BCG News - 3/29/04
Heller Ehrman opens its first office in China
Continuing the trend of American law firms placing extreme importance on the market in China, Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe LLP announced last week that its Asian practice will gain a new office in Beijing. The Beijing office will be the first for the firm in China, which has recently seen a lot of American and European firms moving in due to loosened restrictions on setting up offices in the country. Heller Ehrman has maintained a presence in Asia since 1993, when it opened an office in Hong Kong. The firm followed that a year later by opening an office in Singapore. Citing both American clients with growing interests in China as well as Chinese companies with venture capital issues and growing business concerns, Heller Ehrman felt that the move to Beijing was necessary given the importance of the city to China's economic functions. Carson Wen, who joined the firm last year in Hong Kong as part of a large group of attorneys from local law firm Siao Wen and Leung, will continue to head the China practice. Firm Press Release, 3/25/04
Piper Rudnick continues to expand LA real estate practice
Approximately one month after adding seven attorneys, including five partners, to its Los Angeles real estate practice, Piper Rudnick has made another significant move to increase its practice by taking on Richard Mendelson, Claudio Chavez, both real estate partners, and one associate. All three of the new hires are coming from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe's Los Angeles office. Piper Rudnick has stated that growing its real estate practice remains a priority right now, and has added over fifty attorneys to the national practice since January of last year. The Los Angeles real estate group was cited by the group's chair, Jay Epstein, as one of the "fastest growing segments" of the firm. Firm Press Release, 3/22/04
Kirkpatrick & Lockhart hires two partners, two associates for IP practice
Two former partners of Trademark & Patent Counselors of America, PC, including founding partner Mark Peroff, joined Kirkpatrick & Lockhart in New York last week to work on intellectual property matters. Joining Peroff and Darren Saunders, the other partner, are two intellectual property associates from their former firm. The four hires, in addition to other recent IP partner hires Anthony Handal and Kelly Talcott, help strengthen the firm's national IP practice, which now stands at around seventy attorneys. Firm Press Release, 3/29/04
Clifford Chance partners vote in favor of new expulsion procedure
Partners at Clifford Chance will no longer find their hands tied when they make an effort to oust one of their colleagues. As revealed by The Lawyer last week, a three week vote to change the firm's constitution ended with the partnership council getting the votes they needed (85%) to allow major changes to the way the firm can deal with underachieving partners. The new procedure allows the partnership council to make the decision to remove underperforming partners without involving the firm's worldwide roster of partners in a vote. If the partner facing expulsion protests the decision, a vote would then be required, but the expulsion would only need 66% of the vote to pass, instead of the current 85%. The changes will also allow the council to prevent partners from moving up the lockstep partnership system, and can even insist they move down. The Lawyer, 3/23/04 - Legal Week, 3/25/04
Chadbourne & Parke reorganizes private equity practice
Citing the improving economy at home and abroad, New York-based Chadbourne & Parke has decided to capitalize on the growing private equity market by "refocusing" its practice in that area. The move will align the firm's private equity attorneys into one group, allowing the attorneys to draw upon the resources of an official practice. The private equity practice spans the firm's offices in New York, Washington, DC, Houston, London, Moscow and Warsaw. More information about the private equity practice, as well as about the firm's many past successes in the private equity area, can be found at the practice's new web address, http://www.chadbourne.com/PrivateEquity/. Firm Press Release, 3/29/04
Hogan & Hartson adds a new practice in London with Jones Day hire
Jones Day's Chrisopher Berry, who came to the firm in a merger with London firm Gouldens, added more than just an increase in Hogan & Hartson's partner roster when he decided to move his practice there last week — Berry's arrival allows H&H to add a new practice to its repertoire in London. The firm will launch a property and property finance practice as part of its overall strategy to provide a full-service practice in England. The firm has been stressing its European practice in its growth plans as of late, adding tax, corporate finance and asset and aviation practices to its London capabilities, as well as establishing a new office in Munich. Firm Press Release, 3/26/04
Greenberg Traurig bolsters DC intellectual property practice
One partner, Mark Hogge, and one of counsel attorney, Kathryn Clune, joined the Washington, DC litigation practice of Greenberg Traurig last week. The two attorneys will focus on intellectual property litigation. Hogge comes to the firm from Dorsey & Whitney, where he was a partner, and brings extensive litigation experience, including work on over 90 patent cases in his career. Kathryn Clune also comes to Greenberg Traurig from Dorsey & Whitney. Firm Press Release, 3/23/04
Winston-Salem firm adds an office in Charlotte
Bell Davis & Pitt expanded its 31-attorney practice recently, opening its second office in Charlotte. The new office will be initially staffed by one attorney, Ward Davis, but may be expanding, as the office space can hold up to five attorneys. Some of the firm's attorneys from the main office in Winston-Salem will likely share time in the Charlotte office, as well. Bell Davis's strong banking practice, which includes clients like Bank of America, contributed to the decision to move into Charlotte. Charlotte Business Journal, 3/22/04
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