BRIAN KELLY, the assistant U.S. attorney in Boston who prosecuted notorious mobster James “Whitey” Bulger, has left his government post and plans to join Nixon Peabody in January.

Kelly, who was also the chief of public corruption and special prosecutions for the U.S. attorney’s office, says that he chose to go to an Am Law 100 firm because “I had just completed Whitey Bulger’s case. It was a transition point, and I decided it was time to do something different.” Bulger was found guilty in August on 31 of 32 counts, including extortion, money laundering, drug dealing, weapons possession and 11 murders.

Nixon Peabody was an attractive place to join because of its strong government investigations practice, Kelly says, and because several other former federal prosecutors are at the firm, including David Vicinanzo, a former adviser to the U.S. attorney general and assistant U.S. attorney in several states; Gerard Leone, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Massachusetts and criminal bureau chief at the Massachusetts attorney general’s office; and Mark Seltzer, a former assistant U.S. attorney in Florida and Department of Justice lawyer.

Kelly will be a partner based in Boston and plans to represent clients in government investigations, regulatory compliance and white-collar criminal defense and health care fraud cases.

In other Churn news …

CHARLES BLANCHARD, former general counsel of the Air Force, will be a partner in Arnold & Porter’s government contracts and national security practices as of Jan. 6. Blanchard, who is based in Washington, D.C., will provide strategic guidance to defense clients, particularly in regard to weapon systems procurement and acquisition, enforcement, classified programs and cyber security.

The deputy director and general counsel of the White House Council on Environmental Quality, GARY GUZY, is slated to join Covington & Burling on Jan. 21. Guzy, who served as the Environmental Protection Agency’s general counsel during the administration of President Bill Clinton, will be of counsel in Covington’s environmental, clean energy, public policy and government affairs practices. Sibling publication Corporate Counsel has more on his hire.

Dechert’s Los Angeles office has expanded with former Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld partner LLOYD MACNEIL. MacNeil, a partner in the energy and infrastructure sector, advises clients on project development and financing as well as mergers and acquisitions.

JOHN BATTAGLIA has moved from Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner to intellectual property litigation boutique Fisch Hoffman Sigler‘s Washington, D.C., office. Battaglia, who joins as a partner, is a trial lawyer who works on intellectual property trial and appellate work.

Goodwin Procter has added MATTHEW DYCKMAN as counsel in Washington, D.C. Previously with Dentons, Dyckman concentrates on corporate finance and securities, mergers and acquisitions, and banking and financial services matters.

Three attorneys at Locke Lord—GASTON KROUB, ZACHARY SILBERSHER and SERGEY KOLMYKOV—have opened their own intellectual property boutique in New York called Kroub, Silbersher & Kolmykov. The new firm focuses on patent and other types of IP litigation as well as counseling services. At Locke Lord, Kroub was a partner, Komykov worked as counsel, and Silbersher was an associate.

HERMAN FALA, the head of Cozen O’Connor’s real estate department, is leaving to be general counsel at firm client Liberty Property Trust, a Pennsylvania-based real estate investment trust. As reported in sibling publication The Legal Intelligencer, Fala will start his new job Jan. 1 and has been the chair of Cozen’s real estate department since joining the firm in 2009.

McDermott Will & Emery has hired the former head of Ashurst’s German private equity practice, NIKOLAUS VON JACOBS, for its Munich office. He will be leading the firm’s German private equity work as a partner, focusing on venture capital and private and public mergers and acquisitions.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has grabbed the global head of dispute resolution from King & Wood Mallesons’ Sydney office, BEAU DELEUIL. Deleuil is a partner in Sydney specializing in commercial litigation involving insolvency, banking, professional indemnity and competition law.

Seyfarth Shaw partner SCOTT OLSON has jumped to Vedder Price’s San Francisco office. Olson is a shareholder concentrating on bankruptcy and insolvency matters, representing secured and unsecured creditors, creditors’ committees and trustees in commercial bankruptcy proceedings.

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