Andrews Kurth has bolstered its presence in London with the hire of partner PETER ROBERTS, its first U.K.–qualified lawyer. The Texas law firm first established an office in London in 1995, specializing in international investment matters.

Roberts, an energy lawyer, joins from the partnership of Ashurst. Earlier in his career he was general counsel for U.K.–based Centrica Energy, an integrated energy company. He is also a former chairman of the International Bar Association’s oil and gas law committee.

While Andrews Kurth’s presence in London goes back several years, Roberts says that his arrival in the London branch indicates the firm’s willingness to grow into a fully staffed office and also highlights a more general trend. "U.S. firms increasingly open up in London," Roberts says, noting the expansion of fellow Texas firms Bracewell & Giuliani and Locke Lord in the United Kingdom over the past few years. "London is the jumping off point for energy work."

The hire gives Andrews Kurth a practice covering a range of upstream and midstream energy transactions such as mergers and acquisitions, project development, and operational procurement and contracting.

In other Churn news…

The Tokyo office of Bingham McCutchen has bolstered its cross-border capabilities in Japan and Asia with the hire of a team of seven investment funds attorneys, all taken from White & Case. The team is led by partners CHRISTOPHER WELLS and TOMOKO FUMINAGA. As reported in sibling publication The Asian Lawyer, Wells and Fuminaga previously led White & Case’s investment funds and regulatory practice. KOJI YAMAMOTO also joins the firm as counsel along with four other lawyers.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher has lost real estate partner ROBERT BRESSMAN to Goulston & Storrs in New York. Bressman’s practice focuses on real estate financing, leasing transactions, and equity deals. He joins as a director, the firm’s equivalent of a partner.

Holland & Knight has added PAUL BOCK to its Washington, D.C., office. Bock, who joins as a partner in the public policy and regulation group, will also serve as the top Senate Democratic lobbyist for the practice. Previously, Bock served as vice president for lobbying firm Capitol Hill Strategies. At Holland & Knight, he will concentrate on legislative and policy advocacy before Congress and the Obama administration related to health care, antitrust, financial services, agriculture, transportation, and energy.

Husch Blackwell has announced the arrival of a new senior counsel in Chicago, LISA PARKER FREEMAN, who will be working with the educational institutions team on litigation matters. Until last year, Freeman was vice president of accreditation at Kaplan Higher Education Campuses, a branch of Kaplan that provides postsecondary schooling. Just prior to joining Husch Blackwell, Freeman had started LP Freeman Consulting, which provided consulting services related to higher education.

After practicing with Herbert Smith Freehills for more than 20 years, BILL NAPIER has left the firm for Jones Day in Sydney. Joining as a partner in the projects and infrastructure practice, Napier will be advising clients on project development and acquisition, and debt and equity finance matters.

Also joining Jones Day this week is trial attorney DAVID BURGERT, most recently a partner with Houston-based Porter Hedges. Burgert’s practice focuses on patent disputes. He will remain based in Houston.

Finally, in Mexico City, ALEJANDRO CHICO and ANTONIO GONZALEZ were hired at Jones Day as partners. Previously a partner at Bufete Robles Miaja, Chico will be working in the banking and finance practice. González joins the global disputes team; he was most recently an administrative partner at a firm he cofounded, López Melih, González, Facha y Estrada.

The Seattle office of K&L Gates has hired KATE SPELMAN from Cobalt, a firm specializing in advertising, promotions, and intellectual property law. There, Spelman focused on copyright and digital publishing policy. She joins her new firm as a partner and will advise clients on technology transactions.

JON TREMBATH has joined Lathrop & Gage as a partner in Denver. At his new firm, Trembath will handle patent litigation cases. Most recently, Trembath was a partner at intellectual property boutique Merchant & Gould.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips has welcomed STEVEN ARNOLD, who joins the firm’s Orange County office to work with the financial services and banking practice. Arnold, who most recently worked as managing counsel at Toyota Financial Services, will advise financial institutions on banking law.

Munger, Tolles & Olson partner DAVID DINIELLI is leaving the firm to join the Southern Poverty Law Center. Dinielli will serve as deputy legal director, overseeing the center’s lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transsexual rights project, as well as its emerging issues project. While at Munger, Dinielli worked on antitrust, copyright, and pro bono cases, focusing a large part of his work on cases related to LGBT rights. He starts his new job June 3.

has left Technology Crossover Ventures, a private equity and venture capital firm focusing on the technology industry, to join Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton. A resident of the Palo Alto office, Son will be practicing as a partner in the corporate group.

Three new partners have joined the intellectual property litigation practice of Steptoe & Johnson, all based in Chicago. Patent litigators JAMES NUTTALL and JOHN ABRAMIC join from the partnership of Chicago-based intellectual property firm McAndrews, Held & Malloy. The third hire, GLEN BELVIS, was last chief intellectual property counsel at Foro Energy Inc., a company that commercializes high-power lasers for the oil, natural gas, geothermal, and mining industries.

Sullivan & Worcester has hired energy and tax lawyer ELIAS HINCKLEY as a partner to work with the firm’s environment, energy, and natural resources team. Based in Washington, D.C., Hinckley was last with Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton.

White & Case has gained a new partner in its global mergers and acquisitions department with the addition of ROGER KIEM. The attorney will be practicing out of the Frankfurt office, where he was already based while working for former firm Shearman & Sterling.

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