Law Firm Insider: 3/22/11

Get the latest news on what's happening in the Best Law Firms.

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After a rough year for law school students looking for summer work, the National Association for Law Placement says offer rates for summer associates rose from 69 percent in 2009 to 87 percent in 2010, an 18 percentage-point increase.

Big news in the telecom industry as AT&T announced it would pay $39 billion to buy T-Mobile from Deutsche Telecom, one of the largest mergers in recent years. AT&T has hired a team at Sullivan & Cromwell to advise the company, while German giant Deutsche Telecom has hired Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz.

Former U.S. Secretary of State and O’Melveny & Myers partner Warren Christopher died this week. He was 85. Best known for his role in negotiating the release of 52 American hostages in Iran in 1981, Christopher was chairman of O’Melveny & Myers from 1982 through 1992.

The fallout from Howrey’s demise continued last week, with long-rumored moves becoming official. Winston & Strawn announced it has acquired more than 40 of Howrey’s intellectual property and commercial litigation attorneys in Houston. The Houston office is Winston’s 15th. Baker Botts hired much of Howrey’s global antitrust practice, a 32-attorney team consisting of Howrey’s co-chair Sean Boland and former U.S. assistant attorneys general James Rill and William Bradford Reynolds. Mayer Brown hired 21 ex-Howrey attorneys, including eight partners in its Washington, Chicago, New York and Los Angeles offices.

Other Howrey lawyers landed at Seyfarth Shaw, which added two construction litigation partners, David Mancini and James Newland Jr., to its Washington D.C. office, while Arent Fox added Martin Cunniff to its litigation practice in Washington D.C. Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft added five lawyers, including partners Peter Moll and Brian Wallach to its antitrust litigation practice. In Los Angeles, Jenner & Block hired former Howrey insurance practice partner Mary Craig Calkins. Disckstein Shapiro hired three Howrey insurance partners, Andrew Reidy, Catherine Serafin, and Michael McGaughey. Antitrust lawyer Marc Schildkraut becomes the latest ex-Howrey partner to join Dewey & LeBoeuf. The firm has hired Roxann Henry, M.J. Moltenbrey, Jacqueline Grise, and Mark Schechter over the past few weeks.

DLA Piper is opening an office in Wilmington, Del. after acquiring 10 attorneys, including five partners, from Edwards, Angell, Palmer & Dodge. The firm also hired two new partners in its Prague office, expanding its presence in the Czech Republic.

In Oklahoma City, Crowe & Dunlevy merged with Day, Propester & Christensen. The new firm will take the Crowe & Dunlevy name. The 140-lawyer firm will be the largest in Oklahoma.

Perkins Coie added four partners to its environment and natural resources practice in San Francisco office, and opened a new office in New York headed by former Arent Fox partner Schuyler Carroll.

Holland & Knight made a few moves this week, adding Terry Elling to its government contracts practice and David Cole to its mergers and acquisitions group. Michael Hess will become senior counsel in its New York office.

Former federal prosecutor Michael King has joined Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg’s litigation practice group. King was also a managing partner at Dewey & LeBoeuf.

Nelson Mullins, Riley & Scarborough’s Tom Sullivan has been named to the board of directors for the Public Forum Institute, a nonprofit that facilitates meetings between the public, small businesses and entrepreneurs.

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