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Rudy’s Gibson Crew America’s mayor has a soft spot for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher. Presidential hopeful Rudolph Giuliani has added a new advisory board to his campaign, this one on the heated topic of immigration. Serving on it are Gibson, Dunn partner Robert Bonner, Giuliani’s chief homeland security adviser and the former commissioner of U.S. customs services, and Nicolle Rippeon, a former attorney with Gibson, Dunn who now works at a consulting firm. And the Gibson, Dunn-Giuliani connection doesn’t end with immigration. The candidate also touts a long list of Gibson, Dunn partners on his justice advisory committee, including Miguel Estrada, Douglas Cox, Randy Mastro, and Washington veteran Theodore Olson. But don’t get the idea that the firm is, well, firmly planted in the Giuliani camp. Stephanie Tsacoumis, Gibson, Dunn’s co-partner in charge in the D.C. office, says that the firm has no position on political candidates. “We’ve got folks who are active on all sides,” says Tsacoumis, mentioning, among others, C.F. Muckenfuss, who is a member of the D.C. finance committee of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign. “We’re pretty well-represented all around.” Raymond Shepherd III, Venable’s new partner and chairman of the firm’s congressional investigations practice, is another D.C. attorney on Giuliani’s board.
Kirkland Makes Its Case Sometimes a little contract dispute can go a long way. The D.C. office of Kirkland & Ellis just scored a big win for client BASF. After a seven-week trial in state court in Morris County, N.J., a jury came back last week with a $170 million award in favor of BASF and against chemical company Lyondell, a provider for BASF. “We’re very pleased that the jury weighed the evidence and determined that Lyondell had significantly overcharged BASF by $170 million,” says Eugene Assaf, Kirkland’s lead attorney on the case. BASF entered into a 13-year contract with Lyondell to purchase a chemical used to make handy items such as foam, but found that it was being overcharged. Since BASF has to date purchased at least 1.1 billion pounds of the chemical, those extra cents added up to one angry customer. The trial pitted Washington-based Kirkland partners Assaf and Daniel Donovan against H. Lee Godfrey, a well-known litigator from the Houston shop of Susman Godfrey. Attorneys for Lyondell have already indicated they will seek a new trial and possibly an appeal.
A&P Gains Extra Security It just goes to show you never really do get over your first love. After logging time at the Securities and Exchange Commission and in the consulting business, Laura Badian joined Arnold & Porter as counsel in the firm’s D.C. corporate and securities practice last week. She spent the first 14 years of her career as a partner at Lord, Bissell & Brook in Chicago, and she says she longed to get back to her professional roots. “I always intended to return to private practice, and I can’t think of a better place to do it than Arnold & Porter,” says Badian. Most recently, she was managing director at the business consulting firm Kalorama Partners, and prior to that, she spent five years as special counsel in the SEC’s Division of Corporate Finance. Badian says she’s anxious to apply her skills at Arnold & Porter, which she considers “the most sophisticated in corporate and securities.” Her affections are definitely reciprocated. In a release, Steven Kaplan, head of the firm’s securities practice, praised Badien’s “broad experience and deep expertise,” calling her “a valuable resource.”
Banking on Thatcher Thatcher Proffitt’s D.C. outpost has been cranking out the bank mergers this year. The firm’s latest deal helped seal the merger of two Maine financial institutions, midsized community banks Camden National Corp. and Union Bankshares Co. Camden bought out Union Bankshares for approximately $72.5 million. The merger, once past SEC and shareholder approval, will have combined assets of $2.3 billion. “This is a very good affiliation for both of these companies,” says Richard Schaberg, managing partner of Thatcher’s D.C. office and the lead attorney on the deal. This marks the D.C. office’s 13th bank merger this year, in which the firm has ushered through $3.4 billion worth of acquisitions.
What, You’re Not in Dubai Yet? Last year’s Dubai Ports World debacle aside, there’s just no stopping the Dubai boom. Attorneys at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom and Latham & Watkins brokered a $1.8 billion deal between Dubai Aerospace Enterprise and two aircraft repair companies owned by the D.C.-based Carlyle Group this April. And at the end of July those crafty Skadden attorneys ushered the transaction through the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, the agency that reviews foreign deals for national security issues. To help gain regulatory approval for the deal, the UAE-based company is in the process of selling off private aircraft hangars at several airports around the country. Latham & Watkins handled Carlyle’s side of the transaction, with partner Daniel Lennon as the lead attorney. Howard Ellin headed Skadden’s team, which includes D.C. attorneys Ivan Schlager and Jeremy London. What’s next for a sun-drenched, sand-filled nation that has rapidly turned into a magnet for Western law firms? Sorry, but you’ll have to open your own office to find out.
Keeping Score is Legal Times ‘ weekly column devoted to the legal business scene. Got a tip? Contact Senior Editor Douglas McCollam.

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