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.
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