The Churn
(Illustration by Paul Dilakian)

Three months after Patton Boggs found a savior in Squire Sanders, a handful of former Patton Boggs partners have continued to find new homes.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips announced this week its hire of former Patton Boggs litigation partners BENJAMIN CHEW and NIGEL WILKINSON in Washington, D.C., along with an associate. They join the firm from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, where the trio spent a brief stint after defecting from Patton Boggs earlier this year, according to sibling publication The National Law Journal.

The NLJ reported in July on Chew’s decision to resign from Pillsbury as a result of a conflict with energy giant Chevron, a major Pillsbury client that had bludgeoned Patton Boggs into a $15 million settlement in May. Chew and Wilkinson, the latter of whom was elected an income partner at Patton Boggs last year, join several former Patton Boggs colleagues at Manatt. (T. Hale Boggs, chair of the digital media group at Manatt in Los Angeles, happens to be one of the sons of Patton Boggs cofounder Thomas Hale Boggs Jr.)

Other former Patton Boggs partners on the move this month include white-collar litigators ANDREW FRIEDMAN and SOTIRIS “TED” PLANZOS in Washington, D.C., the two of whom have become partners at Butzel Long and Clark Hill, respectively.

As for Manatt, the firm hired media and entertainment partner DAVID RAPPAPORT last month in New York from Davis Shapiro Lewit Grabel Leven Granderson & Blake. The hire came on the heels of appellate and regulatory litigation partner HARRY CHAMBERLAIN II leaving the firm’s Sacramento office, which he joined in 2012 from Buchalter Nemer, for local shop Meyers Nave. In May, another litigation partner who joined Manatt two years ago, N. RICHARD JANIS in Washington, D.C., left to become a name partner at Trout Cacheris & Janis.

Pillsbury has also been active on the lateral front in recent months. The firm bagged Bingham McCutchen M&A partner ALAN KALIN in Palo Alto in May, the same month that litigator and former Washington, D.C., office managing partner CHRISTINE KEARNS left Pillsbury to become chief legal and administrative officer for privately owned real estate company B.F. Saul in Bethesda, Md. (Pillsbury appointed corporate partner Jeffrey Grill to replace Kearns as leader of the firm’s Beltway base.) Last month the VLP Law Group picked up Pillsbury construction and affordable housing partner MICHAEL KASS in Oakland, while Pillsbury IP and outsourcing partner MICHAEL MURPHY left the firm to set up his own shop.

In other Churn news …

Bryan Cave has brought on public policy and government affairs partner MIGUEL RODRIGUEZ in Washington, D.C., from his role as an assistant to President Barack Obama and the director of the White House’s office of legislative affairs. Bryan Cave did lose tax partner ALAN SOLARZ earlier this summer to Ernst & Young, where he is now an executive director with the global accounting giant in New York.

Houston-based Chamberlain, Hrdlicka, White, Williams & Aughtry has hired Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner IP partner LORI JOHNSON in Atlanta. Johnson, a former patent examiner with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, specializes in portfolio establishment, landscape analysis and due diligence. Another Finnegan IP partner, SCOTT POPMA, left the firm’s Washington, D.C., office last month to found Beltway-based Ballast IP Capital Group. Popma was promoted to partner at Finnegan in 2007.

Dykema Gossett has added product liability of counsel NICHOLAS WITTNER in Bloomfield Hills, Mich., from Nissan North America, where he was an assistant general counsel and head of the legal department’s product group. Wittner also serves as a professor at the Michigan State University College of Law.

Dorsey & Whitney has poached Pillsbury banking and financial services partner JOSEPH LYNYAK III in Washington, D.C., where he joined the latter from Venable in 2011. Dorsey did lose corporate practice cohead JEFFREY FROMM in New York this month to VLP Law Group, which, as noted above, has also recently done some hiring from Pillsbury.

RICHARD GRAD, the former global cochair of Sidley Austin’s financial services class action litigation practice, decamped from the firm’s Los Angeles office in July to become global chief litigation counsel at GE Aviation in Cincinnati. GE and its parent General Electric have been longtime clients of Sidley. Grad had been with the firm since 1985.

Greenberg Traurig has recruited MARK CLAYTON, a former member of the Nevada State Gaming Control Board, as a partner for its gaming practice in Las Vegas from leading local firm Lionel Sawyer & Collins. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that Clayton is one of Nevada’s top regulatory lawyers. Greenberg Traurig also brought back IP and technology partner MASAHIRO NODA in New York earlier this summer from Drinker Biddle & Reath, the latter of which he joined as counsel in 2012.

North Carolina Gov. Patrick McCrory announced the appointment this week of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton appellate litigation partner RICHARD DIETZ in Winston-Salem, N.C., to a vacant seat on the state’s Court of Appeals as of Sept. 6. Dietz, who was promoted to partner at Kilpatrick last year, serves as vice chairman of the appellate practice section of the North Carolina Bar Association.

MATTHEW JACOBSON, a former in-house lawyer at Hewlett-Packard turned cohead of the technology and outsourcing practice at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in New York, is leaving the Magic Circle’s Big Apple base to become a corporate partner at King & Spalding. Jacobson, who began his legal career at now-defunct Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison, spent nearly a decade at Freshfields.

McCarter & English energy partner RANDOLPH ELLIOTT in Washington, D.C., who joined the firm earlier this year after the latter absorbed Beltway energy boutique Miller, Balis & O’Neil, left the combined firm in early August to become regulatory counsel for the American Public Power Association. Elliott was one of eight Miller Balis partners who joined McCarter when both firms merged in February.

McGuireWoods has raided Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney in Pittsburgh for energy partner RYAN PURPURA, who has a decade of experience on a wide range of oil and gas issues, including matters pertaining to the nearby Marcellus and Utica shale formations.

DOUGLAS DAVIDSON, the former managing partner of Thelen’s New York office and cochair of the corporate and securities group at the now-defunct firm, retired on June 30 as a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Davidson, who led a 17-lawyer energy transactions team from Thelen to Morgan Lewis in late 2008, will continue to serve a small stable of corporate and energy clients at his own solo practice.

Morrison & Foerster IP litigation of counsel TERESA SUMMERS has left the firm’s office in Washington, D.C., to start her own shop called the Summers Law Group in Alexandria, Va. Summers specializes in representing Japanese clients in U.S. patent disputes.

Last month Sullivan & Worcester added an equity partner to its ranks in DARWIN CONNER, a former partner with Winston & Strawn in New York whose practice focuses on his representation of a variety of financial services clients on credit agreements and financing matters.

Venable has snagged four energy and environmental regulatory lawyers from Saul Ewing in Baltimore led by partners J. JOSEPH “MAX” CURRAN III—a former head of the Maryland Public Service Commission—and WILLIAM DUBOIS, commercial litigation counsel CHRISTOPHER GUNDERSON and an associate. Gunderson had been special counsel at Saul Ewing. The Baltimore Business Journal reports that Curran is the brother of Maryland’s First Lady, Katie Curran O’Malley, and the son of former state attorney general J. Joseph Curran Jr.

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