Two law firms announced important career updates this week.

On Wednesday, Sidley Austin announced that Karen Cottle, former general counsel of Adobe Systems Inc., has joined its Palo Alto, Calif., office as senior counsel in its technology practice. (Cottle was the 2012 recipient of InsideCounsel’s Lauran Stein Transformative Leadership Award, which honors GCs committed to accelerating the rise of women to senior leadership roles in legal departments. Learn more about InsideCounsel’s Transformative Leadership Awards.)

“The strength of Sidley’s global practice, coupled with the opportunity to bring my experience and insight as a public company General Counsel to the firm’s clients were key factors in choosing to join Sidley,” Cottle said in a press release.

Cottle served as Adobe’s senior vice president, GC and secretary from 2002 until this past summer. Before that, she was GC of Vitria Technology Inc., a public software company, and Raychem Corp., a global manufacturing company.

In other career news, Simpson Thacher announced yesterday that it elected partner William Dougherty chairman of the firm’s executive committee, effective immediately. Dougherty, a member of the firm’s corporate practice, succeeds Philip Ruegger, who served as chairman since 2004 and is retiring this year.

“I hope to continue to build upon the Firm’s traditional strengths while also leveraging our worldwide platform and market-leading practice areas to best serve our clients’ most important needs, wherever they might be,” said Dougherty in a statement.

Dougherty became a partner at Simpson Thacher in 1995 and was elected to the executive committee in 2008. He served as co-administrative partner from 2009 to 2012, and he also was a member of the firm’s new partners committee from 2003 to 2008, later serving as the committee chair.

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