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DLA Piper has picked off three more partners from Nixon Peabody, this time taking its chairman of litigation, the chairman of its China and Asia Pacific practice and an intellectual property attorney in Boston. The additions make a total of seven Nixon Peabody partners DLA Piper has brought aboard in recent weeks. The moves are part of the firm’s effort to bolster its entertainment and sports practices worldwide. Frank Ryan, the former chairman of Nixon Peabody’s litigation department, is a trial lawyer with a focus on media, sports, entertainment and intellectual property. His clients have included Walt Disney Co., American Broadcasting Cos. Inc., ESPN Inc., and Eastman Kodak Co. Replacing him as practice chairman at Nixon Peabody is Fred Kelly Jr. in Boston. His trial practice is concentrated in the pharmaceuticals and medical device industries. Also joining DLA Piper is Henry Liu, the former chairman and managing partner of Nixon Peabody’s China and Asia Pacific practices. He has worked primarily on cross-border financial transactions for large and small companies. Assuming his role at Nixon Peabody is David Cheng, who will work mostly from China. Moving to DLA Piper from Nixon Peabody’s Boston office is Nicholas Papastavros, who was co-chairman of its privacy and data protection practice. The departures to DLA Piper are “bittersweet,” said Richard Rochford, a member of the Nixon Peabody management committee. He described the effect on Nixon Peabody as “really minimal.” “The firm is built on contributions from a lot of people. We don’t have a core group of developers. The institutional framework is collaborative,” Rochford said. In early May, DLA Piper recruited rainmaker Peter White, a partner in Nixon Peabody’s New York office who orchestrated financing for the New York Yankees and Mets stadiums. White was named a “Dealmaker of the Year” in 2007 by The American Lawyer, an affiliate of The National Law Journal. Joining him were Nixon Peabody partner Mark Whitaker in Washington and Katherine Baynes in Rochester, N.Y. Both of those attorneys have public finance practices. Following a few days later was Charles Baker, a former Nixon Peabody mergers and acquisitions partner. Among other big deals, he handled the 2008 purchase of the Miami Dolphins franchise and Dolphin stadium. The additions are a function of putting talent where business lies, said Roger Meltzer, chairman of DLA Piper’s corporate and finance practices. “We look at the flows of capital, how fast the capital moves, what the likely industries are and where the real opportunity is,” he said.

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