Busy Month for Law Firm Hires
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Holland & Knight

Summary: Lateral hires continue to increase at several law firms, while others are experiencing an exodus of partners so far this year.

Big changes have been happening at several law firms since the New Year. Holland & Knight is one of the firms that made a big announcement last week by raising the starting salaries of first-year associates in South Florida. They followed up the announcement with a lateral hiring spree.


Holland & Knight is adding three new partners to their firm. The leader of the trial practice group at McDermott Will & Emery in Washington D.C., Mark Churchill, will be leaving the firm to join Holland & Knight. Seth Belzley, an oil and gas industry expert, left Hogan Lovells to join the firm as an energy and regulatory partner in Houston and Denver. The Denver office of Holland & Knight received another addition with former city attorney David Fine. Fine joined the new location from Dentons where he was the local managing partner. His practice focuses on complex business and commercial litigation. Holland & Knight’s Miami headquarters brought on Joseph Mamounas, a complex business disputes and international arbitration partner earlier this year. He came from Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod.

K&L Gates has had the opposite happen at their firm despite winning a large contingency fee. Head of land use planning and environmental law in London, Sebastian Charles as well as special counsel Jane Burgess left the firm to launch Aardvark Planning Law in Northamptonshire, England. They will be offering more affordable rates to their clients.

Barnes & Thornburg had a strong 2015 and is starting off strong with the addition of John Willding II, a corporate partner in the Dallas office. The firm also added litigation partner Michael Battle in Washington D.C. Battle was previously the director of the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys. They also snatched Lori Bibb from Locke Lord for their corporate practice and Jenya Moshkovich from Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler. Other additions include Cari Sheehan, Yonghao Hou, Susan Zoeller, and Stacy Cook.

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Akerman LLP strengthened their Los Angeles office by adding real estate lawyer William “Bill” Ellis from Reading International Inc. Ellis will be a partner in the Real Estate Practice Group. He has also worked at Sidley Austin and Morgan, Lewis and Bockius. As Real Estate Practice Group Chair Richard Bezold said, “Bill is an industry veteran, who is known for his experience in complex real estate transactions for institutional investors and lenders. He brings tremendous market knowledge in the hospitality and retail sectors, and adds important depth to our fast-growing practice in Los Angeles and across the region.” Akerman has added six other real estate lawyers to their team, including Jane Hinton and Herman Enayati.





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