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SOUTHERN ROOTS Earlier this month, after 10 months of negotiations, Memphis, Tenn.-based Baker, Donelson, Bearman & Caldwell merged with Berkowitz, Lefkovits, Isom & Kushner, a 65-lawyer business and commercial law firm in Birmingham, Ala. The new firm — called Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz — has more than 300 attorneys and public policy advisers in nine locations, including a 10-lawyer/11-lobbyist D.C. office. Other offices are in Atlanta; Jackson, Miss.; Birmingham, Ala.; and the Tennessee cities of Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga, and Johnson City. The firm also has a representative office in Beijing. — Julia D. Gray MCDERMOTT LOOKS EAST McDermott, Will & Emery has turned east in naming its next chairman. The firm announced last week that starting in 2004, the man who founded the Chicago-based firm’s Boston office, Harvey Freishtat, will succeed Larry Gerber. Gerber has been chairman for 12 years. Freishtat, 56, will be the first firm chairman outside of Chicago. Gerber will continue to serve as chairman until Freishtat takes over next year. — Richard Barbieri SHEARMAN GOES LLP Shearman & Sterling has elected to become a limited liability partnership, effective June 16. The 1,000-lawyer firm becomes the latest top New York firm to adopt LLP status, which protects partners not directly involved in a claim from personal liability. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett also recently made the switch from a general partnership, in which all partners are jointly and severally liable for claims against the firm. Sullivan & Cromwell; Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison; and Cravath, Swaine & Moore have also adopted LLP status this year. — Anthony Lin TRADING SPACES Coudert Brothers has changed addresses in San Francisco. The firm has moved into about 12,000 square feet of space in the city’s Financial District previously occupied by Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. Coudert had negotiated a sublease with Brobeck before the firm announced in January that it would be closing down. Coudert then worked out a deal to rent the space directly from the landlord. Coudert has 11 attorneys in San Francisco and 15 in Palo Alto, just south of the city. — Brenda Sandburg

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