Law Firm Insider: 4/05/11

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

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The job market improved nationally in March, but the same can't be said for those looking for legal work. While 216,000 jobs were added in the U.S. in March, the number of legal jobs fell by 500, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Nonetheless, lateral hiring among associates was up 61 percent in 2010, and lateral hiring overall was up 38 percent, according to a report by the National Association for Law Placement.

The Association of American Law Schools, under fire for the way its schools report post-graduation employment, has told the American Bar Association that more debate is required before it makes any changes.

Thompson Reuters released its first quarter mergers and acquisitions review. Worldwide, the dollar value of mergers and acquisitions is up 55 percent from the first quarter of 2010 to $800 billion. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz tops the report's list, with a 16 percent worldwide market share.

Kirkland & Ellis hired former Federal Trade Commission chair Tim Muris, who becomes the only former FTC chair practicing law at a private firm. While Muris served as chairman, the FTC created the National Do Not Call Registry, designed to keep pesky telemarketers from calling. He will work in the firm's antitrust practice. Kirkland also hired Michael McConnell of counsel in the firm's litigation practice. McConnell is a former U.S. Court of Appeals Justice.

Last time it was Baker Botts hiring a team of Howrey lawyers, now it's Baker & Hostetler. The firm hired 17 antitrust and environmental law attorneys, including nine partners and top trial attorney Robert Abrams. The lawyers will work in Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Abrams becomes head of the firm's antitrust practice.

It was another big week for Latham & Watkins, which recently opened a Boston office. The firm promoted former Justice Department assistant attorney general Alice Fisher to managing partner in its Washington office, hired former Baker Botts partner Ryan Maierson as a partner in its corporate development office in Houston, and added six partners in China, England, Qatar, and the U.S.

WilmerHale hired former Howrey intellectual property partner Lloyd Day Jr. to work in its Palo Alto, Calif. office. The firm also hired Paul Oberhammer to work of counsel for the firm's international arbitration group. Finally, it was named 2011 firm of the year in patent litigation and International Trade Commission litigation by Managing Intellectual Property, a website that covers the industry.

Novak Druce & Quigg also hired a Howrey IP lawyer. Michael Bell will join the firm's Houston office. Former Howrey appellate partner Jerrold Ganzfried joined Holland & Knight's Washington, D.C. office last week. Loeb & Loeb also hired an ex-Howrey partner, Michael Jahnke. He will become the firm's antitrust co-chair in its New York office.

We're still talking about Howrey, and probably will be for a while as former employees continue landing new jobs. But some bad news for lawyers who were still wrapping up firm business: Citibank pulled all funding from the firm, meaning the firm couldn't meet payroll, according to a memo issued by the firm that was obtained by Above the Law and American Law Daily. It was forced to completely shut down all non-dissolution operations March 31.

DLA Piper hired five partners to work in its Miami office from Hunton & Williams. The partners will work in its corporate, bankruptcy, and tax practices.

Internationally, DLA Piper and Jones Day lost partners in London, as DLA's Neil Gerrard and Jonathan Pickworth move to Dechert, and Jones Day's London managing partner Russell Carmedy and European private equity head Michael Nouril decided to resign. DLA Piper also lost its European private equity head as Will Rosen joins Ropes & Gray.

After spending five years working for the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, Allison Binney rejoined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld's American Indian law practice.

Fish & Richardson named Ann Chaplin leader of its litigation practice group in Minneapolis.

Allen & Overy announced that it was promoting 21 lawyers to partner across 13 offices. The moves will go into effect May 1.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough name partner Edward Mullins Jr. won South Carolina Lawyers Weekly's Leadership in Law Award. The publication also named 26 Nelson Mullins lawyers "Super Lawyers."

Covington & Burlington promoted two lawyers to of counsel and three lawyers to special counsel in its Washington and New York offices.

And, finally, here's an interesting account from the Daily Business Review about the death of Florida-based firm Yoss, which shuttered at the end of March.

Does your firm have a recent notable achievement, new hires, or an upcoming special event? E-mail us at lawfirminsider@usnews.com.

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