The Churn
(Illustration by Paul Dilakian)

Two top Am Law 100 firms were on the move this week with office openings in hot jurisdictions for legal services.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan became the latest Am Law 100 firm to head to Houston on Monday, as the firm announced its hire of partner DAVID GERGER, a well-regarded trial lawyer with local litigation boutique Gerger & Clarke.

Also joining Quinn Emanuel as part of the move are fellow Gerger & Clarke name partner SHAUN CLARKE, who comes aboard as special counsel, and of counsel DANE BALL, DAVID ISAAK and SAMY KHALIL, according to sibling publication Texas Lawyer. Gerger and Clarke, both of whom worked on matters related to British oil giant BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, will cochair the white-collar criminal defense practice for Quinn Emanuel’s new Houston office.

Halfway across the world in Australia, Baker & McKenzie has confirmed its opening of an outpost in Brisbane, according to sibling publication The Asian Lawyer, which notes that the office will be the firm’s third Down Under. Joining Baker & McKenzie are mining and resources partner PHILIP CHRISTENSEN from his own shop in Sydney, Allens energy M&A partner JO DANIELS and Clayton Utz mining and infrastructure partner DARREN FOOKS. News of Baker & McKenzie’s intention to head into Brisbane was first reported in late April by Aussie legal publication Lawyers Weekly.

In other Churn news …

Adams and Reese government relations special counsel CHARLES CASTILLE in Baton Rouge has been named executive director of the Pride, La.-based Rural Hospital Coalition, according to The Advocate. Castille joined Adams and Reese in late 2010 after serving as general counsel and undersecretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals.

Alston & Bird has added mortgage expertise to its office in Washington, D.C., by bringing on K&L Gates financial services partner NANCI WEISSGOLD. Her practice focuses on regulatory compliance issues related to mortgage lending, serving, appraisal and valuation.

Chadbourne & Parke has bolstered its project finance practice in London with its hire of international partner JULIEN BOCOBZA from Shearman & Sterling, where he was an associate in the firm’s project development and finance group.

National labor and employment firm Constangy, Brooks & Smith—which this week saw name partner Lovic Brooks Jr. pass away at 87 after a short illness—has expanded its labor relations practice in Boston by hiring Seyfarth Shaw partner ANDREW EISENBERG.

GARRETH SAROSI has come a long way since his first job at Barry’s Pizza in Houston. The former senior counsel for IP at MetroPCS, which last year completed its $1.5 billion cash-and-stock merger with T-Mobile USA, has joined Dentons’ Dallas office as a litigation partner in its IP and technology practice.

Drinker Biddle & Reath is the latest firm to reap the benefits of those leaving Epstein Becker & Green by picking up trusts and estates partners RUSSELL ADLER and senior counsel PETER STRAUSS in New York. Both lawyers specialize in estate administration, income tax planning and elder law issues. Strauss joins Drinker Biddle as of counsel.

Faegre Baker Daniels has hired Kirkland & Ellis corporate partner ROGER RHOTEN in Chicago, where he’s advised food and beverage industry clients like beer giant Molson Coors on M&A matters, spinoffs, leveraged buyouts and recapitalizations.

Foley & Lardner has nabbed Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman financial institutions and transactions partner CHRISTOPHER LAUKENMANN in Los Angeles. An M&A, private equity and corporate securities expert, Laukenmann joined a Pillsbury predecessor firm in 2000 after in-house stints at Aegon and Transamerica Life Insurance.

DANIEL REITER, a real estate partner at Philadelphia’s Spector Gadon & Rosen, has left the firm to join Fox Rothschild in the same capacity. Spector Gadon recently lost former managing and name partner Steven Gadon to pancreatic cancer, according to a report this month by sibling publication The Legal Intelligencer.

Goulston & Storrs has hired real estate partner MARK JACKSON in Washington, D.C., from Ballard Spahr’s office in suburban Bethesda, Md., which he joined as of counsel in 2010. Jackson has nearly 30 years experience in commercial development, financing and leasing.

Earlier this year, Greenberg Traurig brought on former Duke Energy International associate general counsel ROBERT DOWNING as an energy and global infrastructure partner for its Latin American and Iberian practice. Downing will split his time between the firm’s offices in Houston and Miami.

Hogan Lovells has hired former Weil, Gotshal & Manges associate MICHAEL SZLAMKOWICZ as a private equity and corporate counsel in New York.

AMY WORLEY, counsel with McGuireWoods in Raleigh, has left the firm to join national labor and employment shop Jackson Lewis as a partner in the same city. Worley’s practice focuses on representing companies in employment litigation, as well as regulatory matters involving data privacy and security.

Jones Day has lured former federal prosecutor and Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld litigation partner SAMIDH GUHA, who once represented hedge fund honcho Raj Rajaratnam on insider trading charges, to join its securities litigation and SEC enforcement practice in New York.

Katten Muchin Rosenman has hired Steptoe & Johnson’s Chicago office managing partner MEREDITH MARTIN “MIMI” ADDY and fellow IP litigation partner MARK REMUS, both of whom joined the firm nearly three years ago from the Windy City-based IP boutique formerly known as Brinks, Hofer, Gilson & Lione. Addy will now serve as national chair of the patent litigation practice at Katten.

C. TODD BURBANK, a real estate investment and development partner at McGuireWoods in Charlotte, has left the firm to join Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton in the same capacity. Burbank specializes in commercial real estate development, finance, leasing and sales.

King & Spalding has hired partner SAMUEL CHOY from McKenna Long & Aldridge in Atlanta. Choy, who joined his now former firm in 2010, specializes in advising clients on employee benefits, executive compensation and tax matters tied to complex transactions.

London’s Kingsley Napley has poached DLA Piper white-collar litigation partner JO RICKARDS in the same city, where she represented former News of the World editor Andy Coulson on phone-hacking charges, according to reports in the British legal press. Kingsley Napley represented Coulson’s codefendant Rebekah Brooks in that case, which concluded last month with her being cleared and Coulson found guilty.

Latham & Watkins has raided Dechert’s New York office for financial technology practice head VIVIAN MAESE, a former in-house lawyer who joined the latter in 2011 to lead its outsourcing and offshoring group. Maese will now be a corporate partner in the financial institutions, emerging companies, and technology transactions and outsourcing practices at Latham, which also poached equity capital markets and M&A partner SAMI AL-LOUZI from Vinson & Elkins this week in Dubai and Riyadh. Al-Louzi, who helped open Vinson’s Riyadh office in 2010, joins Latham the same week that the firm elected new leadership.

Morris, Manning & Martin has brought on AMIE SINGER PICCOLA in Atlanta from Jones Day, a firm she left Foley & Lardner for back in 2012 and that recently reorganized its Southern regional operations, according to sibling publication the Daily Report. Piccola represents growing companies on transactional and debt finance matters.

MICHAEL WARD, a former of counsel at Greenberg Traurig in Atlanta, has left the firm to join Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough’s commercial real estate practice as of counsel in the same city.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe has hired Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft partner JASON HALPER in New York to lead its financial institutions litigation practice. Halper, a litigator with more than two decades of experience, had worked at Cadwalader since 2000.

JEREMY SAKS, a former associate at Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in New York, has joined Schulte Roth & Zabel as special counsel in the firm’s M&A, private equity and corporate governance groups. Saks at worked at Simpson Thacher for nearly a decade.

Sidley Austin has hired former U.S. Treasury Department general counsel GEORGE MADISON as a banking and financial services partner in New York and Washington, D.C. A former partner at Mayer Brown and general counsel for TIAA-CREF and Comerica, Madison joined Treasury at the beginning of the financial crisis back in 2009 and left the department a little more than two years ago. Since then, Madison has enjoyed spending time with his family and volunteering for various programs related to the financial crisis and Dodd-Frank Act, while waiting out a period to avoid potential conflicts as he mulled his options for a return to private practice.

Troutman Sanders has continued its expansion in Charlotte—where the firm opened an office in May with a five-partner raid on K&L Gates—by making its 12th hire from the latter in complex business litigation partner KIRAN MEHTA. A litigator with more than 30 years of experience, Mehta brings with him an associate.

Venable has hired former Patton Boggs partner THOMAS DOWNS for its legislative and government affairs practice in Washington, D.C. Downs, who did not join Squire Patton Boggs after the merger between both firms on June 1, is the latest legacy Patton Boggs partner picked up by Venable in the Beltway.

Willkie Farr & Gallagher has raided Kirkland’s London office for private equity partners MATTHEW DEAN and CLAIRE McDAID as it makes its long-awaited push into the private equity arena across the Atlantic, according to reports in the British legal press. Dean specializes in LBOs and fund formation work, while McDaid primarily handles cross-border private equity deals and investment transactions.

The Churn is compiled from law firm releases, announcements and reporting. Please send all announcements and news releases to