The Churn
(Illustration by Paul Dilakian)

The collapse of Canada’s Heenan Blaikie has been a boon for Dentons’ offices in Montreal, Toronto and Calgary. The firm has taken in a total of 46 Heenan lawyers, including five partners and counsel announced late last week.

The newest hires are counsel WENDY DEL MUL and partner ALLEN GARSON in Dentons’ corporate group in Toronto; partners KENNETH KRAFT and JOHN SALMAS in the insolvency group in Toronto; and counsel TOMMASO NANCI in the infrastructure and public/private partnership team in Montreal.

Dentons also solidified the hire of 11 additional associates, as well as incoming and articling associates and staff.

As The Am Law Daily reported last month, Heenan Blaikie, once one of Canada’s most prominent national firms, announced Feb. 5 that it had begun an orderly “windup” of its operations. The 500-lawyer firm folded after underperforming in 2013 and withholding compensation, which prompted dozens of partner departures.

Other firms that have benefited from Heenan Blaikie’s collapse include Baker & McKenzie and Canada’s Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt.

In other Churn news …

Akerman has expanded its month-old Chicago office with new commercial litigation partners KASEY FOLK and ERIC GRIBBIN, along with one associate. All three previously worked at Ulmer & Berne. Folk and Gribbin both have litigation practices centered around the financial services industry.

Former White House adviser ED PAGANO has joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld as a partner in the public law and policy practice, based in Washington, D.C. Pagano formerly served as President Obama’s liaison to the Senate as the White House deputy assistant to the president for legislative affairs. Before joining Akin, he had worked in the public sector since 1992.

In Houston, KEVIN TRAUTNER has jumped from Norton Rose Fulbright to Andrews Kurth. Trautner, a partner, represents public and private companies in corporate transactions such as mergers and acquisitions and initial public offerings.

STANLEY SOYA and MICHAEL GOLDEN have left Pepper Hamilton to join Baker Botts. Both join the firm’s Washington, D.C., office as partners, focusing on the representation of clients in government contracting matters.

BRENT WEISENBERG is now of counsel in the bankruptcy group at Ballard Spahr. Based in New York, Weisenberg advises companies, lenders, creditors, landlords and other parties in Chapter 11 cases and out-of-court debt restructurings. He previously worked at Cooley.

Carlton Fields Jorden Burt has welcomed WILLIAM SKLAR and C. CORY MAURO to its West Palm Beach, Fla., office. Sklar represents real estate developers and lenders in condominium, planned development and mixed-use projects, as well as works in the regulatory arena. Mauro defends real estate developers in litigation. Both join from Akerman.

YORAM KEINAN has left Greenberg Traurig, where he was a shareholder, to be a partner in the tax department of Carter Ledyard & Milburn. Keinan, who is based in New York, is experienced in domestic and international tax law matters.

A pair of energy lawyers have taken their practices to Crowell & Moring in San Francisco: NANCY SARACINO and FRANK LINDH. Saracino had worked since 2007 at the California Independent System Operator Corporation, where she oversaw legal, compliance, governance and control functions. Lindh spent the past six years as general counsel at California Public Utilities Commission. Both join as partners.

MICHELE ROSE has lateraled from Latham & Watkins to Goodwin Procter in Washington, D.C. Rose, who joins as a partner, focuses on securities and corporate litigation as well as Securities and Exchange Commission enforcement and regulatory defense.

Former in-house lawyer STEFANIE BOX has left Koch Industries subsidiary Georgia-Pacific to join Holland & Knight as a partner in Atlanta. At the firm, Box will focus on representing corporations in transactions including mergers and acquisitions, partnership and joint ventures, corporate finance and real estate.

An attorney from the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission, STEPHEN OBIE, has joined Jones Day as a partner in New York. At CFTC, he advised senior management and presidential appointees on enforcement and policy matters. Obie is now a member of Jones Day’s financial institutions litigation and regulation practice.

In Sydney, K&L Gates has added ELIZABETH GRAY as a partner in its investment management practice. Gray, who arrives from Henry Davis York along with three other lawyers, assists clients in the financial services industry with investment fund transactions, financial services regulatory projects and new product development.

MARK LEHOCKY has moved to Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton in San Francisco, where he serves as of counsel. A former general counsel at Ross Stores Inc. and Dreyer’s Grand Ice Cream Inc., LeHocky has had a private mediation practice since 2012 that he will continue to maintain outside of Kilpatrick. Earlier in his career, LeHocky worked for Kilpatrick predecessor Khourie, Crew & Jaeger.

King & Spalding has recruited ELLEN SNARE to be a partner in the firm’s financial institutions practice, based in New York. Snare, previously with Kirkland & Ellis, represents lenders and borrowers in connection with debt financings.

Two bankruptcy lawyers have moved from McCarter & English to LeClairRyan in Boston. THOMAS CURRAN joins the firm as a shareholder, with PETER ANTONELLI joining as a partner. Curran represents creditors, trustees and equity security holders in bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings, among other restructuring-related assignments. Antonelli’s practice encompasses all facets of commercial creditor work.

Labor and employment firm Littler Mendelson expanded in Columbus with the hire of KEVIN GRIFFITH as a shareholder. Griffith, previously a partner at Porter Wright Morris & Arthur, represents clients with claims related to employment discrimination, wrongful discard and whistleblower retaliation, among other things.

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