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Dubai Dubai Doo In what could be the most closely watched deal to come before the government panel that reviews foreign investment deals for national security problems since the Dubai Ports World fiasco last year, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise announced last week it was in advanced talks to buy two aviation repair companies from the Carlyle Group. Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is advising the Dubai state-owned company in its $1.5 billion bid, while a team of lawyers at Latham & Watkins, including D.C.-based partner Daniel Lennon, is representing the high-profile D.C.-based private equity shop. The purchase will likely require approval by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States. New York-based partner Howard Ellin, the deputy head of Skadden’s M&A practice, is heading up the firm’s New York and D.C.-based team on the deal. The team includes D.C. partners Ivan Schlager, Jeremy London, and Kenneth Berlin. Schlager recently led the Skadden team that shepherded French telecom company Alcatel through the CFIUS approval process in connection with its $13.4 billion merger with Lucent Technologies. Formed last year, Dubai Aerospace is negotiating to buy Landmark Aviation, an aviation maintenance, repair, and overhaul company, and Standard Aero, which repairs and overhauls gas turbine engines used in business and military aircraft and helicopters.
Santorum Moves to Eckert Seems Rick Santorum will be doling out advice for clients of Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellot. Last week, the Pittsburgh-based firm announced the former Republican senator from Pennsylvania was joining its business division as a counselor to clients on the legislative and regulatory process, but said Santorum would not lobby government officials. Eckert Seamans was able to lure Santorum to the firm after he was defeated for a third Senate term by Democrat Bob Casey Jr. But will Santorum try to dust off his legal skills as well? To do so, he would have to catch up on his continuing legal education requirements after being inactive from practicing for 16 years. In 1986, Santorum received his law degree from Dickinson School of Law and began practicing at Pittsburgh-based Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham (now Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis). Even there, his most notable work was lobbying for the then-World Wrestling Federation (now World Wrestling Entertainment). The job at Eckert isn’t expected to interfere with his other gigs as a senior fellow with the Ethics and Public Policy Center and as a contributor to Fox News Channel. Santorum isn’t the only former member of Congress finding a law firm home. Last week, former Rep. Chris Bell (D-Texas) joined K Street titan Patton Boggs as of counsel. Bell will be based in the firm’s Dallas office and will focus on public policy and lobbying. While in Congress, Bell served as senior whip, chairman, and founder of the Congressional Port Security Caucus and as a member of the committees on Financial Services, International Relations, Science, and Government Reform. He also made an unsuccessful bid to become the governor of Texas in 2006.
Tie Down Your Policy Experts International trade lobbyists with extensive Democratic connections are probably a good bet as the newly Democratic Congress appears eager to reassert its role in forming the nation’s trade policy. Earlier this month, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld lured Hal Shapiro and Greg Mastel, two trade-policy experts, from Miller & Chevalier. Shapiro, who served as senior adviser on international economic affairs in the Clinton White House, and Mastel, who served as the chief trade adviser to the Senate Finance Committee from 2000 to 2003 and has also worked as Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus’ (D-Mont.) chief of staff, advise multinational companies and trade associations on trade policy, free-trade agreements and World Trade Organization litigation. Akin’s big draw for the duo was the firm’s public-policy capabilities, Mastel says. “Miller doesn’t have much of a history of lobbying,” Mastel says. “Akin has a rare combination of a strong international trade practice and a policy practice.” The move follows Akin’s scoop last month of Stephen Kho, a nine-year veteran, from the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Kho, who was most recently USTR’s acting chief counsel on China enforcement, served as USTR’s legal adviser at the U.S. mission to the WTO in Geneva, where he oversaw the United States’ WTO litigation from 2002 to 2005.
Not Ready for Pasture D.C. Bar President Jim Sandman is pushing a program to get older attorneys more involved with pro bono. The D.C Bar Pro Bono Program met earlier this month with D.C.-area managing partners to promote its Senior Lawyer Public Interest Project as a win-win for everyone involved. “Our purpose is to get more pro bono work done,” says Sandman, a senior partner at Arnold & Porter, who pointed out that 90 percent of all D.C. pro bono cases go untouched. “We think there’s an untapped audience of senior lawyers out there that can help us reach our goal.” Sandman says the D.C. Bar will do the matchmaking, and find the right pro bono client or case for a lawyer interested in spending more time on nonbillable hours. The initiative, says James Jones, a consultant at Hildebrandt International, can help both a firm and older lawyers not ready for retirement. “The baby-boom generation is reaching retirement age and many aren’t ready to quit,” Jones says. “Sixty percent of all lawyers are in that generation. So something has to give.”
Fast Track She’s done research for biotech companies. She’s worked in house at a company that developed therapies to fight cancer. Last week, she made partner at Morrison & Foerster. And Laura Spiegelman is only 32. It’s been a quick rise for Spiegelman, a San Francisco lawyer whose practice, infused by her past experience, focuses on licensing and corporate partnering for life sciences and biotech companies. The partnership track at Morrison is typically seven to nine years. Out of the 21 new partners announced last week, Spiegelman was the only one to make it in seven — and that included the one year she spent in house at Hayward, Calif.’s Kosan Biosciences. Attorneys who make partner particularly quickly have “superstar” capabilities in business development and in their practice, says Pamela Reed, firmwide managing partner for operations. Spiegelman previously worked at what is now Cooley Godward Kronish before going in house and then joined Morrison in 2004. Before that, she was an Amherst College biology major who spent her summers doing research in the laboratories of three San Diego biotech companies — Hybertech, Syngene, and Canji. But she realized early on she didn’t want to be a researcher or a doctor. “I was always interested in health care and thought about medicine and always loved science,” Spiegelman says. “But the full story is that I’m too empathetic to be a doctor” who would frequently have to see people suffering. Although the profession of law isn’t often perceived as a haven for the overempathetic, Spiegelman says her practice is all about helping others. “The kinds of deals I work on are really closely connected to programs developing drugs that are aimed at helping people and saving lives,” she says. She recently advised on a deal that saw Aveo Pharmaceuticals acquire a clinical stage anti-cancer compound from client Kirin Brewery. She helped hammer out the agreement for Aveo’s exclusive license to develop and commercialize Kirin’s oral VEGF receptor inhibitor in all territories outside of Asia.
Keeping Score is Legal Times ‘ weekly column devoted to the legal business scene. Zusha Elinson of Legal Times’ sister publication, The Recorder , contributed to this report. Got a tip? Contact Business Editor Anna Palmer at [email protected].

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