The Churn

Epstein Becker & Green made a high-profile hire last week, bringing on EDWARD “TED” KENNEDY JR. as a health care partner in Stamford, Conn.

Kennedy—son of the late U.S. Sen. Edward “Ted” Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Robert F. Kennedy—joins from the Marwood Group, a New York-based health care advisory and financial services firm that he cofounded in 2000. Kennedy started his legal career as an associate at Connecticut firm Wiggin and Dana after graduating from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

At Epstein, Kennedy will counsel clients at the health care–focused firm on the legal and reimbursement policy issues and changes they face under the Affordable Care Act. As noted in a story by sibling publication Connecticut Law Tribune, Kennedy’s father championed the insurance changes enacted by the new law.

“Over the past several years, I have been privileged to work collaboratively with many of [Epstein's] lawyers on numerous projects for mutual clients,” Kennedy said in a statement. “I am looking forward to working with Epstein Becker Green to promote healthcare innovation and to catalyze the changes that our healthcare system requires.”

Mark Lutes, chair of Epstein Becker’s board of directors, says he began speaking to Kennedy about joining Epstein in the fall after Kennedy sold his interest in Marwood Group and “said he was willing to talk to us about his next steps.” In addition to his expertise in the field, Lutes says he brings a substantial list of potential clients to the firm.

“Through Marwood he developed relationships with literally hundreds of private equity investing firms in the health care space, plus quite a significant number of relationships among their portfolio companies, large hospital systems as well, and suppliers, manufacturers, and pharmaceutical companies,” Lutes says. “We very much respect his insights.”

A longtime advocate of disability rights, Kennedy serves on the board of the American Association of People With Disabilities and advises employers on how to expand opportunities for people with disabilities.

So far, Kennedy has not followed his family into politics. In 2012, he considered running for the U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts vacated by John Kerry after his appointment to Secretary of State, according to press reports, but ultimately chose to stay with his health care business.

Connecticut Law Tribune has more on Kennedy’s hire.

In other Churn news …

The head of Taylor Wessing’s international insurance group, JAMES CRABTREE, has lateraled to Edwards Wildman Palmer in London. A partner in the firm’s insurance and reinsurance group, Crabtree advises clients on insurance and reinsurance claims and coverage disputes.

ERIKA BENSON is now a shareholder in the global energy and infrastructure practice of Greenberg Traurig, based in Austin. Benson, who most recently had her own legal and consulting shop, previously worked at Gardere Wynne Sewell. A former senior adviser in the U.S. Department of Energy in Washington, D.C., she represents clients in the development and management of renewable energy transactions.

Kaye Scholer has expanded its nearly four-year-old Palo Alto office with the hire of new partner NICHOLAS O’KEEFE. Most recently senior counsel at Crowell & Moring and previously a partner at Latham & Watkins, O’Keefe is a corporate and mergers and acquisitions lawyer.

The Chicago office of Latham & Watkins now counts JOHN SIKORA as a partner. Sikora joins the firm after 16 years with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. At Latham, his practice will focus on enforcement defense related to hedge funds, private equity, mutual funds and investment advisers. In Hong Kong, Latham added HOWARD LAM as a partner in the finance department. Previously with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Lam has a practice covering banking, cross-border debt restructuring and insolvency work, as well as financing transactions.

MICHAEL BROSSE exited the partnership of Kirkland & Ellis to join Lowenstein Sandler in New York as a partner in the private equity and mergers and acquisitions practices. Brosse, who represents private equity and venture capital funds, had been a partner at Kirkland since 2000.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges lost a lawyer in Paris, LAURENT AYACHE, to McDermott Will & Emery. Ayache specializes in government contract law and antitrust law, as it relates to the public sector. He joins McDermott as counsel.

Munger, Tolles & Olson has hired a former federal prosecutor, MIRANDA KANE, as of counsel in San Francisco. Kane is the former chief of the criminal division at the U.S. attorney’s office in the Northern District of California. She will work with the firm’s white-collar, trial and investigations practice, as well as the civil litigation practice.

Corporate investigations firm Nardello & Co. has hired a litigator from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, RYAN SPARACINO, as a managing director in Washington, D.C. Sparacino was of counsel with the white-collar and litigation practices at Pillsbury.

Reed Smith has planted roots in Kazakhstan with a new office staffed by VLADIMIR SHUSTER from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and ARMAN TASTANBEKOV from White & Case. The pair last worked together in the Kazakhstan office of Dewey & LeBoeuf prior to that firm’s 2012 collapse. They advise on corporate and commercial transactions, including cross-border M&A and deals related to energy and natural resources, banking, private equity, and capital markets.

Labor and employment lawyer CHARLENE KELLY has jumped from Seyfarth Shaw to Quarles & Brady in Chicago. A partner, she specializes in employee benefits, executive compensation and taxation work.

Shutts & Bowen has gained JASON GONZALEZ as a partner in Tallahassee. Mostly recently a partner at Florida firm Ausley McMullen, Gonzalez previously worked as general counsel to then-Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, as general counsel to the Republican Party of Florida, and as a member of the Florida Supreme Court judicial nominating commission. At Shutts & Bowen, Gonzalez—who is a seventh-generation Floridian—will litigate cases and provide government affairs consulting.

YASHO LAHIRI has left Baker Botts to join Sutherland Asbill & Brennan as a partner in New York. Lahiri, who has also worked as a general counsel at a hedge fund, advises clients on the formation of and investment in alternative investment funds.

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