Kasowitz Benson Torres & Friedman has hired JOHN BERLINSKI and MANSI SHAH as partners in Los Angeles to launch an entertainment litigation practice for the firm. Both previously worked at NBCUniversal, where Berlinski served as senior vice president and head of West Coast television litigation, and Shah as senior litigation counsel.
Berlinski says the attorneys left NBCUniversal for Kasowitz because joining the firm presented a unique opportunity to represent talent in entertainment litigation. “Most major national firms are typically on the studio side, and they are unable to clear all conflicts and be adverse to the studios,” Berlinski says. “Kasowitz does not represent the studios, so we can be adverse.”
Berlinski, who chairs the group, says he and Shah are in the process of bringing on an associate and are also actively meeting with a number of potential clients.
In London, meanwhile, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer’s global managing partner, TED BURKE, has resigned from the firm after filling its top leadership role for eight years. Burke is set to join Boston-based private equity firm ArcLight Capital as general counsel and chief operating officer.
“I’m an American, and I went over to do the job in London eight years ago, but I always knew I would return to the states,” Burke says. “I wanted to.”
Burke says that ArcLight Capital, which focuses on energy investment, is a longtime Freshfields client. He adds that one of ArcLight’s cofounders, Daniel Revers, is also a good friend.
Burke says that he is leaving Freshfields a bit earlier than originally planned, since his term as global managing partner was supposed to run until 2015. Burke will be succeeded by current Freshfields antitrust partner David Aitman in London, who is slated to begin acting as managing partner in early 2014. Freshfields is also led by senior partner and executive chairman Will Lawes.
In other Churn news . . .
Adams and Reese has brought in PHILIP KIRKPATRICK from Dickinson Wright. Kirkpatrick is now special counsel in his new firm’s Nashville office, where he will focus on entertainment and intellectual property litigation, as well as products liability and commercial litigation.
DAVID BROEMEL is the newest senior counsel in Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz’s Nashville office. Previously with Burr & Forman, Broemel defends insurance clients in disputes and litigation, and advises on acquisitions and regulatory issues.
Caplin & Drysdale has hired two tax attorneys in Washington, D.C., from the ranks of The Am Law 200. ANNE O’BRIEN, previously with Arnold & Porter, joins as a member in the firm’s private client practice. Former Bingham McCutchen lawyer J. CLARK ARMITAGE also joins as a member and will practice in Caplin & Drysdale’s international tax and tax controversies group.
RAB NALAVALA has left Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, where he was an associate, for Cole, Schotz, Meisel, Forman & Leonard in New York. Nalavala is now special counsel in the real estate department of his new firm, concentrating on the hospitality, leisure, and gaming industries.
Indianapolis lawyer DAVID SUESS has joined Faegre Baker Daniels’s tax advocacy group as a partner from Bose McKinney & Evans. In his practice, Suess advises on disputes involving state and local taxes, including property taxes, wagering taxes, and valuation of commercial and industrial property for tax purposes. Faegre Baker Daniels has also hired the former cochair of the real estate practice at Much Shelist, MICHAEL VINER, as a partner in Chicago. Viner practices in the areas of commercial acquisitions and dispositions; commercial, office, and industrial leasing; and tax-deferred exchanges.
JEROLD JACOVER is now of counsel in the intellectual property group of Foley & Lardner, based in Chicago. Previously at intellectual property boutique Brinks Hofer Gilson & Lione, a firm he led from 2000 to 2005, Jacover focuses on patent, copyright, and unfair competition matters.
The Denver office of Fox Rothschild now counts JASON SAPSIN as counsel. Formerly the head of the Food and Drug Administration practice at Polsinelli, he will also be running the FDA practice at his new firm. Earlier in his career, he was an associate chief counsel at the FDA.
STEVEN KLEIN has joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher from Willkie Farr & Gallagher. A partner in Gibson Dunn’s New York office, Klein concentrates on real estate transactions including acquisitions and dispositions, joint ventures, financings, leasing, construction and development, restructuring, and recapitalizations.
Litigator BENJAMIN SAUL has moved from BuckleySandler to Goodwin Procter in Washington, D.C. He joins the firm’s consumer financial services enforcement and fair and responsible banking practices as a partner.
Greenberg Traurig has snatched CHARLES BIRENBAUM, a former managing partner of Winston & Strawn’s San Francisco office, to build out its practice in Northern California, sibling publication The Recorder reports. Birenbaum is now a shareholder in Greenberg’s labor and employment group, as well as chair of Northern California, a newly created position. Greenberg has also brought on ALEJANDRO RUIZ as a San Francisco–based shareholder. He joins the tax practice from Kirkland & Ellis, focusing on the tax aspects of business transactions.
Holland & Knight has expanded its New York office with the addition of intellectual property lawyer LEISA SMITH LUNDY. She joins the firm from Fitzpatrick, Cella, Harper & Scinto as a partner concentrating on patent litigation, patent validity, freedom-to-operate options, and other IP matters.
Jones Day has hired Allen & Overy’s SIAMAK MOSTAFAVI as a partner in its Paris office’s tax practice. Mostafavi, who founded Allen & Overy’s Paris tax team in 1999, joined Jones Day on October 1. An associate is expected to follow him over from Allen & Overy later this month.
DAVID LEE has left Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher to become a partner at K&L Gates in Orange County, California. Lee’s practice encompasses capital markets transactions, mergers and acquisitions, equity and debt tender offers, and other corporate matters.
Latham & Watkins had expanded its Hong Kong office with partner JI LIU. Formerly at Norton Rose Fulbright, Liu works on domestic and cross-border capital markets transactions, represents issuers and underwriters on initial public offerings and secondary offerings, and advises companies on compliance matters under U.S. securities laws.
PATRICIA JONES, who was last a partner at SJ Berwin, is now a partner in Mayer Brown’s real estate practice in London. She advises clients from the real estate and retail sectors on structured development, investment, and joint ventures.
Michael Best & Friedrich has added JULIAN HAMMAR to its energy and financial service regulatory practice in Washington, D.C. Hammar concentrates on derivatives, commodities, energy regulator compliance and enforcement, and corporate and securities matters. He joins from Covington & Burling, where he worked for less than a year, according to our past reports.
Nixon Peabody has hired THEODORE GHORRA from Proskauer Rose as counsel. Based in New York, Ghorra advises on public offerings, registered direct offerings, private investments in public equity and other private placements.
Proskauer Rose has added MICHAEL CHOATE and KEVIN LIPPERT from Shefsky & Froelich as a partner and senior counsel, respectively. Both join the firm’s real estate capital markets group in Chicago, advising real estate investment trusts on equity and debt offerings, mergers and acquisitions, and other transactions.
Steptoe & Johnson now counts ROBERT RIZZI as a partner, specializing in the tax aspects of business transactions. Most recently at O’Melveny & Myers, Rizzi is based in Washington, D.C., and also works in New York.
PATRICK BONVARLET has joined Sullivan & Cromwell as senior counsel and cohead of the French mergers and acquisitions group from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer. Based in Paris, he practices in the firm’s mergers and acquisitions, private equity, and restructuring and bankruptcy groups.
FREDERICK FUCCI has left Dickstein Shapiro to join Troutman Sanders in New York as a partner. Fucci is part of the firm’s energy practice, focusing on the development, financing, and acquisition of power generation and other energy assets.
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.