Katten Muchin Rosenman is growing its environmental practice, hiring eight attorneys and opening a new Houston office that will focus on chemical manufacturing and energy industries. The team, which includes three associates, will be split between Austin and Houston.

Partner MARK FARLEY, an environmental attorney specializing in industrial accidents, will lead the Houston team and head the firm’s new workplace safety practice. Previously with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, Farley says he had been looking for a firm with a deeper commitment to criminal matters, noting that many cases involving industrial accidents often lead to criminal prosecutions.

Also joining the new office is TOM KIEHNHOFF, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Texas, whom Farley has known for a number of years. Kienhoff was most recently with Reaud, Morgan & Quinn in Beaumont, Texas, and will bring years of investigative experience to the table.

The three other attorneys are joining as partners from Baker Botts, and will be practicing out of Katten’s Austin office, which opened last year. They are SARA BURGIN, whose practice covers water quality issues, KEVIN COLLIN, with environmental and government investigations experience, and WHIT SWIFT, who advises clients on a wide range of air quality issues.

Farley says the firm expects to expand the Houston office rapidly.

In other Churn news…

THOMAS INGRAM has left his own private practice to join the Jacksonville office of Akerman Senterfitt in Florida. Ingram will be handling a wide range of cases including land use, real estate, governmental relations, and environmental matters.

Corporate and securities litigator JONATHAN SHAPIRO has lateraled to Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, from Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, where he was a partner in the firm’s securities department. Shapiro will be heading Mintz Levin’s West Coast litigation team, based in the firm’s San Francisco office. Shapiro’s practice concentrates on business and securities litigation, and government enforcement actions.

Dykema announced the arrival of JANET NALBANDYAN to its litigation department, where she will handle commercial, corporate and business transactions and litigation work. Based in Los Angeles, Nalbandyan was previously an associate with California-based Buchalter Nemer.

LISE SPACAPAN, a business litigation attorney, has moved to Husch Blackwell as a partner in Chicago. Spacapan’s practice focuses on product liability and toxic tort for a wide range of clients including the chemical industry, prescription drugs, and automotive products. Most recently, she was a partner at Jenner & Block, acting as cochair of the firm’s products liability practice.

Arbitration and construction lawyer PETER MEGENS will be joining King & Spalding’s Singapore office as partner. Starting in July, Megens will be practicing with the firm’s international arbitration team. As reported in The Am Law Daily, Megens was previously with King & Wood Mallesons in Melbourne, where he was cohead of the firm’s arbitration practice.

Investment management partner NABIL SABKI joins the office of Latham & Watkins in Chicago. Sabki, previously with Kirkland & Ellis, will be a member of Latham’s corporate practice, mainly representing private equity and hedge fund clients.

Morrison & Foerster welcomes back partner MARCIA ELLIS to its Hong Kong office. Ellis left the firm in 2008 for the D. E. Shaw group, a global investment and technology development firm, where she served as chief legal officer for Asia. Most recently, she was a partner with Ropes & Gray in Hong Kong. At MoFo, Ellis will focus her legal work on debt financing, private equity transactions and cross-border mergers and acquisitions.

Saul Ewing’s Pittsburg office, which opened last May, is bolstering its litigation and corporate law capabilities with the addition of four new members, bringing the number of attorneys in the office to 13. JOSEPH BUCCI and CHARLES KELLY are joining the litigation practice as partners, while ERICSON KIMBEL will work as of counsel. KEVIN ACKLIN, who also joins as a partner, will be a member of the business and finance department. As reported by sibling publication The Legal Intelligencer, all four lawyers were previously partners with Leech Tishman, a firm that specializes in commercial law.

KURT FISCHER, a trial and regulatory attorney specializing in real estate and tax matters, joins Venable’s Baltimore office. Prior to this move, Fischer was a partner with DLA Piper in its Baltimore office.

Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr has hired two technology partners, DAVID GAMMELL and EDWIN PEASE, to practice out of the firm’s Boston office. Gammell and Pease will be working with the corporate group, and are both arriving from Brown Rudnick in Boston.

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.