The revolving door has been spinning in full force this week as five high-level government employees leave the public sector to join Am Law 200 firms.
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, McDermott Will & Emery, and Sutherland Asbill & Brennan have all brought government bigwigs to their practices. But Kirkland & Ellis trumped them all with its hiring of ROBERT KHUZAMI and KENNETH LENCH from the Security and Exchange Commission's enforcement division.
Khuzami ended his term as director of the enforcement division in January before accepting Kirkland's $5 million offer. Lench, a 23-year veteran of the SEC, will leave his position as chief of the enforcement division's structured and new products unit. While Khuzami will divide his time between New York and Washington, D.C., and Lench will be based solely out of Washington, D.C., both will practice at Kirkland's government, regulatory, and internal investigations group.
Meanwhile, Akin Gump has grabbed the associate deputy attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice. STEVEN REICH will now work for the firm's white-collar defense and government investigations practice in New York.
Reich says that he chose to leave the public sector because he believes a typical length of stay in those positions is two years, and that he has been in and out of government his entire life, including a stint as senior associate counsel for President Bill Clinton.
McDermott Will & Emery nabbed intellectual property specialist BERNARD KNIGHT, slating him to start as a partner in the firm's Washington, D.C., office on September 16. Knight had just finished serving as general counsel for the Patent and Trademark Office, where he helped draft and implement the America Invents Act, which changed the patent system from a first-to-invent to a first-to-file system. He also expanded posttrial litigation procedures so individuals can challenge the validity of a patent before the PTO.
Knight says he was drawn to McDermott because of its strong intellectual property litigation and prosecution practices.
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan also benefited from the government revolving door by bringing SHELDON KAY back to the firm. Kay was most recently chief of appeals at the Internal Revenue Service, where he has worked since 2011. Before that, he was a partner at Sutherland Asbill. Kay will resume working for the firm's tax practice in Atlanta on September 1.
In other Churn news . . .
A Loeb & Loeb partner has left for Carter Ledyard & Milburn. JOHN "JACK" GRIEM will now work for the firm's intellectual property department in New York.
Dykema Gossett has added VICTOR JOHNSON to its intellectual property practice in Dallas. He was previously a principal at the Yarbrough Law Group.
Fish & Richardson has snatched one of Goodwin Procter's attorneys of counsel. SHERYL GARKO will now be at Fish & Richardson as of counsel for its intellectual property and litigation group in Boston.
Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson has named DAVID GREENWALD as its new cochair. Greenwald will step down from his role as deputy general counsel and international general counsel of Goldman Sachs. He will serve as Fried Frank's cochair until February 2015, at which point he will become the firm's sole chair. Greenwald will be based in the firm's New York headquarters.
Latham & Watkins has brought in new partner LARS KJOLBYE to its office in Brussels. Kjolbye will practice in the firm's litigation department. He was formerly at Covington & Burling.
JAMES COFFEY has joined McCarter & English's Boston office as a partner. He will work in the firm's corporate, securities, and financial institutions practice. Coffey had previously been at Nutter McClennen & Fish.
Sidley Austin has expanded its global finance practice in its Houston office. HERSCHEL HAMNER III will now be a partner there after leaving Baker Botts, where he was a finance partner.
NAZA HAZEN has joined Squire Sanders as a partner. She is now in the firm's restructuring and insolvency practice group in New York, coming from McDermott Will & Emery.
Troutman Sanders has added to its Raleigh office by hiring SEAN SULLIVAN as an environmental and natural resources partner. Sullivan last worked at Williams Mullen as a shareholder.
AMANDA JESTER has gone to Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis as a partner in its health care practice in Austin. She joins from McDermott Will & Emery.
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 email@example.com.