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Vinson & Elkins lost its international trade practice group last week, resulting in a big get for Heller Ehrman’s Washington office. Heller scored almost the entire team: Four partners, three associates, five trade analysts, and a handful of staff are starting April 21. One of the partners, Daniel Porter, says the split was amicable. “We just had a different long-term strategy, that’s all,” he says. He and the other partners moving to Heller — William Barringer, James Durling, and Christopher Dunn — joined Vinson just 18 months ago after spending more than 20 years together at Willkie Farr & Gallagher. Porter says they realized that while their interests were in international trade cases in Asia, Vinson’s sights were set primarily on the Middle East. The team focuses on defending foreign corporations in trade investigations, and counts Yamaha Motor Co., Hynix Semiconductor Inc., and Fujifilm Corp. as clients. Vinson’s D.C. co-administrative partner, C. Michael Buxton, says Vinson is focused on developing business both in the Middle East and Asia.
Marisa McQuilken can be contacted at [email protected].

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