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A HELLO TO STEEFEL, ‘NO THANKS’ TO DUANE If there were a prize for poaching quickly, then maybe it should go to Steefel, Levitt & Weiss. Within two days of an article about Hancock Rothert & Bunshoft’s impending merger with Duane Morris, Hancock real estate partner Michael Gevertz received a phone call from a recruiter. A day after that, a meeting had been set up for the following Monday between Gevertz and Steefel lawyers. And within two days of that meeting, Gevertz had agreed to join Steefel as a shareholder. It all happened in less than a week. Gevertz’ first day at Steefel will be Nov. 15. “When they said Steefel, I was immediately interested,” Gevertz said. “I knew the firm was a top-notch business, real estate and litigation firm.” Steefel Chairman Barry Lee was equally excited about Gevertz joining the firm. “I’ve met Michael. He is a bright, energetic real estate and litigation lawyer,” Lee said. Gevertz, who had an offer from a third firm, was the only one of Hancock’s 19 equity partners not to sign the merger agreement with Duane Morris. Although he thinks highly of Duane, Gevertz believed that his real estate practice would fit in better at Steefel. “Duane Morris is a great firm,” said Gevertz. “A national platform is great for our big insurance clients and our clients like Yahoo, but for my regional clients that are here, the national platform does not really add value.” Gevertz’s clients include Paragon Real Estate Group in San Francisco and Vanguard Properties. Hancock’s chairman, Philip Matthews, was saddened to see the longtime partner go. “Mike’s been with us over 20 years, and we will miss him a lot,” Matthews said. “He made his own decision. I tried to persuade him to come with us.” � Marie-Anne Hogarth HOGAN ADDS COUDERT ENTERTAINMENT LAWYER Hogan & Hartson has added former Coudert Brothers attorney Robert Jesuele to its Los Angeles entertainment practice this week. Jesuele was the co-chairman of Coudert’s entertainment and media practice group in Los Angeles. Jesuele represents U.S., European and Asian media, entertainment, consumer products, manufacturing and automotive companies in corporate, commercial and intellectual property matters. He focuses on cross-border transactions and has represented foreign clients investing in the U.S. entertainment business such as StudioCanal and Canal+. Jesuele will be an asset to the firm’s entertainment and media clients, according to Neil O’Hanlon, managing partner of Hogan’s Century City office. His experience with European clients will enhance the firm’s practices in Paris and Berlin, he added. Jesuele said he was interested in Hogan because of its international reach. “They have a robust existing media practice and they have offices in a lot of the places where I have clients,” he said. “It really felt like a natural fit for me.” � Kellie Schmitt FOLEY GETS IP LAWYER FROM THELEN REID IP litigator Carole Handler joined Foley & Lardner’s Los Angeles office earlier this month, and will be vice chairwoman of the firm’s IP litigation practice group and a member of the entertainment and media industry team. Handler, who focuses on trademark and copyright, has tried cases in the entertainment, high technology, telecommunications and pharmaceutical industries. She represented Marvel Enterprises in a high-profile battle over the character Spider-Man, whom she jokingly refers to as “my adopted child.” Handler, who previously worked at Thelen Reid & Priest, said she was drawn to Foley because of its reputation as a top IP firm. “The Los Angeles office has made an intense commitment to trademark, copyright practices and entertainment,” she said. “It’s important to me to be at a firm that has strengths I can build on and where I can continue to build my practice.” Handler’s addition will help Foley’s Los Angeles office build a top entertainment industry team, according to Richard Lasater, the managing partner of the office. � Kellie Schmitt

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