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Looking Presidential Lawyers have long helped pad presidential campaign coffers, but in 2008 there may be added incentive to rally support if one of their own is on the ballot. After years in public service, both Rudolph Giuliani, former New York City mayor, and Tommy Thompson, former secretary of health and human services, jumped to law firms in March 2005 and now intend to test their mettle for potential presidential bids as Republican candidates. Giuliani made the biggest splash into private practice, getting Texas-based Bracewell & Patterson to change its name to Bracewell & Giuliani. Thompson joined the D.C. office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld as a partner. Giuliani’s decision to test a presidential run didn’t come as a surprise to the firm, says Patrick Oxford, managing partner. “We talked about it at length, as you could guess. The mayor was famous before we talked to him, he’ll be famous when he runs, and he’ll be famous when he’s president. This is something we always anticipated,” says Oxford. “[Giuliani's] still a senior partner, he’s still involved in the firm, and we expect him to remain so indefinitely.” Thompson’s role with Akin Gump is less certain. “[It's] too early to speculate as to how or whether this announcement would affect his workload at the firm,” says Kristen White, a spokeswoman at Akin Gump. However, the firm does expect its ranks to be involved in Thompson’s bid.
Departing Dewey New York-based Dewey Ballantine’s recent announcement that it intends to merge with San Francisco-based Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe is bound to shake up Washington’s lateral market. After all, the different partnership structures of the two firms could mean an exodus of senior associates and nonequity partners from Dewey looking for other opportunities. Dewey faced its first major departure in Washington since the merger went public on Oct. 25 with Earle O’Donnell, head of its energy markets and regulatory practice, exiting for the D.C. office of White & Case. But O’Donnell, who is taking partner Donna Attanasio and of counsel Zori Ferkin with him, says the move wasn’t because of lack of confidence in the Dewey-Orrick merger. Instead, he says it served as a “catalyst” for the timing of his move. O’Donnell, who is well known for his work on some of the largest utility mergers and acquisitions, will serve as head of White & Case’s energy group within the firm’s energy, infrastructure, and project finance practice, focusing on energy regulatory issues for clients. “[Energy's] an area where we’ve always wanted to be stronger,” says Victor DeSantis, head of White & Case’s D.C. office. DeSantis says the firm wants to build out its energy practice with electricity and natural gas lawyers. O’Donnell declined to discuss which clients will be following him, except to say he expects to continue representing many of the same companies. White & Case also picked up another Dewey partner last week in New York adding Alan Gover, who had headed Dewey’s restructuring practice since 2001.
Looking East Prominent Korean lawyer Kyunghoon Lee has joined Chadbourne & Parke’s D.C. office as part of the firm’s efforts to staff up its nascent Korea practice. Prior to joining the firm, Lee was a vice president and corporate counsel for Samsung Electronics Corp. and the vice chairman of the Korean Corporate Counsel Association. The firm launched its Korea practice earlier this year as part of a plan to increase its footprint in Asia, says Hwan Kim, a corporate partner in the D.C office, who heads Chadbourne’s Korea team. The team worked on three merger and acquisition deals in Korea this year, including representing the Swiss Schindler Group in its acquisition of a stake in Hyundai Elevator Co., which holds various participations in other Hyundai companies. Kim says the firm also does corporate finance work for Korean companies involved in deals in the United States and Europe. Chadbourne’s Korean clients include Lee’s former employer, as well as Korea’s Ministry of Information and Communications, Korea Telecom America, Samsung Heavy Industries, and POSCO, the world’s third-largest steelmaker.
The Ease of the Trade Tod Ackerly, a senior counsel with the D.C. office of Covington & Burling, advised SIS SegaInterSettle AG, a Swiss clearing and settlement agency, in devising a settlement system that permits stock trades on the London Stock Exchange and in London’s Alternative Investment Market in shares of U.S. companies to be settled electronically. The practice in London has been to settle shares of U.S. companies with paper certificates for at least a year after their initial public offerings in order to comply with Securities and Exchange Commission rules on offshore offerings, thereby avoiding having to register the securities in the United States. The new electronic system, which went live last week, should increase the liquidity of U.S. shares on London’s AIM by making them easier to trade. U.S. companies are increasingly looking to AIM as an attractive alternative to U.S. markets, and more companies are listing there for a number of reasons, Ackerly says, including the high costs of regulatory compliance in the United States in the post-Sarbanes-Oxley era.
Latham Powers Up Michael Egge, a D.C.-based partner, was part of a three-office Latham & Watkins team advising Spanish power company Iberdrola SA in its $22.5 billion bid for ScottishPower Plc. Egge, an antitrust expert, worked on the deal with Latham attorneys Juan Manuel de Remedios, Michael Immordino, and Jeff Lawlis in London and Javier Ruiz Calzado in Brussels. If successful, the acquisition would create the third-largest European utility by market capitalization.
AU Awarded The Women’s Bar Association Foundation last week presented its inaugural WBAF Fellowship to American University, Washington College of Law in the ballroom of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. More than 100 people attended the foundation’s 25th anniversary reception. Claudio Grossman, dean of American’s law school, accepted the fellowship award presented by WBAF President Ellen Jakovic. The $5,000 fellowship will go to an American University law student who will work with a local law firm on projects to benefit women and children in the community. The law school will pick the fellowship recipient.
Keeping Score is Legal Times ‘ 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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