Duane Morris lawyers resign amid malpractice suit

Goodwin Procter launches London private equity practice; DLA Piper names new Australia private equity head; and more private fund lawyer moves.

Duane Morris corporate practice chief and Baltimore office head George Nemphos and corporate partner Jay Cohen resigned in the wake of a $10 million malpractice suit, which alleges they advised a client to pay fees to a company they created rather than to the law firm. Duane Morris has named Chicago partner Brian Kerwin as the new chair of its corporate practice and partner Robert Hopkins as the new leader of its Baltimore office.

 • Goodwin Procter launched its private equity practice in London with the addition of Richard Lever as a partner. Lever, who focuses on middle market transactions, previously co-led the corporate practice at King & Wood Mallesons. Catriona Berman also joined the firm in order to strengthen Goodwin’s London real estate capital markets practice. She was previously with Macfarlanes. The firm said it plans to continue deepening its presence in the city.

• M&A veteran Grant Koch departed Allen Overy to become the Australian private equity head at rival firm DLA Piper. DLA Piper also bolstered its California presence with two new hires. Eric Goldberg, formerly at Gordon Silver, joins as a partner in the restructuring practice in Los Angeles. Tom Furlong joins the corporate practice in San Francisco from Granite Ventures.

 • Dechert expanded its corporate and securities practice with the addition of Markus Bolsinger as a partner. He joins from Kirkland & Ellis, where, for almost two decades, he concentrated on transactional private equity.

 • Manatt, Phelps & Phillipsis expanding its East Coast team with the addition of Douglas Boggs, Alan Noskow and Joseph Passaic in its Washington, DC office. The three join from the corporate transactions team at Squire Patton Boggs where each was a partner.

 • Debevoise & Plimpton promoted six to partner, including Sally Gibson in London and Scott Selinger in New York. Gibson is a member of the investment management group, while Selinger is a member of the corporate department, finance group and private equity group.

 • O’Melveny & Myers expanded its team on both sides of the pond, adding Tobias Knapp as co-head of the US M&A and private equity practice in the firm’s New York office as well as senior finance lawyer Jennifer Kafcas to the firm’s London office as counsel and a member of the corporate finance practice.

 • Morrison & Foerster added Amit Kataria to the mergers & acquisitions practice group in order to grow its India practice.  Kataria, who will be based in Hong Kong, joins from David Polk & Wardwell where he represented corporations, financial sponsors and portfolio companies.

 • Gibson Dunn added Lauren King as an of counsel in the investment funds practice of its New York office. King, who joins from Schulte Roth & Zabel, will continue representing domestic and foreign fund managers in fund formation.

 • Sidley Austin appointed Wenseng Pan as a partner in its New York M&A practice. Wenseng, who will be based in Shanghai, focuses on inbound and outbound transactions between China and the US in life sciences, technology and other industries.

 • Sam Coates joined WilmerHale as a partner in the law firm's Palo Alto office, as part of its corporate, emerging company and life sciences practice groups. He previously was a partner with Cooley.

 • Winston & Strawn added Bill Bowers in firm’s New York office in the corporate and transactional department. He will serve as chair of transportation structured finance, a new industry team, representing underwriters, placement agents, issuers, lessors, lenders and liquidity providers.

 • Pillsbury promoted partners Kimberly Mann and Ildiko Duckor to co-lead the firm's investment funds and investment management team. The firm also promoted André Brewster to partner.

 • Allen & Overy appointed Jason van der Poel as a partner in its international projects, energy and infrastructure unit. Based in the law firm's Johannesburg office, van der Poel joins from South African rival Webber Wentzel.   

 • Crowell & Moring added John Vogel in the firm’s Washington, DC office as senior counsel in the corporate group, where he represents US and foreign companies in conventional and Islamic equity and debt financing transactions involving real estate investment, leasing and infrastructure projects.

 • Ogier appointed three new partners to its team – Sara Johns and Jamie Bore in Jersey and Christopher Jones in Guernsey.Johns specializes in mergers and acquisitions, corporate restructurings, joint ventures and capital markets transactions involving offshore vehicles.

Know of any private fund lawyer career moves we might have missed? If so, email pfm reporter Katherine Bucaccio at katherine.b@peimedia.com.