The Churn
(Illustration by Paul Dilakian)

Husch Blackwell has become the latest Am Law 200 firm with Missouri roots to bulk up in the Rocky Mountains.

The firm announced Tuesday its hire of six health care lawyers from Denver-based Miles & Peters led by name partners FRED MILES and KEVIN PETERS. Other lawyers joining Husch Blackwell include partners JIM MILES and CAROL MANTEUFFEL, senior counsel PEGGY KOZAL, an associate and several staff members.

“Husch Blackwell is the perfect new home for us,” said a statement by Fred Miles, a founding partner of Miles & Peters. “We gain a broad geographic platform, and our clients gain access to the full complement of services that any health care facility or provider could need.”

A Husch Blackwell spokeswoman told The Am Law Daily in an email that the firm is effectively absoring all of Miles & Peters, which according to its website was founded in 1980 to focus predominantly on health care law. Husch Blackwell, which did recently lose Denver-based commercial litigation senior counsel KATHRYN REILLY to local firm Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell, previously brought on a team of 24 attorneys from Denver’s Jacobs Chase in 2011.

Many of Husch Blackwell’s midwestern competitors, most of which have roots in Kansas City, Mo., have also in recent years been keen on expanding in Denver.

The Am Law Daily reported last month on Shook, Hardy & Bacon’s merger with Denver’s Sander, Ingebretsen & Wake, a move that came on the heels of similar moves by a trio of other regional rivals. Lathrop & Gage acquired Denver’s Kamlet Reichert in 2010 and picked up Boulder-based IP boutique Greenlee Sullivan two years later. In 2011, Polsinelli absorbed Denver’s Hensley Kim, and the following year what is now Stinson Leonard Street brought on 12 lawyers from Denver’s Jones & Keller.

In other Churn news …

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is welcoming back labor and employment litigation partner ESTHER LANDER in Washington, D.C., where for the past eight years she served as principal deputy chief of the employment litigation section of the civil rights division at Main Justice. Lander was previously an associate and counsel at Akin Gump.

Buchalter Nemer’s former IP practice chair FARAH BHATTI is headed to Baker & Hostetler in Costa Mesa, Calif., where the former U.S. Patent and Trademark Office attorney will specialize in trademark prosecution and protection. Bhatti joined Buchalter Nemer in 2009.

Balch & Bingham corporate finance and securities partner MATTHEW McLAUGHLIN has left the firm for Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz’s office in Jackson, Miss., where he’ll be of counsel in the firm’s practicing community and economic development group.

Davis Wright Tremaine has hired longtime federal prosecutor SEAN HOAR as a partner in Portland to bolster the firm’s national privacy and data security practice. Hoar, the Justice Department’s lead cybersecurity lawyer in Oregon, had been an assistant U.S. attorney in the state since 1991.

Dechert has launched a life sciences practice in Germany by raiding Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr for corporate partner RUEDIGER HERRMANN in Frankfurt. Herrmann is the 10th partner hired by Dechert in Frankfurt since the firm relaunched its office in the city two years ago. Meanwhile, leading independent German firm Gleiss Lutz has hired Sidley Austin counsel THOMAS KULZER in Frankfurt, a move that will spell the end of the latter’s time in Germany’s financial capital, according to reports in the European legal press. Sidley, which has confirmed the closure of its Frankfurt base, put the office it opened back in 2006 under review earlier this year. Other large firms that have reduced or shuttered their German operations in recent years include Hogan Lovells, King & Wood Mallesons and Shearman & Sterling.

Crain’s Detroit Business reports that Foley & Lardner has brought back former partner STEVEN HILFINGER in Detroit, where he served as managing partner of the firm’s Motor City office before leaving in 2011 to become chief operating officer and executive vice president of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. Also headed to Foley as a partner and cochair of its Greater China practice in Washington, D.C., is RICHARD “TAD” FERRIS JR., according to sibling publication The Asian Lawyer. Ferris joins Foley from Holland & Knight, where he headed that firm’s China team after coming aboard in 2004.

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher has hired its second M&A partner from big British firm Ashurst in as many months with the addition of NIGEL STACEY in London, according to U.K. publication Legal Week. Stacey reunites with former corporate colleague Jonathan Earle, who joined Gibson Dunn in April.

Greenberg Traurig has brought on public finance and corporate securities partner MICHAEL McGINNIS in Denver from Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, a firm he joined back in 2004 from Snell & Wilmer. The Am Law Daily reported last week on Foley’s recent hire of ex-Brownstein Hyatt attorney and CEO Blane Prescott—who spoke with us about law firm management in 2010—to become its new COO.

Having already helped itself to a team of health care lawyers from Squire Patton Boggs, Jones Day has added to that group by bringing on ex-Patton Boggs litigation partner LAURA LAEMMLE-WEIDENFELD, where she was a member of the firm’s executive committee, and former King & Spalding life sciences partner LAURIE CLARKE in Washington, D.C. Jones Day has also picked up IP partner S. CHRISTIAN PLATT in San Diego from Paul Hastings, where he worked for more than a decade.

Latham & Watkins has hired noted appellate and trial lawyer JOHN PIERCE as a partner in Los Angeles from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. Pierce, who handled an array of complex litigation issues at Quinn Emanuel, made partner at the firm in 2010.

The Asian Lawyer reports that Morrison & Foerster has hired real estate partner MARIA WANG in Shanghai from Allen & Overy, where she was promoted to counsel last month after joining the Magic Circle firm as an associate in 2010.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has added white-collar litigation partner JONATHAN LOPEZ in Washington, D.C., from the Justice Department, where he was co-deputy chief of the money laundering and bank integrity unit, a bureau set up to probe the financial service industry’s compliance with certain federal regulations.

Paul Hastings has poached former Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner IP partner NAVEEN MODI in Washington, D.C., where he represents health and technology companies. Modi made partner at Finnegan in 2009.

SANDRA FORMAN, general counsel and chief compliance officer for nanotechnology investor Harris & Harris Group, has joined Proskauer Rose’s business development practice as senior counsel in New York. Forman will continue to work closely with Harris & Harris, which has offices in New York and Palo Alto, and invests in other transformative life science companies.

Reed Smith has raided New Jersey’s Wolff & Samson for securities litigation and enforcement chair WILLIAM “BILL” GOYDAN in New York. Goydan spent nearly 20 years at Wolff & Samson, which has been under fire the past few months for its ties to the Garden State’s Bridgegate scandal. Also joining Reed Smith as counsel are Wolff & Samson litigation partners JOHN LUKANSKI and KIRAN SOMASHEKARA, the latter of which made partner at his former firm in 2012.

JOSEPH ROACH, who left Minneapolis-based Briggs and Morgan last year to open the new local office of Dykema Gossett, has now left the latter to start his own Twin Cities shop called the Roach Law Firm, P.A. Roach, a top local corporate and commercial lawyer, spoke at length with Attorney At Law Magazine about his passion for farming and representing clients in the agricultural industry.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton has hired health care partner JAY GERZOG and real estate partner ERIC ALTMAN in New York from Epstein Becker & Green, which, as recently noted by sibling publication The National Law Journal, reduced its attorney head count by 15 percent last year. Both Altman and Gerzog had been longtime Epstein Becker partners.

Steptoe & Johnson has brought on Littler Mendelson tax and employee benefits partner JONI ANDRIOFF in Chicago. Andrioff joined Littler in 2011 from Deloitte, where she led the global accounting giant’s compensation and benefits practice for the Midwest region. Andrioff is also a former chair of the tax section employee benefits section of the American Bar Association.

Thompson Hine has made its fourth new partner hire in New York in nine months by adding commercial and public finance pro CHRISTOPHER BORDONI from Goodwin Procter, where he had been a partner for the past decade advising clients on a range of out-of-court restructurings and complex credit agreements.

The Churn is compiled from law firm releases, announcements and news reports. Please send all announcements and news releases to thechurn@alm.com.