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Oxley Jumps Former Ohio Rep. Michael Oxley (R) will be seeing some familiar faces in his new gig downtown at Cleveland-based Baker Hostetler. Oxley, who served as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee from 2001 to 2006, is most famous for his role as the co-author of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the 2002 corporate reform law Congress passed in the wake of a series of accounting scandals at Enron, WorldCom, and a host of other companies. Oxley joins the firm’s government policy group in the D.C. office this week as of counsel. Baker also brought on Oxley’s former chief of staff, James Conzelman, and his former speechwriter, Peggy Peterson. “We are delighted to have them,” says William Schweitzer, managing partner of the firm’s D.C. office. Oxley, who was represented by Williams & Connolly partner Robert Barnett in the move, says he spoke with a number of law firms in Washington. “I had a certain comfort level with Baker Hostetler,” says Oxley, who has known Schweitzer and other Baker attorneys for years. Barnett has represented a number of former government officials, including Bill Clinton, Alan Greenspan, and Madeleine Albright, in their transitions to the private sector. As a growing number of business leaders call for reforms to the law that bears his name, Oxley could play a critical role in mediating the debate. “There’s a strong case to be made that the first series of regulations went too far,” Oxley says, noting that he supports reforms that would reduce the costs of complying with the law. “He should be highly sought after to help companies work with global capital markets issues,” says Tom Donohue, president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been at the forefront of calls for Sarbanes-Oxley and other capital market reforms. Oxley will also join the Chamber as a fellow, Donohue adds.
Mini U.N. D.C.-based Crowell & Moring added depth earlier this month, luring Fulbright & Jaworski partner Arif Hyder Ali over as co-chairman of the firm’s international arbitration practice. The move signals a desire to build out the firm’s arbitration capabilities, says Kent Gardiner, Crowell chairman. “Our goal very much is to have a multicultural, multijurisdictional, multidimensional, multilingual team that’s able to work on arbitrations anywhere in the world,” says Ali. “A mini United Nations, with lawyers who can work in civil law, common law jurisdictions.” Fulbright associate Baiju Simal Vasani will also join him. . . . Kilpatrick Stockton also added to its government relations practice with defense and intelligence lobbyists Arch Galloway, Michael Rishling, and Tara Chapman. Galloway, a former senior defense policy adviser to Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), and Rishling, a former CIA officer, both join as directors of government relations. Chapman, also formerly of the CIA, joins as a government relations adviser.
Supreme Victory Lawyers in Jones Day’s D.C. and Shanghai offices scored a major Supreme Court victory last week for their client, Sinochem International Co., a Chinese state-owned importer. In a decision only a civil procedure aficionado could love, the Supreme Court ruled unanimously that a court does not have to determine whether it has jurisdiction in a case before dismissing it on the grounds that a foreign court would be a more appropriate and convenient forum for the dispute. Sinochem is a long-standing Jones Day client, says Greg Castanias, a partner in the firm’s D.C. office, who argued the case before the high court. The fight began when Sinochem filed suit in a Chinese admiralty court against Malaysian International Shipping Corp., arguing that the shipper had backdated a bill of lading for an order of steel coils it loaded at a port in Pennsylvania. (Sinochem had contracted it to transport the coils to China.) Malaysian International then filed suit against Sinochem in a federal court in Pennsylvania, which the Chinese company moved to dismiss on the grounds that the U.S. court lacked jurisdiction and that the Chinese court would be a more convenient forum to resolve the issue. The case got the attention of U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement, who argued in an amicus brief that “the United States has a significant interest in maintaining the federal courts’ ability to avoid unnecessary adjudication in cases that, for example, may involve delay, burdensome or sensitive discovery, or examination of difficult legal issues.” The ruling could make it easier for foreign companies to avoid getting tangled up in litigation in U.S. courts. Under the ruling, companies with little connection to the United States can argue that the courts should dismiss cases on the grounds that there is a more convenient forum available, without first having to resolve jurisdictional issues, which can require evidentiary hearings and costly discovery. Associate Victoria Dorfman in the D.C. office and partners Peter Wang and Alex Zhang in the Shanghai office also worked on the case.
Keeping Score is Legal Times ‘ weekly column devoted to the legal business scene. Got a tip? Contact Business Editor Anna Palmer at [email protected].

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