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PILLSBURY PICKS UP COUDERT PARTNER Pillsbury Winthrop announced Wednesday it has brought over a third cross-border transactions partner from Coudert Brothers. Greg Pickrell, previously head of Coudert’s global telecom, media and tech group, joined Pillsbury’s Palo Alto office last month. He founded Coudert’s first Silicon Valley office in the mid-’80s and served as managing partner of that firm’s Tokyo office for four years. Pickrell joins two other former Coudert partners at Pillsbury’s Palo Alto office, Gary Benton and Sylvia Burks. Benton, a 17-year lawyer at Coudert, headed the firm’s global client relationship program and Northern California technology group. “We have been trying to grow our office and have been aggressively looking for lateral partner candidates,” said Davina Kaile, the managing partner of the office. “He is the 13th to join our office in the past three years.” Kaile said she was excited because Pickrell has strong experience in cross-border work, and Pillsbury is working to bolster its international practice in Silicon Valley. Pickrell has over 25 years’ experience in corporate and securities practice, working with Silicon Valley and Asian technology companies and investors. He focuses on VC financings, M&A deals, cross-border transactions and licensing matters. He has particular experience in transactions involving Asia, particularly Japan, China and India. He previously worked at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. Coudert lost another partner, Robert Christopher, to San Jose’s Hopkins & Carley earlier this year. Last fall, Coudert announced it was shutting its doors in Palo Alto and moving a dozen attorneys there into its San Francisco office. — Marie-Anne Hogarth TOMMY THOMPSON JOINS AKIN GUMP WASHINGTON — Former Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson has joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld as a partner. Thompson will work part time at Akin Gump while also serving as an adviser to tax and consulting firm Deloitte & Touche USA. Akin Gump Chairman R. Bruce McLean says Thompson will help the firm “develop a multidisciplinary health and life science practice.” At Deloitte, Thompson will chair the firm’s Center for Health Care Management and Transformation. Thompson resigned from President George W. Bush’s Cabinet in December after serving for four years. While at HHS, he oversaw the administration’s dramatic expansion of Medicare through the passage of an estimated $1 trillion prescription-drug benefit but took criticism for what some saw as the administration’s tepid response to the global AIDS epidemic. Thompson also served as the governor of Wisconsin for 14 years, helping push changes to the state’s welfare laws that later served as a model for the reform signed by President Bill Clinton in 1996. He received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School. Joining him at Akin Gump as counsel is Ladd Wiley, an aide to Thompson at Health and Human Services, who also served as a counselor to Thompson in the Wisconsin governor’s office. In a statement, Thompson said that joining the two firms was a “great way to embark on a new career.” He will be based in Akin Gump’s Washington, D.C., office. — Legal TImes

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