The Churn: Latham Adds from Ropes in Boston, Plus More Lateral Moves

, The Am Law Daily

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The Churn

After 25 years with Ropes & Gray, white-collar litigator MICHAEL FEE has taken his practice across town to Latham & Watkins' three-year-old Boston office.

Fee, who joins Latham as a partner, defends clients in government investigations, as well as in criminal, civil and administrative enforcement proceedings. Much of his work involves the health care and life sciences industries, including matters related to universities, hospitals, physicians and clinical laboratories.

In one recent health care–related matter, Fee succeeded in getting the government to drop two investigations into his client, medical device maker Medtronic, concerning the marketing of devices. The company announced in May 2012 that the U.S. Department of Justice would not be taking action against it.

Fee says a desire to be involved in building a practice again, as he did with Ropes' white-collar group when he joined the firm from Justice in 1981, prompted the move. "It's new, it's refreshing," Fee says. "In some ways it's reminiscent of what I did before."

The search process began last fall, Fee says, and with the help of a recruiter he interviewed at firms based outside Boston that were looking to expand their presence in the city. Within that group of firms, he had even more specific requirements. "I didn't want to be in an outpost, so to speak," Fee says. "Even though I knew I would be in a smaller office, I wanted to be in a firm that valued that smaller office, really integrated it." He says he found what he was looking for at Latham, which currently has 44 lawyers in Boston.

Last year, The Am Law Daily spotlighted one Fee assignment that represented something of a departure from the typical Am Law 100 white-collar case. In late June, Fee took on Aaron Hernandez, the former star tight end for the New England Patriots, as a client in what was at the time potential obstruction of justice charges related to a Boston-area murder investigation.

Days after Fee's entry into the case, prosecutors charged Hernandez with murder. (A USA Today story shows Fee standing at Hernandez's side during the arraignment). Hernandez has been in custody since then, and is reportedly also under investigation for his possible role in a 2012 double homicide. Fee said Tuesday that he would like to continue to represent Hernandez but is unsure that will happen.

Asked to comment on Fee's departure, a Ropes & Gray spokesman said in a statement, "We thank Michael for his 25 years of service to the firm and wish him the best in his new endeavor."

In other Churn news …

Arent Fox's latest partner is PAMELA FULMER, a trial lawyer who takes on patent, copyright, trademark infringement, trade secret, and other cases. Based in San Francisco, she last worked at Novak Druce Connolly Bove + Quigg.

Baker & Hostetler has snagged a five-lawyer team from Edwards Wildman Palmer in Chicago. The group includes litigation partner CRAIG WHITE and intellectual property partners JOHN LETCHINGER and DOUGLAS RUPERT, along with litigation counsel MATTHEW CACCAMO and an IP associate.

Ballard Spahr's two newest partners are JAY FASTOW and DENISE PLUNKETT, antitrust and financial services litigators in New York. The pair previously worked at Dickstein Shapiro.

A four-lawyer intellectual property team has jumped to Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck from Merchant & Gould. The new hires, all of whom are based in Denver, include shareholders PAUL PRENDERGAST and CARA CROWLEY-WEBER, along with two associates. Separately, RITA WU has joined Brownstein Hyatt from Arnold & Porter as of counsel, also in the intellectual property department.

LORA MOFFATT has lateraled from Dentons to Crowell & Moring in New York. A partner, Moffatt's practice focuses on patent, trade secret and copyright litigation, as well as trademark counseling and prosecution.

Two intellectual property lawyers have joined Dentons in Silicon Valley. LISSI MOJICA, a principal, and KEVIN GREENLEAF, counsel, most recently worked at Schwegman, Lundberg and Woessner. Both spent time earlier in their careers working at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Dickinson Wright had added K.J. MILLER as a member in its Ann Arbor, Mich., office. Miller, previously with Dykema Gossett, has a commercial and tort litigation practice.

JENNIFER WEISS has left the partnership of Alston & Bird to be a director at Goulston & Storrs in Boston. Weiss advises clients on tax-oriented commercial transactions involving real estate securities in public and private capital markets.

Former federal prosecutor ARUNABHA BHOUMIK is now a partner in the litigation department of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. Bhoumik, who joins Manatt's New York office, most recently served as a prosecutor in the fraud section of the U.S. Department of Justice's Criminal Division.

After a four-year stint in the Obama administration, STEVEN KAUFMANN has returned to his former firm, Morrison & Foerster, as a partner. Kaufmann, who previously served as head of global litigation, will work from both Washington, D.C., and Denver. In 2010 President Barack Obama named him chief of staff at the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an independent government development agency created to help reduce poverty through long-term investments in impoverished countries.

The Churn is compiled from law firm releases and announcements. Moves based on our own reporting will note this. Please send all announcements and news releases to thechurn@alm.com.

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