The Churn
(Illustration by Paul Dilakian)

Troutman Sanders has raided Dentons to acquire a team of four partners specializing in commercial bankruptcy and litigation.

The group includes HUGH MCDONALD, JONATHAN FORSTOT, PATRICK FITZMAURICE and LOUIS CURCIO. The firm hopes the team will bolster the litigation capabilities of its bankruptcy practice in New York.

J. David Dantzler Jr., managing partner of Troutman’s New York office, which has added 11 new partners in the past 12 months. told sister publication The New York Law Journal that the four men will represent banks and other lenders in bankruptcy and litigation.

Despite a slowdown in large bankruptcy filings, Dantzler said Troutman Sanders’ group remains robust with its litigation and out-of-court restructuring practice. “They are not absolutely dependent on the bankruptcy cycle and have survived it quite well,” he said.

Last month, Troutman Sanders added three new partners in Portland, Ore.; Charlotte; and New York.

The firm was pulled into the news recently after former Utah Attorney General Mark Shurtleff was arrested and charged in a massive public corruption scandal. Shurtleff had worked at Troutman Sanders starting in January 2013 but left after only six months.

In other Churn news …

Akerman is expanding its South Florida practice with the addition of corporate lawyer DAVID GELLEN, real estate lawyer MICHELLE GONZALEZ and litigator STACEY IBARRA. The moves come shortly after the firm added three partners to the Chicago office.

Ballard Spahr has hired MICHAEL POLLACK as of counsel in New York. Pollack previously served as general counsel of real estate investment firm The Ashforth Co., as reported by sister publication The Legal Intelligencer. The move is a part of Ballard Spahr’s plan to expand its real estate practice to its Manhattan office.

Carlton Fields Jorden Burt has brought on ROBERT SCHMIDLIN, former in-house vice president and regulatory counsel to Fidelity National Title Group Inc. Schmidlin, of counsel, will work out of the firm’s New York and Orlando offices as a member of its real property litigation practice group.

Chadbourne & Parke has picked up DAVID JIMÉNEZ ROMERO from KPMG as an international partner and managing partner of its Mexico City office. The firm also hired JULIEN BOCOBZA from Shearman & Sterling as an international partner in its London office. Bocobza is the seventh lawyer to join Chadbourne’s London office in the past year.

Covington & Burling has hired senior Internal Revenue Service official SAM MARUCA for its Washington, D.C., office. This will be Maruca’s second stint with Covington. He spent three years with the firm’s tax group before moving to become the director of the IRS’s newly formed transfer pricing unit.

MARK ROPPEL has joined DLA Piper’s corporate and finance group as a partner in New York. He will be leaving Allen & Overy after joining the Magic Circle firm in 2008 and leading on deals like Chinese company Jinchuan Group Ltd.’s $1.2 billion acquisition of South African copper and cobalt miner Metorex Ltd. DLA’s Phoenix office added partner GEOFFREY OSSIAS, who previously cochaired Quarles & Brady’s emerging growth companies practice. Also coming on board is DAVID BRUMMOND, formerly a senior sanctions advisor for the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control. He will join DLA’s insurance and reinsurance practice as of counsel in the Washington, D.C., office.

Duane Morris picked up ALVIN LODISH and SCOTT KRAVETZ as partners in the Miami office’s trial practice group, in addition to MICHAEL SHUMAN as special counsel. All three join from the boutique law firm Daniels Kashtan.

Greenberg Traurig is continuing its expansion with the addition of SUZANNE L’HERNAULT as a shareholder in its corporate and securities and banking and finance practices. L’Hernault joins from Gibbons P.C., where she was a director in the corporate department. Her hiring comes shortly after the firm acquired 13 lawyers and lobbyists from Dickstein Shapiro last month.

Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn added corporate attorney GABRIEL EDELSON to the firm’s Detroit office. Edelson previously worked as an associate with Latham & Watkins, where he worked on major deals like the merger of US Airways Group Inc. and American Airlines parent company AMR Inc.

JOSEPH ISKOWITZ has left his post as a partner of Katten Muchin Rosenman to join hedge fund law firm Kleinberg, Kaplan, Wolff & Cohen as a partner in the hedge fund practice.

Mayer Brown has poached former Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman partners MARC SHAPIRO and JILL BLOCK. The two will join the firm as partners in the real estate practice in New York.

Former Goodwin Procter partner WILLIAM MEUNIER has moved to join the intellectual property section of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo. MATTHEW GARDELLA will also join the firm’s corporate and securities practice, leaving Edwards Wildman Palmer after 12 years.

AMY GREER, a specialist in defending matters before the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, is joining Morgan Lewis’ New York office as a partner in its litigation practice. Greer, formerly Reed Smith’s coleader of its securities litigation and enforcement practice, has led on major cases such as representing Bank of America in 2013 when it was sued by the SEC in connection with residential mortgage-backed securities.

After three years with Jones Day, M&A partner KONSTANTIN KROLL has left for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe’s Moscow office. Kroll is dual-qualified in Russian and English law, specializing in domestic Russian and cross-border transactions.

Ropes & Gray has strengthened its intellectual property litigation practice with the addition of EVAN GOURVITZ. Gourvitz is the former director and senior counsel for litigation at Diageo North America, the international alcohol company known for brands like Smirnoff vodka, Johnnie Walker and Guinness.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton has added GREG BERK to the firm’s labor and employment practice group. As the former chair of Carothers DiSante & Freudenberger’s immigration practice, Berk will add to Sheppard Mullin’s four attorneys already specializing in immigration.

Vinson & Elkins has snagged international arbitration lawyer AMIR GHAFFARI as a partner in the firm’s London and Dubai offices. Ghaffari is leaving Berwin Leighton Paisner, where he was an arbitration partner specializing in construction disputes, particularly in the Middle East.

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