Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom will close its Vienna office September 30, and the office's sole partner, RAINER WACHTER, will be moving to CMS Reich-Rohrwig Hainz, Wachter confirmed this week.
Stephan Hutter, a corporate transactions and capital markets partner based in Skadden's Frankfurt office, tells The Am Law Daily that the decision to close the Vienna office was first discussed during a strategic review of Skadden's European practice approximately 12 to 18 months ago.
"We had always done Austrian business out of Germany," Hutter says. "The Austrian office was a very small office that was not handling proper Austrian deals on its own, especially since deals it did have were handled by Frankfurt, and Skadden used other Austrian firms to help out."
Hutter says that Skadden's Frankfurt office will absorb the Austrian office's capital markets practice, and the London office will take in the Austrian office's arbitration and litigation work. The two associates who worked with Wachter will either go with him or be transferred to another Skadden office.
Wachter said he chose to speak to CMS when he decided to exercise his early retirement option at Skadden, and cites what he called CMS's reputation as one of the fastest-growing and most successful Austrian firms as the reason for his move. He said he will be a partner and cohead of the transactions team at his new firm, leading the mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance group jointly with the CMS managing partner Peter Huber.
Wachter says it has not yet been decided if his clients will move over with him (Hutter, meanwhile, says he is confident that the clients will stay with Skadden). Some of Wachter's clients include Doughty Hanson & Co. and Allianz Capital Partners, according to U.K. publication Legal Week, which first broke the news of Skadden's office closure.
In other Churn news . . .
NUMAN SIDDIQI has joined Brown Rudnick's Orange County, California, office as a partner handling public and private securities offerings of debt and equity, venture capital transactions, mergers and acquisitions, and secured loan transactions. He was most recently at Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth.
A Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman partner has left the firm to work at Coblentz Patch Duffy & Bass in San Francisco. J. GREGG MILLER JR. will be a partner at the firm practicing for its real estate and land use group, focusing on multiproperty portfolio acquisitions and depositions, complex land use matter, leasing and secured lending.
RICHARD DAVIS has moved from Ashurst to DLA Piper's Washington, D.C., office, where he is a partner. He will practice for the firm's corporate and finance group, specializing in complex secured and unsecured financings.
Gardere Wynne Sewell has added to its Austin office with CHRISTINA WISDOM. Wisdom will be of counsel for the firm's government affairs practice group, concentrating on environmental and energy matters. She moves to the firm from the Texas Chemical Council.
Holland & Knight has expanded its West Palm Beach office with senior counsel WANDA WHIGHAM. Whigham has come to the firm from Hogan Lovells and advises in the areas of corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and public finance.
Husch Blackwell has hired a team of six government compliance and investigations attorneys. Joining in St. Louis are partners CATHERINE HANAWAY, JEFFREY JENSEN, and MATTHEW SCHELP, senior counsel LISA OTTOLINI, and an associate. Partner CYNTHIA CORDES is slated to join the Kansas City, Missouri, office September 30. Hanaway and Ottolini came from the Ashcroft Law Firm; Jensen and Schelp came from their own firm, Jensen Bartlett & Schelp; and Cordes last served as an assistant U.S. attorney to the Western District of Missouri.
JENNIFER ROCHON, a litigation partner and executive committee member at Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel, will soon be the first-ever general counsel for the Girl Scouts of the USA. Rochon is slated to begin in her new position October 1.
The London office of Jones Day now counts BRIAN CONWAY as a partner, working on domestic and international cross-border financing transactions such as leveraged finance, Islamic finance, and general banking matters. He recently left Latham & Watkins.
Sedgwick has brought in two land use and natural resources partners to its Washington, D.C., office from Crowell & Moring. STEVEN QUARLES has a practice covering federal natural resources laws. DAVID ROSS specializes in issues related to regulatory counseling, enforcement defense, and litigation under all major federal environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act.
Sidley Austin has hired two attorneys for its New York office's international arbitration practice from Allen & Overy. BENNO KIMMELMAN will be a partner and DANA MACGRATH will be counsel.
Steptoe & Johnson's Washington, D.C., office has added an attorney from Allen & Overy. JASON ABEL will now practice of as of counsel for the firm's government affairs and public policy group.
ANDREA WORTZEL has moved from Hunton & Williams to work for Troutman Sanders of counsel in Richmond. She has brought an associate with her and will deal with complex water quality 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.