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CHRONICLE TAPS OLSON AS OUTSIDE COUNSEL The San Francisco Chronicle has named Karl Olson, a partner at Levy, Ram & Olson, the newsroom’s new outside counsel. Phil Bronstein, the Chronicle’s executive vice president and editor, introduced Olson to the newsroom staff last week, said Joe Brown, the newspaper’s spokesman. Olson is replacing Roger Myers, a partner at Steinhart & Falconer who had a long history representing the San Francisco Examiner before it merged its editorial staff with the Chronicle’s in late 2000. “Basically all I can say, because of attorney-client confidentialities, is that we understand that the difficult economic climate has compelled Hearst [Corp., the newspaper's owner,] to take a different approach with its legal representation,” Myers said. Brown read a statement from Chronicle Publisher Steven Falk that said the paper’s new leadership is re-evaluating its relationships with all outside consultants and that several changes will be made. “Some of the reasons are cost-related — the Chronicle has to change its cost structure — and some are about a change in focus,” Falk said in his statement. When the newspapers merged their editorial staffs, Myers, the Examiner’s lawyer, and Neil Shapiro, who had been representing the Chronicle, competed for the top job. After the pair shared the work for a while, Myers eventually won out. Myers confirmed that he’s tying up loose ends on some items before ceasing to work for the newspaper. He added that his firm will continue to work with Hearst Corp. on other matters. “Aside from just confirming that it happened, I really don’t have anything more to say,” said Olson, who is also outside counsel for The Recorder. — Pam Smith HELLER ADDS TO ITS INSURANCE PRACTICE Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe has bolstered its insurance coverage practice with the addition of Martin Myers, a partner at Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich. Myers has joined Heller Ehrman’s San Francisco office as a partner. His practice focuses on construction, environmental and products liability insurance coverage disputes, as well as insurance coverage for intellectual property rights and technology-related losses. A University of Michigan Law School graduate, Myers spent nine years at Gray Cary. Heller Ehrman’s “national reputation and global practice in insurance coverage and the firm’s solid strategic plan were both important to me in choosing the firm,” Myers said in a statement, noting that he planned to work closely with attorneys in Heller Ehrman’s IP, technology and financial services practices. Led by Charlie Freiberg and Nancy Sher Cohen, Heller Ehrman’s 50-attorney insurance coverage practice represents clients including GMAC Commercial Mortgage, Wells Fargo, Charles Schwab and Kaiser Aluminum on matters including asbestos liabilities and the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. — Alexei Oreskovic MOFO ADDS FINANCE PARTNER FROM COOLEY Cooley Godward finance partner William Veatch has jumped to Morrison & Foerster’s San Francisco office. A nine-year veteran of Cooley, Veatch said MoFo’s New York and international offices provide an opportunity to expand his practice. “Most of my clients are technology companies, and all the clients are looking to expand internationally, so having a New York presence as a stepping stone to Europe was important,” Veatch said. Cooley has had a string of partner defections since the beginning of the year, as at least seven partners have jumped to other firms. Veatch said his departure was unrelated to that of other partners. In addition to being attracted to MoFo’s New York presence, he said he was finding himself conflicted out of a number of banking relationships at Cooley. Veatch represents foreign and domestic banks and other institutional lenders, equipment leasing companies and technology companies in structuring and documenting deals. Prior to joining Cooley in 1994, he was with the firm then known as Hosie, Wes, McLaughlin & Sacks for three years. He also had a one-year stint as assistant counsel at Bank of the West in Walnut Creek. He received his law degree from Hastings College of the Law in 1987. — Brenda Sandburg

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