From left Richard Climan, John Brockland, Keith Flaum, and Jane Ross
From left Richard Climan, John Brockland, Keith Flaum, and Jane Ross (Jason Doiy / ALM)

Richard “Rick” Climan, a well-traveled technology transactions lawyer in Silicon Valley, is preparing to leave Weil, Gotshal & Manges for Hogan Lovells, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Other lawyers looking to leave Weil with Climan, who is in the final stages of withdrawing from the firm’s partnership, include fellow partners John Brockland, Keith Flaum and Jane Ross. The group headed to Weil nearly five years ago from Dewey & LeBoeuf, a now-defunct firm that the four partners joined from Cooley in two separate moves in 2009.

Hogan Lovells won a bidding war for Climan’s crew, according to one source briefed on their decision to depart Weil. The latter won a similar sweepstakes for the close-knit group when they fled Dewey & LeBoeuf just weeks ahead of the struggling firm’s eventual bankruptcy.

Climan’s group has not formally left Weil—as of late day Tuesday all of their biography pages remained on the firm’s website—but two sources said that Hogan Lovells partners had started voting Tuesday morning on whether to let Climan join their ranks. Bloomberg Big Law Business first reported the news of Climan’s potential departure from Weil.

At Weil, Climan and Flaum earned between $3 million and $4 million per year, according to another source knowledgeable of their compensation. Ross and Brockland, who had less seniority than their two colleagues, earned less. When the entire group moved from Cooley to Dewey & LeBoeuf in 2009, Climan received a multiyear annual guarantee of $3.5 million, Flaum a deal for $3 million and Ross and Brockland about $1.5 million apiece, according to our previous reports. (Climan’s compensation at Dewey & LeBoeuf was one of many issues that emerged in a criminal trial of three former firm executives in 2015.)

Weil saw its profits per partner rise 22.6 percent in 2016, to $3.09 million, according to The American Lawyer’s reporting. Hogan Lovells’ average partner profits, as a matter of comparison, remained mostly flat last year, at $1.25 million.

Climan did not return a request for comment about his team’s potential move to Hogan Lovells. In 2012, he said that Weil’s global reach was a major draw for his group, which focuses on cross-border deals involving major technology companies.

“We know their practices and know the reputation of Weil’s practitioners and how good they are,” Climan said at the time. “And we needed a firm that could accommodate very easily a high-end M&A practice. But we needed a firm that could do it globally.”

Climan’s group hit the ground running at Weil. Flaum led a team from the firm advising Santa Clara, California-based Applied Materials Inc. in 2013 on its $9.3 billion sale to Japan’s Tokyo Electron Ltd., although that deal collapsed in early 2015. Flaum and Ross also took the lead for Facebook Inc. on its $19 billion acquisition in early 2014 of mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp, the biggest deal in a decade by the social networking behemoth.

Around that same time, Flaum and Climan advised Chinese computer giant Lenovo Group Ltd. on its $2.91 billion buy of Google Inc.’s Motorola Mobility smartphone unit. Flaum and Climan also advised Oracle Corp. in 2014 on its $5.3 billion acquisition of Micros Systems Inc. Climan subsequently counseled Synopsys Inc. on its $334 million purchase of security software company Coverity Inc.

The American Lawyer noted in a 2014 feature story about Weil the spate of deal activity by Climan and Flaum, who have worked with one another for more than two decades. But in more recent years, the pace of notable M&A engagements from their team has slowed, despite an increase in technology market transactions. In 2015, a year in which The Recorder named Ross one of its Women Leaders in Tech Law, Climan assisted Weil corporate chair Michael Aiello in advising Intel Corp. on its $16.7 billion buy of programmable chipmaker Altera Corp.

A year ago this month, Climan and Flaum advised Bank of America Corp. in its role as financial adviser to Mitel Networks Corp. on its $1.8 billion acquisition of conferencing technology company Polycom Inc. In early March of this year, the two once again scored another nonprincipal transactional role for Bank of America as financial adviser to Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. on its $1.09 billion purchase of Nimble Storage Inc.

“I think that real rainmakers rarely operate as lone wolves,” Climan recently told The American Lawyer for an upcoming story about the secrets of top dealmakers. “Most established rainmakers that I know function as part of multitalented teams of lawyers [that] are able to provide attentive, around-the-clock services on the most sensitive issues.”

Climan isn’t the only member of his team to recently find a new home. Eric Reifschneider, a former colleague of Climan’s at Cooley and Dewey & LeBoeuf, decamped in early 2012 for an in-house job at Qualcomm Inc. Reifschneider left San Diego-based Qualcomm, where he was senior vice president of technology licensing, last year. He re-emerged in February at the Marconi Group, a Dallas-based patent licensing service. Reifschneider declined to comment Tuesday about his former colleagues.

Hogan Lovells, which late last year saw its longtime leader J. Warren Gorrell Jr. retire from management at 62, also declined to comment about Climan or his team. Hogan Lovells has been busy on the lateral hiring front so far this year.

On Monday, Hogan Lovells announced its hire of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck real estate partner Lea Ann Fowler in Denver, a move that came several weeks after Hogan Lovells recruited Greenberg Traurig private equity partner Adam Tope in New York. The Asian Lawyer, a sibling publication, reported last week on Hogan Lovells’ addition of Norton Rose Fulbright senior associate Matthew Leigh as an asset finance partner in Singapore, where Hogan Lovells recently watched its local arbitration head Paul Teo leave for Baker McKenzie. Nonetheless, The Asian Lawyer reported in February on Hogan Lovells’ addition of Asia-focused antitrust partner Andrew Lee from Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C.

Hogan Lovells also landed Locke Lord corporate governance chair Gregory Hill last month as a partner in Houston, while also bringing on Hilary Tompkins, a former solicitor at the U.S. Department of the Interior, as an environmental partner in Washington, D.C. In January, Hogan Lovells hired financial services litigation partner Claire Lipworth in London, where she most recently served as chief criminal counsel at the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority.

The firm landed Latham & Watkins entertainment partner Stacey Rosenberg in Los Angeles to start off 2017, but watched Latham return to Hogan Lovells to snag energy regulatory partner J. Patrick Nevins in Washington, D.C. Herbert Smith Freehills also hired Hogan Lovells litigation partner Antoine Juaristi to head its Paris litigation group, as noted by sibling publication Legal Week.

Copyright The Recorder. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Richard “Rick” Climan, a well-traveled technology transactions lawyer in Silicon Valley, is preparing to leave Weil, Gotshal & Manges for Hogan Lovells , according to three sources familiar with the matter.

Other lawyers looking to leave Weil with Climan, who is in the final stages of withdrawing from the firm’s partnership, include fellow partners John Brockland, Keith Flaum and Jane Ross. The group headed to Weil nearly five years ago from Dewey & LeBoeuf , a now-defunct firm that the four partners joined from Cooley in two separate moves in 2009.

Hogan Lovells won a bidding war for Climan’s crew, according to one source briefed on their decision to depart Weil. The latter won a similar sweepstakes for the close-knit group when they fled Dewey & LeBoeuf just weeks ahead of the struggling firm’s eventual bankruptcy.

Climan’s group has not formally left Weil—as of late day Tuesday all of their biography pages remained on the firm’s website—but two sources said that Hogan Lovells partners had started voting Tuesday morning on whether to let Climan join their ranks. Bloomberg Big Law Business first reported the news of Climan’s potential departure from Weil.

At Weil, Climan and Flaum earned between $3 million and $4 million per year, according to another source knowledgeable of their compensation. Ross and Brockland, who had less seniority than their two colleagues, earned less. When the entire group moved from Cooley to Dewey & LeBoeuf in 2009, Climan received a multiyear annual guarantee of $3.5 million, Flaum a deal for $3 million and Ross and Brockland about $1.5 million apiece, according to our previous reports. (Climan’s compensation at Dewey & LeBoeuf was one of many issues that emerged in a criminal trial of three former firm executives in 2015.)

Weil saw its profits per partner rise 22.6 percent in 2016, to $3.09 million, according to The American Lawyer’s reporting. Hogan Lovells ‘ average partner profits, as a matter of comparison, remained mostly flat last year, at $1.25 million.

Climan did not return a request for comment about his team’s potential move to Hogan Lovells . In 2012, he said that Weil’s global reach was a major draw for his group, which focuses on cross-border deals involving major technology companies.

“We know their practices and know the reputation of Weil’s practitioners and how good they are,” Climan said at the time. “And we needed a firm that could accommodate very easily a high-end M&A practice. But we needed a firm that could do it globally.”

Climan’s group hit the ground running at Weil. Flaum led a team from the firm advising Santa Clara, California-based Applied Materials Inc. in 2013 on its $9.3 billion sale to Japan’s Tokyo Electron Ltd., although that deal collapsed in early 2015. Flaum and Ross also took the lead for Facebook Inc. on its $19 billion acquisition in early 2014 of mobile-messaging startup WhatsApp, the biggest deal in a decade by the social networking behemoth.

Around that same time, Flaum and Climan advised Chinese computer giant Lenovo Group Ltd. on its $2.91 billion buy of Google Inc. ’s Motorola Mobility smartphone unit. Flaum and Climan also advised Oracle Corp. in 2014 on its $5.3 billion acquisition of Micros Systems Inc. Climan subsequently counseled Synopsys Inc. on its $334 million purchase of security software company Coverity Inc.

The American Lawyer noted in a 2014 feature story about Weil the spate of deal activity by Climan and Flaum, who have worked with one another for more than two decades. But in more recent years, the pace of notable M&A engagements from their team has slowed, despite an increase in technology market transactions. In 2015, a year in which The Recorder named Ross one of its Women Leaders in Tech Law, Climan assisted Weil corporate chair Michael Aiello in advising Intel Corp. on its $16.7 billion buy of programmable chipmaker Altera Corp.

A year ago this month, Climan and Flaum advised Bank of America Corp. in its role as financial adviser to Mitel Networks Corp. on its $1.8 billion acquisition of conferencing technology company Polycom Inc. In early March of this year, the two once again scored another nonprincipal transactional role for Bank of America as financial adviser to Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. on its $1.09 billion purchase of Nimble Storage Inc.

“I think that real rainmakers rarely operate as lone wolves,” Climan recently told The American Lawyer for an upcoming story about the secrets of top dealmakers. “Most established rainmakers that I know function as part of multitalented teams of lawyers [that] are able to provide attentive, around-the-clock services on the most sensitive issues.”

Climan isn’t the only member of his team to recently find a new home. Eric Reifschneider, a former colleague of Climan’s at Cooley and Dewey & LeBoeuf , decamped in early 2012 for an in-house job at Qualcomm Inc. Reifschneider left San Diego-based Qualcomm, where he was senior vice president of technology licensing, last year. He re-emerged in February at the Marconi Group, a Dallas-based patent licensing service. Reifschneider declined to comment Tuesday about his former colleagues.

Hogan Lovells , which late last year saw its longtime leader J. Warren Gorrell Jr. retire from management at 62, also declined to comment about Climan or his team. Hogan Lovells has been busy on the lateral hiring front so far this year.

On Monday, Hogan Lovells announced its hire of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck real estate partner Lea Ann Fowler in Denver, a move that came several weeks after Hogan Lovells recruited Greenberg Traurig private equity partner Adam Tope in New York . The Asian Lawyer, a sibling publication, reported last week on Hogan Lovells ’ addition of Norton Rose Fulbright senior associate Matthew Leigh as an asset finance partner in Singapore, where Hogan Lovells recently watched its local arbitration head Paul Teo leave for Baker McKenzie . Nonetheless, The Asian Lawyer reported in February on Hogan Lovells addition of Asia-focused antitrust partner Andrew Lee from Steptoe & Johnson in Washington, D.C.

Hogan Lovells also landed Locke Lord corporate governance chair Gregory Hill last month as a partner in Houston, while also bringing on Hilary Tompkins, a former solicitor at the U.S. Department of the Interior, as an environmental partner in Washington, D.C. In January, Hogan Lovells hired financial services litigation partner Claire Lipworth in London, where she most recently served as chief criminal counsel at the U.K.’s Financial Conduct Authority.

The firm landed Latham & Watkins entertainment partner Stacey Rosenberg in Los Angeles to start off 2017, but watched Latham return to Hogan Lovells to snag energy regulatory partner J. Patrick Nevins in Washington, D.C. Herbert Smith Freehills also hired Hogan Lovells litigation partner Antoine Juaristi to head its Paris litigation group, as noted by sibling publication Legal Week.

Copyright The Recorder. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.