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Survey forecasts uptick for corporate counsel Chief legal officers plan to expand their in-house staff and spend more on outside legal counsel during the next 12 months, according to Altman Weil Inc. and LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell’s most recent annual CLO survey. Forty percent of chief legal officers plan to hire more lawyers, up from 36% who indicated such plans last year. In the last two to three years, law departments involved in the survey have already added an average of 1.7 new positions. For new hires, chief legal officers are seeking lawyers with specific practice expertises, instead of generalists. Lower billing rates lead to exit from Morrison After three years as co-chairman of Morrison & Foerster’s antitrust group, Jesse Markham Jr. is leaving the firm to join Holme Roberts & Owen. The litigator cites lower billing rates and an opportunity to expand Denver-based Holme’s practice as the primary reasons for his move. Markham assumed the post of that firm’s antitrust team co-chair last week, in San Francisco. Managing partner Kenneth Lund “is very focused on building the antitrust practice at the firm,” Markham said. “It’s what I feel I’m good at and what I like to do.” Before Morrison, Markham was antitrust chairman at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, where he headed the firm’s antitrust growth effort from 1994 to 2004. Sun Microsystems shines its light on fewer firms Five years ago, Sun Microsystems Inc. worked with about 400 different outside law firms. But during the last few months, the company has dramatically pared down its roster of outside counsel. It has now designated nine firms to handle all of its routine work, such as intellectual property advice, sales contracts, licensing and transactions. Sun General Counsel Michael Dillon said the list of firms includes Chicago-based Kirkland & Ellis; DLA Piper; Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz; Washington-based Crowell & Moring and Hogan & Hartson; and Denver’s Holme Roberts & Owen. Firms that had represented Sun in major litigation or transactions in the last year but are not on the list include: Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati. White-collar chair from Ballard goes to Morgan Just a few months after losing white-collar rainmaker Michael Holston to client Hewlett-Packard Co., Morgan, Lewis & Bockius is bringing on another major player in the white-collar defense bar. Eric Sitarchuk, chairman of Philadelphia-based Ballard Spahr Andrews & Ingersoll’s white-collar litigation group, joined Morgan Lewis on June 18. Prior to joining Ballard Spahr in 1996, Sitarchuk was an assistant U.S. attorney in Philadelphia and a special assistant U.S. attorney in Washington. Wiley, Coughlin Duffy sanctioned for $1.25M Failure to disclose a key document on insurance coverage for a government authority at the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks and other discovery abuses is going to cost Wiley Rein and Coughlin Duffy. Wiley Rein of Washington and Coughlin Duffy of Morristown, N.J., and the company they represented, Zurich American Insurance Cos., have been hit with $1.25 million in sanctions by Southern District of New York Judge Alvin Hellerstein. The judge said document destruction by Zurich employees and misleading statements by their attorneys added years and millions of dollars to the cost of prosecuting suits on behalf of people who died or were injured or suffered property loss in the 2001 attacks. The judge did not dictate how much each of the three sanctioned parties should pay of the $1.25 million, leaving the door open for any of those sanctioned to “discuss the subject of allocation.” Bingham McCutchen to acquire Tokyo law firm Bingham McCutchen announced plans to acquire a 22-lawyer Tokyo law firm, which will bring the firm’s head count to above 50 in Japan. The acquisition is Bingham’s second in Japan this year. In February, Bingham combined with another 22-lawyer Tokyo restructuring law firm, Sakai & Mimura. The latest acquisition, of New Tokyo International Law Office, an insolvency, corporate and litigation firm, will increase Bingham’s cross-border restructuring, insolvency and corporate finance capacity in Asia. This fall, Bingham’s first-year class will include 10 new Japanese lawyers at its Tokyo office. When the New Tokyo combination closes, around Oct. 1, Bingham will have more than 50 Japanese lawyers and six other lawyers.

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