The Churn
(Illustration by Paul Dilakian)

UPDATE: 4/16/14, 8:45 a.m. EDT. Information on Bingham partner James Snell’s departure for Perkins Coie has been added to the seventh and eighth paragraphs of this story. CORRECTION: 4/17/14, 12:20 p.m. EDT. A previous version of this story misstated the name of the firm Kenneth Regensburg left in 2010. We regret the error.

Proskauer Rose has nabbed two veteran New York hedge funds partners, ROBERT LEONARD and MICHAEL MAVRIDES, from rival Bingham McCutchen.

Leonard has focused on fund advisory work for his entire 25-plus-year career; both he and Mavrides joined Bingham nine years ago from Bryan Cave and share a number of large hedge funds clients. (Leonard declined to name any clients.)

The firm they join in Proskauer is better known for its private equity work, but the addition of Leonard and Mavrides marks a significant expansion into the lucrative hedge funds industry, an area that spins off a wide variety of premium transactional and regulatory matters.

Leonard says that he has known the head of Proskauer’s hedge funds group, Christopher Wells, for 20 years, and that he was attracted to the firm by its “spectacular” reputation in New York as well as its expertise in litigation, employment and tax. Proskauer’s U.K. corporate and regulatory law expertise was also important since many hedge funds trade under and need to comply with U.K. regulations. “We came here because we believe our clients will benefit from the platform here,” Leonard says.

Wells, in a statement, said that the pair’s extensive and complementary experience in the hedge funds arena and institutional client base “will bring additional depth to our already strong practice.”

The departures are the latest loss for Bingham, which in the past two years has been focusing on building its investment funds practices. Since Jan. 1, the firm has seen 23 partner departures. “We thank Rob and Mike for several years of service and wish them well,” Bingham said in a statement. Currently the Bingham investment funds practice numbers 60 lawyers worldwide.

Late Tuesday, sibling publication The Recorder reported that James Snell, the cochair of Bingham’s privacy and security group, had left the firm’s San Francisco office to join Perkins Coie.

“While we don’t like seeing partners go, we understand and respect their decisions and wish them the best,” a Bingham spokesman said in a statement to The Recorder. “These departures are unrelated to and are not a reflection of Bingham’s commitment to California, and we continue to invest in talent selectively and strategically.”

In other Churn news …

Ballard Spahr has brought on Foley & Lardner bankruptcy and transactional finance partners MIKEL BISTROW and CHRISTOPHER CELENTINO in San Diego. Both lawyers joined Foley & Lardner in September 2011 from Duane Morris. Celentino has even cofounded his own charter school in Southern California called the Old Town Academy, according to a 2011 story by The Daily Transcript of San Diego.

SIMON MILLER, a business litigation partner who joined Thompson Hine’s New York office in 2010 from Greenberg Traurig, is once again on the move. Miller is now a partner at Blank Rome, where he’ll rejoin former Greenberg colleague Leslie Corwin, a litigator who left the firm earlier this year for Blank Rome.

KATHY BROWN, a former associate general counsel in the U.S. Department of Defense’s office of the general counsel, has joined Covington & Burling as special counsel in its aerospace, defense and security industry practice in Washington, D.C.

Information technology specialist GERARD STEGMAIER has left Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati’s office in Washington, D.C., for Goodwin Procter, where he’ll be a member of the firm’s privacy and data security practice. Stegmaier, most recently of counsel at Wilson Sonsini, had previously been a partner at the firm.

The Am Law Daily reported last week on the abrupt departure of Jenner & Block’s managing partner, SUSAN LEVY, to become general counsel of firm client Northern Trust Corp. The firm has moved quickly to replace her, tapping IP litigation cochair TERRANCE TRUAX in Chicago as its new leader, according to our reporting.

L. SCOTT OLIVER can only hope his move from Morrison & Foerster this week to K&L Gates’ Palo Alto office goes smoother than his last job change. When Oliver and former colleague James Pooley sought to join MoFo in early 2006 after leaving Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, a client conflict at their new firm forced them to set up their own IP litigation shop Pooley & Oliver for 15 months until it was cleared, according to The Recorder. Both eventually joined MoFo in mid-2007—Pooley left the firm in 2009 after the Obama administration nominated him to become deputy director general of the World Intellectual Property Organization—and now Oliver is headed to K&L Gates.

King & Spalding has launched a European restructuring practice with its hire of Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton finance and restructuring partner WERNER MEIER in Frankfurt. German legal publication Juve reports that Meier, a founder of Cleary’s German restructuring practice, spent 22 years at the firm. He will now split his time between Frankfurt and London as Meier helps get King & Spalding’s new practice group off the ground. The Recorder reports that King & Spalding has also hired DLA Piper of counsel THOMAS DULEY as a technology transactions and life sciences partner in San Francisco.

DAVID CALLAHAN, an IP litigation partner with Kirkland & Ellis in Chicago, has left the firm to join Latham & Watkins, whose move to the Windy City back in 1982 helped propel it to national firm status. Callahan specializes in patent and trademark litigation in a wide variety of industries and has frequently appeared before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and the Federal Circuit.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips has brought on K&L Gates capital markets partner KATHERINE BLAIR in Los Angeles, where she’ll join former colleague THOMAS POLETTI, a corporate partner in Costa Mesa, Calif., who came aboard from K&L Gates in late March. Both lawyers have helped Asian clients raise money in U.S. capital markets.

Latham & Watkins appellate litigation partner LORI ALVINO McGILL—who last year took part in an epic pro bono case profiled by The American Lawyer—has found a new home at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan in Washington, D.C., where she’ll help anchor the rapidly growing global litigation shop’s appellate practice in the nation’s capital.

Shook, Hardy & Bacon has hired PATRICK OOT, a former special counsel for electronic discovery at the SEC, as a partner to bolster its data breach and document management capabilities in Washington, D.C. Oot spoke with The American Lawyer last year for a story about five judges at the forefront of e-discovery.

Four years after joining Reed Smith, corporate partner KENNETH REGENSBURG has left the latter firm’s New York office for Squire Sanders. Regensburg, who was previously counsel at White Case, has nearly 20 years’ experience handling transactional matters for corporate clients and private equity firms.

Stoel Rives has hired energy and project finance partners ROGER ROSENDAHL and GEORGE PAVLENISHVILI in Washington, D.C., from DLA Piper, where the latter was an associate and which Rosendahl joined in 2010 from Kaye Scholer. Both Rosendahl and Pavlenishvili will now be members of Stoel Rives’ energy development practice.

Julie Triedman contributed to this column.

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