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G-O-O-O-O-A-A-L! First 17-year-old star player Freddy Adu bid adieu, and then the owner followed. It’s been a headline-making off-season for D.C. United. But lost in the hoopla over the team’s sale was the detail that no one from attorney-rich Washington, D.C., was involved in brokering the deal that saw the team’s ownership transfer to San Francisco real estate developer Victor MacFarlane and his phalanx of minority investors. Instead, Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker’s New York office got the action, representing MacFarlane-Changin in the purchase of the soccer team from the Los Angeles-based Anschutz Entertainment Group, a subsidiary of Anschutz Co. Charles Maguire, a partner with Denver-based Holme Roberts & Owen, which specializes in sports-facility financing, lawyered the deal for Anschutz. The new ownership group, D.C. United Holdings — which paid $33 million up front for the four-time Major League Soccer championship team and current Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium tenant — assumed control of the franchise immediately. The Paul, Hastings team included partners Charles Baker, Larry Hass, Charles Hamilton, and Andrew Short and associates Kelly Hodges, Jinho Im, and Peter Ollen. MacFarlane’s other notable investor is former Duke University basketball player Brian Davis. He and former teammate Christian Laettner are partners in Blue Devil Ventures, a real estate development firm based in Durham, N.C. Davis was represented by Kenneth Schneider, a partner in Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison’s New York office. Now, if only Paul, Hastings had a “Bend It Like Beckham” midfielder on staff.
Musical Chairs It’s official. Richard Cullen, a longtime GOP lawyer, has taken over as chairman of McGuireWoods. Cullen, who formerly served as U.S. attorney and attorney general of Virginia, replaces 16-year Chairman Robert Burrus Jr., who will become chairman emeritus. Cullen, who previously headed the firm’s white-collar and government investigations team, has been a member of the firm’s executive committee since 2006. Though there are no significant plans for change on the horizon, Cullen says the firm could expand its regional offices to better serve clients, as it has done with a new office in Jacksonville, Fla., to be closer to train-company client CSX Corp. and in Pittsburgh, Pa., for client Dominion Resources.
Drivin’ South Virginia-based Williams Mullen is heading down Tobacco Road with its pick-up of 53-lawyer North Carolina-based Maupin Taylor. As a result of the merger, which is pending partner approval, the firm expects to expand its regulatory and cross-border transaction work, says Julious Smith Jr., chairman and CEO of Williams Mullen. “We have looked at Raleigh for a long time,” says Smith. “The lawyers are similar. The practices are similar, and that’s what attracted us.” The name of the firm will remain Williams Mullen, although North Carolina offices will operate under the name Williams Mullen Maupin Taylor during a transition period. The D.C. and Tysons Corner, Va., offices will not add attorneys or staff immediately. But Smith says additional hires are likely in the next few years as a result of the merger. “The customs and homeland security work we do in D.C. will be generated out of Raleigh,” says Smith.
Seeking Security Former Undersecretary of Homeland Security Asa Hutchinson is returning to familiar territory, rejoining Venable’s Washington office. The move comes after the firm’s recent pickup of multiple lateral partners, including Raymond Shepherd III, former chief counsel and staff director of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, and former Alliance for Justice legal counsel Seth Rosenthal. The firm is also looking to expand its intellectual property capacity, according to Karl Racine, managing partner of Venable’s Washington office. Hutchinson, 56, a former two-term Republican congressman and once the chief of the Drug Enforcement Administration, headed up the firm’s homeland security practice before exiting in March 2006 to launch an unsuccessful bid to become governor of Arkansas. “We are thrilled to have Asa back at Venable,” says Racine. “When Asa was here during his last stint, he was a significant contributor not only to our homeland security practice but also to our litigation practice.” Unlike his previous tenure at Venable, in which he lobbied for homeland security clients such as Verizon Wireless, Intelligenxia, and ImmuneRegen Biosciences Inc., Hutchinson will be a partner in the firm’s litigation division. “I want to re-engage as a lawyer-litigator,” says Hutchinson. “I have very intentionally negotiated being in the litigation division. Previously I was in the legislative shop and hope to be supportive when I can, but my focus and concentration will be in the litigation arena.” Before being elected to political office, Hutchinson practiced law for 21 years in Arkansas, where he tried more than 100 jury trials and was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to be U.S. attorney for the Western District of Arkansas. After the creation of the Department of Homeland Security after the Sept. 11 attacks, President George W. Bush tapped Hutchinson to become the department’s first-ever undersecretary. While there, he was in charge of the Border and Transportation Security Directorate, the largest division of the department. Hutchinson says he will focus on complex litigation, corporate investigations, and government oversight at the firm. In addition to his stint at Venable, Hutchinson will be splitting his time between Washington and Arkansas as a partner and chief executive of the Hutchinson Group, a homeland security consulting firm he founded. Asked about the potential of a future in politics, Hutchinson says he wants to re-establish his credentials as a litigator, but that he isn’t “making [a] forever type” of statement about whether or not he’ll try again for public office.
Keeping Score is Legal Times ‘ weekly column devoted to the legal business scene. Got a tip for Alexia or Anna? Contact Business Editor Anna Palmer at [email protected].

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