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Farr From Home Willkie Farr & Gallagher’s international trade law group could jump to the D.C. office of Vinson & Elkins soon. No deal has been finalized, but William Barringer, the head of Willkie’s trade group, and Jay Hebert, the co-administrative partner of Vinson’s D.C. office, confirm that they are in talks. If the negotiations are successful, Barringer says, his 20-person team could move to Vinson by the end of the year. Approximately 50 percent of the work the group does is for Chinese and Asian clients, Barringer says, so the practice is looking for a firm with a presence in the region. Although Willkie has no offices in Asia and no plans to open any, he adds, Vinson has offices in Beijing, Shanghai, and Tokyo. Vinson’s Hebert says the group is a “good fit” with Vinson’s international footprint. Vinson has been on the lookout for an international trade group with Asian expertise, Hebert says, noting that the firm has been referring requests for trade representation for its Chinese clients to other firms. Vinson has been in talks with other trade groups, Hebert says, but none have progressed as far as the current discussions with the Willkie group. Just Breathe Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton is representing British-based pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline in its acquisition of CNS Inc., a Minneapolis-based maker of consumer health care products including Breathe Right nasal strips. GlaxoSmithKline agreed to buy CNS for $566 million last week in a deal that is expected to close by early next year. The Cleary team included D.C.-based partner David Gelfand, New York-based partner Victor Lewkow, and New York-based associate Lillian Rice. Going Global Baker & McKenzie hosted a global-business symposium at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce last week. Christine Lagarde, France’s minister for foreign trade and former Baker chairwoman, gave the keynote address. Other luminaries in attendance included Zbigniew Brzezinski, who served as national security adviser to then-President Jimmy Carter from 1977 to 1981; Harvey Pitt, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission from 2001 to 2003 and now chief executive officer of the global-business consulting firm Kalorama Partners; Daniel Goelzer, a former partner in Baker’s D.C. office and now a member of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board; Giovanni Castellaneta, Italian ambassador to the United States; and Timothy Stratford, the assistant U.S. trade representative for China affairs. The symposium was part of the firm’s annual meeting, which brought together more than 600 Baker partners from 70 offices around the world. Cool Runnings Silicon Valley’s Cooley Godward’s merger with New York litigation firm Kronish Lieb Weiner & Hellman became effective at the beginning of the month. Joseph Conroy, the partner in charge of Cooley’s D.C. and Reston, Va., offices, says the merger has generated a “significant pickup in interest from prospective laterals” and expects growth by the end of the year in the D.C. office’s regulatory, litigation, and intellectual property litigation practices. Staying Put Chief Justice John Roberts Jr. appointed Mark Levy, a partner with the D.C. office of Kilpatrick Stockton, to a second three-year term on the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. Levy, who is the director of Kilpatrick’s appellate advocacy group, was first appointed to the committee, which considers changes to federal appellate rules, by the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist in 2003. Straight to Heller James Czaban joined WilmerHale’s Food and Drug Administration department last week as a partner. Formerly the head of Heller Ehrman’s FDA practice, Czaban will work with the firm’s pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and life sciences clients. Keeping Score is Legal Times’ new weekly column devoted to the legal business scene. Got a tip for Alexia or Anna? Contact them at [email protected] or [email protected]

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