Linklaters’s New York office lost five attorneys in its white-collar practice, including LARRY BYRNE, who served as head of the firm’s U.S. litigation practice, as well as the co–managing partner of the New York office and cohead of the global U.S. practice.

Byrne is now a partner with Pepper Hamilton’s white-collar litigation and investigations group in New York. Former Linklaters counsel RUTH HARLOW, who represents clients involved in government and internal investigations, also joined Pepper Hamilton as a partner.

Byrne cites Pepper Hamilton’s greater depth in the United States and wider network of lawyers here as among the reasons that drew him to the firm. His 30-year ties to former FBI director and Pepper Hamilton executive committee chair Louis Freeh helped too. "The opportunity to work with [Freeh] again was so great that I couldn’t pass it up," Byrne says about his decision to leave Linklaters, a firm he joined in 2006.

The group moving from Linklaters also includes MARTIN BLOOR, whose practice focuses on criminal and regulatory investigations, and LINDA REGIS-HALLINAN, a white-collar criminal and government regulatory investigations expert. Both were previously associates at Linklaters and join Pepper Hamilton as of counsel, along with at least one other associate.

Pepper Hamilton also announced the hire of two Ballard Spahr attorneys this week. Partner GINA MAISTO SMITH, who spent nearly 20 years in the Philadelphia district attorney’s office dealing with child abuse and sex crime cases, joins the firm’s white-collar practice along with partner LESLIE GOMEZ, also a former member of the Philadelphia DA’s office in the juvenile unit.

In other Churn news…

Los Angeles land use boutique Armbruster Goldsmith & Delvac has welcomed former Latham & Watkins partner DAMON MAMALAKIS. The attorney tries environmental and land use cases and also works with planning departments and local jurisdictions. He joins Armbruster as a partner.

Barnes & Thornburg has hired an in-house veteran to help the firm grow its agribusiness services throughout the country. WILLIAM WALES, who joins Barnes & Thornburg as a partner in Indianapolis, spent more than 30 years with Dow Chemical Company, most recently as vice president, general counsel and secretary of one of the company’s subsidiaries.

Bryan Cave has hired a three-attorney private client group from Paul Hastings on both coasts: RENEE GABBARD, who joins as a partner in Irvine, California, EDWARD PECK as of counsel in New York, and one associate in Irvine. At Bryan Cave, the group plans to focus on advising privately held businesses, high net-worth clients, and charitable organizations on tax planning, charitable planning, trust administration, and other matters. At Paul Hastings, Gabbard and Peck practiced in the firm’s tax department. With their departure, Paul Hastings will no longer do private client work, according to a firm spokeswoman.

LUTHER MUNFORD has returned to Butler, Snow, O’Mara, Stevens & Cannada after more than 25 years away from the firm. As a member of the firm’s appellate and written advocacy practice, Munford will handle cases related to media law, constitutional law, and professional and product liability. Most recently Munford was a senior partner with Phelps Dunbar. He joins Butler Snow’s Jackson, Mississippi–area office.

Foley & Lardner has hired STACY FOX in its Detroit office to work with the automotive and energy industry teams as of counsel. Fox was most recently general counsel and senior vice president of strategy at American oil manufacturer Sunoco Inc.

CLARE CONNOR RANALLI, a former partner with McDermott Will & Emery, is now practicing with Holland & Knight as a partner. Based in the firm’s Chicago office, Ranalli works on regulatory and transactional matters for clients in the health industry.

The former general counsel for Mexico’s Central Bank, HECTOR TINOCO, has joined Jones Day. Based in Mexico City, Tinoco is now a partner in the firm’s banking and finance practice.

King & Spalding has welcomed back former environmental litigator ADAM SOWATZKA, who left the firm in 2010. Most recently a shareholder with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, Sowatzka rejoins King & Spalding as a partner in the environmental litigation practice in Atlanta. Also joining the Atlanta-based firm are intellectual property lawyers KENNETH STEINTHAL, as partner, and JOSEPH WETZEL, as counsel. Both made the move from Greenberg Traurig, where Steinthal was most recently the head of the San Francisco office, and Wetzel of counsel. The two attorneys will be based in King & Spalding’s San Francisco office.

THOMAS HANLEY III has lateraled to Loeb & Loeb from Dykema Gossett, where he led the firm’s Los Angeles real estate practice. Hanley will remain based in Los Angeles, and joins as a partner in the real estate department.

Labor and employment firm Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart recruited ELIZABETH DOUGHERTY to head the firm’s new airline and railway practice. Dougherty joins as a shareholder in the Washington, D.C., office and will also be a member of the governmental affairs practice. Most recently, Dougherty oversaw airline and railroad labor relations as a member of independent agency National Mediation Board.

FRANK RAPOPORT
, formerly McKenna Long & Aldridge’s only attorney in Pennsylvania, is now moving to construction law firm Peckar & Abramson. According to sibling publication The Legal Intelligencer, Rapoport will be working from the firm’s newly launched Devon, Pennsylvania, office, as well as the New York branch, focusing on public-private partnerships.

BARBARA ALONSO has joined Squire Sanders’s financial services practice to pursue cases related to corporate and project finance, debt and equity capital markets, and broker-dealer regulatory issues. A partner in the firm’s Miami office, Alonso joins from Greenberg Traurig, where she was a partner.

Troutman Sanders has nabbed two Kilpatrick Townsend veterans for its financial institution practice. JAMES STEVENS, who specializes in mergers and acquisitions, securities offerings, and regulatory reporting and compliance, joins as a partner. RICHARD CHEATHAM, who joins as senior counsel, focuses on bank regulatory matters and corporate and securities law. Both have joined the Atlanta office.

Vedder Price has hired HAROLD LESTER, the former assistant branch director of the U.S. Department of Justice commercial litigation branch, civil division. Lester, who joins as of counsel, will advise the firm’s Washington, D.C., clients on government contracts and takings-related matters.

The Churn is compiled from law firm releases and announcements. Moves based on our own reporting will note this. Please send all announcements and news releases to thechurn@alm.com.