largest firms by attorney head count. Among those opting out, according to a recent report by sibling publication The National Law Journal, are four Squire Sanders health care partners in Washington, D.C., bound for Jones Day.

The group, led by health care and life sciences practice head DAVID GRAUER, also includes partners SCOTT EDELSTEIN, JOHN KIRSNER and LISA HAN. The NLJ reports that the quartet resigned from Squire Sanders in April, but the firm is holding them to a 60-day notice period as part of their partnership agreements.

Another Squire Sanders partner on the move is J. PHILIP CALABRESE, a litigator in Cleveland who ended a decade-long run at the firm this month when he jumped to Porter Wright Morris & Arthur. Calabrese has been representing incarcerated client Alfred Cleveland in his bid to get overturned a controversial 1996 murder conviction.

Patton Boggs has also continued to lose partners, although the flow has slowed significantly since lawyers began leaving the firm last year as the firm sought to reverse its sagging financial fortunes.

Finding new homes this week are commercial litigation partner WILLIAM CHURCH JR., who left Patton Boggs’ Dallas office in February and will now represent energy clients as a partner at Polsinelli. The firm opened its Dallas office in March 2011 with a trio of hires from K&L Gates.

BARAT LaPORTE, a litigation partner based in the Anchorage office of Patton Boggs, has left the firm to join local shop Oles Morrison, according to an auto-reply message sent from her Patton Boggs email address.

Patton Boggs opened its Alaskan outpost during the 1990s while representing energy giant ExxonMobil amid the fallout from the 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill. LaPorte was one of many lawyers at the firm—which, as has been amply documented, later ran afoul of another energy industry behemoth—to handle work for ExxonMobil.

In other Churn news …

Baker & McKenzie has hired NADIA BANNO, who spent the past two years as in-house head of litigation at the British Broadcasting Corporation, according to U.K. publication The Lawyer. Banno, who will join the firm’s London office as of counsel, served a variety of legal roles during her nine years at the BBC, including leading an inquiry into sexual abuse allegations lodged against late TV presenter Jimmy Savile. That investigation yielded $1.4 million in fees for another firm, Reed Smith, according to our previous reports.

Barnes & Thornburg has hired Edwards Wildman Palmer corporate partner JEFFREY GRAY and energy of counsel MICHAEL STRONG in Chicago. Strong joins the firm from the Illinois Power Agency, where he served as chief legal counsel.

Blank Rome has brought on finance and restructuring of counsel JAMES RICCHIUTI in New York from lending and finance firms Entrepreneur Growth Capital LLC and Credit Cash LLC, where he served as chief legal counsel.

Boston-based Bowditch & Dewey has hired Edwards Wildman labor and employment cochair TIMOTHY VAN DYCK as a member of its employment and higher education practice. Also joining Bowditch is Edwards Wildman counsel ROBERT YOUNG, who comes aboard as of counsel. Both Young and Van Dyck will divide their time between Bowditch’s offices in Boston and suburban Framingham.

The Lawyer reports that ALEXANDER CARTER-SILK, a former head of IP at Speechly Bircham, has left the British firm’s London office for Brown Rudnick. Carter-Silk, who will take over the local IP group at his new firm, leaves Speechly Bircham as it gets set to merge with Charles Russell.

As The Am Law Daily reported earlier this week, Edwards Wildman is launching a public policy practice after adding four lobbyists from Boston’s Smith, Ruddock & Hayes. The group, which includes nonlawyer R. EMMET HAYES and attorneys DANIEL CAHILL, LOUIS RIZOLI and ROBERT RUDDOCK, will double the size of Edwards Wildman’s government relations practice.

NATHANIEL GARDINER, the cochair of Edwards Wildman’s life sciences practice, left the firm’s Boston office this month to become general counsel of Watertown, Mass.-based Enanta Pharmaceuticals. Gardiner advised the company while in private practice and handled its $64 million initial public offering last year. An SEC filing shows the listing generated $2.1 million in legal fees.

Lewis Brisbois Bisgaard & Smith—a Los Angeles-based firm that as noted in the most recent issue of The American Lawyer has a robust nonequity partner tier—has added Ballard Spahr of counsel MICHAEL KEARNEY to its partnership ranks. Kearney, who will split his time between the firm’s Las Vegas and Los Angeles offices, specializes in transactional tax, real estate and gaming work.

Having already added a Honduran firm to its global Swiss verein network this week, Littler Mendelson is now gaining steam in the Steel City by bringing on labor and employment partner S. ELAINE DIEDRICH, where she served as partner-in-charge of Schnader Harrison Segal & Lewis’ Pittsburgh office.

PAUL NG, a former global aviation practice head at British firm Stephenson Harwood, has officially joined Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy in Singapore. Sibling publication The Asian Lawyer reported in March on Ng’s decision to leave Stephenson Harwood for Milbank. Ng joined Stephenson Harwood in 2009 from Magic Circle firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where he had been counsel.

Moye White has hired Ballard Spahr of counsel LYNNE HANSON and CRAIG KNOBBE as partners in Denver. Both lawyers specialize in franchising and distribution regulatory law, as well as transactional and real estate work for franchisors.

CLARK THIEL, a construction litigation partner with Jones Day, has left the firm for the same role at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. Also joining Pillsbury in Washington, D.C., is Dickstein Shapiro lobbying partner BRIAN FINCH, according to Politico. Finch, tapped as one of Washingtonian magazine’s “40 Under 40″ young lobbyists in 2011, headed Dickstein’s global security practice. He frequently writes for The Huffington Post on cybersecurity issues.

Not content to raid Patton Boggs, Polsinelli has also expanded its Los Angeles office by adding Manatt, Phelps & Phillips entertainment litigation partner NOEL COHEN, Jones Day health care partner TRAVIS JACKSON and Alston & Bird insurance recovery counsel RICHARD GILLER. The three join Polsinelli—which opened in Los Angeles three years ago after acquiring a municipal bond firm—as partners.

Northeast regional firm Robinson & Cole has hired longtime Epstein Becker & Green labor and employment partner MATTHEW MIKLAVE as a partner in New York and Stamford, Conn. Miklave, a former attorney with the National Labor Relations Board, spent the past 21 years at Epstein Becker.

JOHN “JACK” BUTLER JR., the former corporate restructuring cochair at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Chicago who spoke to The Am Law Daily in 2008 for one of the first interviews it published, has officially joined financial services firm Hilco Global as an executive vice president. In February, The Am Law Daily reported on Butler’s decision to leave Skadden on May 1 for a job in the corporate realm.

Thompson Coburn has added McGuireWoods corporate partner KEVIN YOUNG to its Windy City ranks. Young represents corporate clients and financial institutions in a wide variety of transactional and governance of matters.

Michigan’s Warner Norcross & Judd has opened an office in Kalamazoo by hiring Miller Canfield Paddock and Stone’s electronic discovery and records management practice head JAY YELTON III. Also joining the firm are Miller Canfield litigation partners PAMELA ENSLEN and MYRA WILLIS, who will hold the title of senior attorney at Warner Norcross.

RANDOLPH MOSS, chair of the regulatory and government affairs practice at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Washington, D.C., is poised to leave the firm for a federal district court judgeship in D.C. after sailing through his confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to the NLJ. The Obama administration nominated Moss in April to replace Judge Robert Wilkins, whom the Senate confirmed in January to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

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.