Washington Wrap is a weekly look at the biggest legal industry news and Big Law moves shaping the legal business in Washington, D.C. Send tips and lateral moves to Ryan Lovelace at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Womble Bond Dickinson is expanding its offerings in the Baltimore-Washington area with the acquisition of a small Maryland litigation boutique, Treanor Pope & Hughes.
The expansion brings prominent Baltimore business litigators Ginny Barnhart and Russ Pope to Womble as partners focused on complex consumer financial services cases. Barnhart is the former county attorney for Baltimore County and has experience guiding banks, lenders and servicers in consumer financial litigation. Pope represents clients in class actions and other banking, commercial, and environmental litigation.
Barnhart and Pope’s combined 35-plus years of experience made the acquisition an “easy decision” for the young firm, said Chris Jones, leader of the U.S.-based litigation team in a statement.
Two other Treanor Pope partners, Mike Barranco and Doug Riley, are not making the move to Womble with Barnhart and Pope.
Following the 2017 trans-Atlantic merger that created Womble Bond Dickinson, the firm has grown along the East Coast of the U.S. and absorbed an IP boutique in California. Womble also previously added seven D.C.-area lawyers from the boutique firm Bennet & Bennet as part of its growth in the Washington market.
Law Firm Moves, News, & Notes:
Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck combined with a Las Vegas litigation and bankruptcy firm, Schwartz Flansburg, this week. The move brings Sam Schwartz and Frank Flansburg on board as shareholders, alongside one of counsel, two associates, and seven support team personnel.
The additions come a few months after Greg Brower, the FBI’s former top congressional liaison, left government to join Brownstein’s D.C. and Vegas offices. Brower previously served as U.S. attorney for the District of Nevada.
Kirkland & Ellis has added Robert Fleishman in Washington as a partner in the firm’s corporate practice group.
Fleishman advises clients on energy regulatory and compliance components of transactions, the firm said in announcing Fleishman’s hire. He was previously a senior of counsel at Morrison & Foerster and of counsel at Covington & Burling. Earlier this year in Washington, Kirkland added a pair of project finance specialists, Rohit Chaudhry and Roald Nashi, who joined from Norton Rose Fulbright and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, respectively.
William Howell, the former speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates for 15 years, has joined McGuireWoods Consulting as a senior adviser. The firm said he will work in a “non-lobbying role.”
“This is a wonderful addition for clients who look to McGuireWoods as a one-stop shop for excellence in meeting both their public affairs and legal needs,” said Jonathan P. Harmon, McGuireWoods chairman, in a statement.
Holland & Knight added John Hoover as a partner in Washington focused on commercial aircraft transactions in the firm’s structured finance practice.
Hoover has experience with federal and state tax planning and compliance matters and audits involving business aircraft. Hoover will have a crucial role in growing the firm’s work in the area of business jet financings and leases, said William Piels, Holland & Knight’s structured finance practice leader.
Former FTC Chief Trial Counsel Ted Hassi joined Debevoise & Plimpton in Washington as a partner and member in the firm’s antitrust practice group.
Hassi has spent much of his career at O’Melveny & Myers, where he was a partner before exiting for Debevoise & Plimpton.
Stroock & Stroock & Lavan has recruited Patrick Menasco from Steptoe & Johnson to work as partner in the firm’s employee benefits, executive compensation and ERISA practice in Washington.
Menasco works with foreign and domestic financial institutions and has served as an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School for several years.
Speaking of Steptoe & Johnson, the firm’s tax group and government affairs and public policy group announced the addition of George Callas, former senior tax counsel to House Speaker Paul Ryan.
Callas will serve as managing director in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office.
Miles & Stockbridge added Robert B. Webb III as a partner in suburban Washington.
Webb joins Miles & Stockbridge’s Tysons Corner, Virginia, office as a principal after leaving Squire Patton Boggs, where he worked as a partner for 17 years. A senior corporate lawyer, Webb focuses much of his practice on IT and government contractors.
Clarke Locke, a suburban D.C. firm launched by a pair of former Kirkland partners four years ago, was reportedly hired by “60 Minutes” executive producer Jeff Fager to help quash reporters’ investigation involving his level of knowledge of former anchor Charlie Rose’s alleged sexual harassment.
In addition to helping Fager fend off The Washington Post, the Daily Beast reported that the Alexandria, Virginia-based firm has done work for The New York Times’ Glenn Thrush and former NBC personality Matt Lauer. Both Thrush and Lauer were accused of sexual misconduct in news reports.
Partner Thomas Clare told the Daily Beast that the effect of the firm’s work wasn’t “chilling speech,” but to “promote accurate reporting by presenting the facts and evidence that journalists need to make informed decisions about the stories they are considering for publication.”
Correction: An earlier headline misstated Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s acquisition of a boutique firm in Las Vegas as an office opening. The acquired boutique will join an existing Brownstein office in Las Vegas. Also, an earlier version of the story misspelled Brower’s name.