Skadden, Arps, Slate Meagher & Flom has hired the former cochair of Alston & Bird’s product liability group, LISA GILFORD, as a new partner in its Los Angeles office. Gilford, who has represented Toyota Motor Corp. as lead counsel since 2009 in suits related to the alleged unintended acceleration of its vehicles, joins Skadden’s mass torts, insurance, and consumer litigation group.

Gilford tells The Am Law Daily she was not looking at any other firms or considering making a move when Skadden—who has worked alongside her on Toyota litigation— approached her a couple months ago and offered her a position. In addition to Toyota, her clients include DuPont and T-Mobile, according to sibling publication The Recorder. Asked if her clients will move with her, she says, “With this type of transition there’s always a lot that needs to be ironed out. Skadden already has a relationship with Toyota, and many of my other clients, and I hope to continue that relationship. … Ultimately it’s the client’s decision."

Bernard Taylor, Gilford’s former products liability cochair at Alston, will continue to run the group, according to Gilford. Through a spokesman, Alston's litigation practice area cochair Todd David wished Gilford "the best of luck" and declined further comment on her departure.

In other Churn news . . .

LAURA VENDZULES has left Dilworth Paxson to be a partner at Blank Rome. Based in Philadelphia, she is part of the commercial litigation group, handling derivative and class action cases.

JOHN DOMBY has joined Katten Muchin Rosenman as a partner in its real estate practice in Charlotte. Previously with Winstead, he will work mostly on commercial real estate financing transactions.

In the latest in a series of lateral moves between labor and employment firms Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart and Littler Mendelson, Ogletree has hired a team from Littler for its Portland, Oregon office. HOWARD RUBIN joins Ogletree's employment law, traditional labor relations, and construction law practices; LARRY AMBURGEY joins the employment law and traditional labor relations practices; and PATRICIA HAIM is now a member of the employment law, litigation, and immigration practices. All come to the firm as shareholders.

Robinson & Cole has hired New York lawyer MICHAEL MERNIN in its insurance and reinsurance practice group as counsel. He last worked at insurance boutique The Law Office of Steven Fauth.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton has expanded with four new partner hires this week. In New York, THOMAS DEVANEY, who counsels sponsors and management teams of private funds, comes to the firm's corporate practice from Morrison & Foerster. In California, PETER CARSON, previously with Bingham McCutchen, is now in the firm's finance and bankruptcy practice in San Francisco. The Palo Alto office now counts LORNA TANNER, last with Foley & Lardner, in its intellectual property practice; and STEPHANIE ZEPPA, most recently with Dentons, in its corporate group.

DANIEL JAFFE has rejoined Squire Sanders, where he last worked in 2006, as of counsel. He most recently taught education law at Case Western Reserve University School of Law, and will now be based in Squire Sanders's Cleveland office practicing for its employment practice group.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan has expanded its Atlanta office with the addition of four attorneys from Dow Lohnes. MATTHEW BLOCK is now a partner in the firm's corporate group, and JASON MCCARTER is now a partner for the firm's litigation group. They bring one associate and another attorney over with them.

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