Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: US sees spate of lateral hires

Lateral hires last week have seen Mayer Brown, DLA Piper and Reed Smith make key hires in their US practices, while a Bingham McCutchen partner exits to go in-house.

Mayer Brown has grown its private equity and mergers and acquisitions (M&A) capabilities in New York with the hire of corporate and securities partner Jeff Legault, as the firm focuses on private investment funds in the States.

Legault joins from Reed Smith and specialises in mergers and acquisitions, both public and private, with an emphasis on private equity transactions across the industrial, manufacturing and financial services. His clients include public and private companies, private equity firms and investment banks.

On the other hand, DLA Piper has expanded its litigation practice in Washington DC with the hire of Jonathan Haray. He was previously assistant chief litigation counsel for the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and deputy chief of the fraud and public corruption division at the United States Attorney’s Office.

Haray has experience of advising on complex securities enforcement matters, including Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and securities fraud violations. From 2007 to 2012, he prosecuted cases involving FCPA violations, False Claims Act violations, health care fraud, corporate and insurance fraud, money laundering, and Bank Secrecy Act violations. He also served as an assistant US attorney in the superior court and appellate divisions from 2002 to 2007.

DLA Piper’s co-chair of its white collar, corporate crime and investigations practice Patrick Smith said: ‘Jonathan’s significant litigation background and extensive trial experience at both DOJ and the SEC add great depth to DLA Piper’s white collar practice both in DC and nationally. As these agencies continue their aggressive efforts to enforce the federal securities laws, Jonathan’s broad government enforcement experience will be a tremendous asset to our clients.’

And going from private practice to in-house is Bingham McCutchen corporate partner Chris Riley, who has quit the firm to join gaming and media streaming website Machinima as its general counsel (GC). Riley will lead the company’s legal department and provide strategic legal and business affairs guidance to the company and will report to Machinima’s chief executive officer Chad Gutstein.

Before becoming a partner at Bingham, Riley was a legal consultant at Disney Interactive, worked as GC and senior vice president at Ticketmaster, and as GC and vice president at

Gutstein said: ‘Machinima’s continued success depends on our ability to attract and retain the best people. His [Riley’s] deep legal expertise and advisory skills and multiple stints as General Counsel for leading digital and traditional businesses, bring insights and proven executional excellence to Machinima.’

Reed Smith added two partners to its intellectual property (IP) practice in Chicago with Robert Browne and John Cullis joining from Neal Gerber & Eisenberg.

Browne has experience of advising clients in patent, trademark, copyright and unfair competition law and related litigation in federal district and appellate courts and before the International Trade Commission, while Cullis focuses on intellectual property litigation, counselling and procurement and routinely advises clients on the clearance, registration, enforcement, licensing and acquisition/disposition of IP rights.