The Churn
(Illustration by Paul Dilakian)

Two more IP litigation partners have left Kirkland & Ellis.

In Palo Alto, ALICIA SHAH, who made partner at Kirkland in 2012, has taken an in-house position at San Jose-based digital circuit maker Altera Corp., according to records on file with the State Bar of California. Altera has been a Kirkland client.

JASON WEJNERT, who joined Kirkland’s partnership ranks in 2010, recently joined Dinsmore & Shohl’s Chicago office as a partner in its IP group. Dinsmore expanded into the Windy City earlier this year by merging with Peck, Shaffer & Williams, a 35-lawyer public finance shop based out of Cincinnati.

The Am Law Daily reported in mid-August on the exodus of Kirkland partners—many from the firm’s robust nonequity partner ranks—that have left its IP group for positions elsewhere, amid a series of high-profile hires by Kirkland as the firm sought to bolster its M&A practice.

Two other Kirkland IP partners in Chicago—MATTHEW HERTKO and SERENA PRUITT—also left the firm in late August, although their new positions could not be determined by the time of this column.

In other Churn news …

Adams and Reese has added commercial litigator CLARENCE WILBON as a partner in Memphis from Bass, Berry & Sims, where he became the latter’s first African- American partner in 2009. Wilbon’s practice focuses on commercial and financial services litigation, as well as product liability defense.

Bingham McCutchen corporate partner CHRISTOPHER RILEY—a former general counsel for Ticketmaster who joined the firm’s Los Angeles office last year—has defected for another top in-house role. Riley has been named the new general counsel for Machinima, a West Hollywood, Calif.-based gaming and media streaming website. The Hollywood Reporter, which reported on Riley’s hire, notes that he also previously served as general counsel for and as a legal consultant to Disney Interactive.

Earlier this summer, Cozen O’Connor hired INGRID WELCH, the former Philadelphia managing partner for Detroit-based Jaffe Raitt Heuer & Weiss, as a private equity and real estate partner in the City of Brotherly Love. Welch has more than 30 years’ experience in private equity fund formation, private placements, transactional and broker-dealer regulatory compliance.

MEREDITH MACKEY, a former associate at Latham & Watkins who for the past four years has been a vice president in the loan negotiations group at Goldman Sachs, has left the financial services giant to become a capital markets counsel in Davis Polk & Wardwell’s New York office.

Dickinson Wright is growing its Phoenix office by bringing on health care, medical malpractice and product liability litigation partner FREDERICK CUMMINGS from Jennings, Strouss & Salmon, where he was a member of the leading local firm’s management committee and its former litigation chair.

Chicago’s Freeborn & Peters added Winston & Strawn commercial litigation partner DAVID DOYLE to its ranks in early August. Freeborn & Peters claims that the hire brings its litigation group to more than 70 lawyers, making it one of the largest in Illinois. The firm also has an office in the state capital of Springfield.

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani has hired construction disputes partners AKIN ALCITEPE and RONAN MCHUGH in Washington, D.C., from local full-service residential real estate firm BaileyLaw P.C., along with senior employment counsel BRIAN SCOTTI from Reston, Va.-based Charlson Bredehoft Cohen & Brown. The trio, along with an associate hired from a third firm, join an office in the nation’s capital that Gordon Rees opened in March 2012.

Greenberg Traurig has poached Troutman Sanders government contracts partner RYAN BERRY in Washington, D.C., for its outpost in suburban McLean, Va., as well as real estate and financial institutions partner SUSAN NEUBERG in the Beltway and New York from Edwards Wildman Palmer, a firm she joined last year. Greenberg Traurig did see litigation partner JON JACOBSON leave the firm’s office in West Palm Beach, Fla., to start his own practice, Jacobson Law P.A.

In June, Haynes and Boone partner TRACE BLAIR left the firm’s San Antonio office to become a name partner at Wigington Rumley Dunn & Blair in tiny Jourdanton, Texas. Blair will manage the personal injury firm’s new Eagle Ford shale office, which specializes in catastrophic oil field accidents and complex commercial disputes.

Ice Miller announced in late July that it had brought back tax partner MARILEE SPRINGER in Indianapolis from Indiana Gov. Michael Pence’s office, where she spent the past 18 months as his deputy chief of staff. Pence, himself a lawyer, increased the number of his deputy chiefs of staff after Springer resigned on July 1.

The Am Law Daily recently broke the news of Jones Day’s hire of Shearman & Sterling corporate partner MICHAEL MCGUINNESS in New York. McGuinness, who headed Shearman’s Latin American M&A group, is part of a push by Jones Day to cater to clients south of the border.

The Obama administration nominated DANIEL MARTI, managing partner of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton’s office in Washington, D.C., to serve as the country’s next IP enforcement coordinator or “IP czar,” reports sibling publication The National Law Journal. Marti would replace Victoria Espinel, who stepped down from the role a year ago this month to become president and CEO of software industry trade group BSA/The Software Alliance.

McGuireWoods has brought on banking and finance specialist S. KAY MCNAB as a partner in Chicago, where she was a partner at Winston & Strawn and also served on the firm’s audit, business development and compensation committees. McNab has 25 years’ experience in banking, private debt and public and structured finance work.

KAREN MORINELLI, a labor and employment partner with Jackson Lewis and founder of the firm’s Tampa office, has left to return to national labor and employment rival Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart. Morinelli initially joined Ogletree in 2008 from now-defunct Florida firm Ruden McClosky, but decamped last year for Jackson Lewis.

Polsinelli might be on a growth surge, but the Kansas City.-based Am Law 100 firm, profiled last year by The American Lawyer for its expansion efforts, has also seen some departures. JENNIFER WORSTELL, a real estate finance partner in Chicago, recently left for Natarajan Legal P.C., a small shop with offices in Chicago and suburban Westmont, Ill. In July, Polsinelli did bring on employee benefits and executive compensation partner W. ANDREW DOUGLASS in Chicago from Seyfarth Shaw, where he made partner in early 2009.

Nearly five years after opening an office in London, Ropes & Gray has made a high-profile private equity hire in the European financial capital by poaching partner PHIL SANDERSON from British firm Travers Smith. U.K. publication Legal Business reports that Sanderson was also in talks with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom about joining the legal giant. Sanderson will join Ropes & Gray in January 2015.

Sedgwick has nabbed commercial real estate transactions and finance partner PAULA CROW in San Francisco from local shop Lubin Olson & Niewiadomski, but also lost product liability and tort litigation partner THOMAS DELANEY in Irvine, Calif., to an Orange County Superior Court judgeship. Delaney, 47, assumed the seat on the state court bench last month.

REBECCA WAHLQUIST, a commercial litigation partner at Manatt, Phelps & Phillips in Los Angeles who helped the firm found its Telephone Consumer Protection Act practice, has become a partner at Snell & Wilmer. The latter, a Phoenix-based firm that opened in Los Angeles five years ago and also has outposts in luxurious locales like Los Cabos, Mexico, touts the TCPA as generating significant litigation in state and federal courts. Wahlquist joined Manatt in 2010 from Kirkland.

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