Metropolitan News-Enterprise


Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Page 3


Foley & Lardner, Sheppard Mullin, and Holland & Knight Add New Attorneys


By a MetNews Staff Writer


Former Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP partner Clifford C. Hyatt has made a lateral move to Foley & Lardner’s Securities Enforcement & Litigation Practice in Los Angeles, the firm announced yesterday.

The news follows announcements Monday that Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP added two partners to its downtown office, and that Holland & Knight had gained one.

Hyatt is the third partner with SEC experience to join Foley & Lardner in the past 12 months, having previously spent over a decade as an enforcement attorney for the commission, the firm said.

Michael J. Tuteur, chair of Foley’s Litigation Department, praised Hyatt as  “one of the premier broker-dealer and mutual fund litigators,” predicting that his experience “trying a number of high-profile civil and criminal cases” would help lead the firm in its efforts to expand its national litigation practice.

Samuel J. Winer, a member of the Securities Enforcement & Litigation Practice and former staff attorney and special counsel with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Enforcement, opined that Hyatt, “[w]ith his extensive experience in securities enforcement and broker-dealer an important addition to Foley’s deep and nationally recognized bench in these two areas.”

Securities Practice

Hyatt focuses on securities regulation and litigation, representing public companies, broker-dealers, investment companies, investment advisers, and their officers and directors in matters before the SEC, FINRA, NYSE, and state securities agencies and in federal and state court, the firm said.

A 1979 graduate of Fordham University and a 1983 graduate of the George Washington University Law School, Hyatt is licensed in the District of Columbia, Connecticut and New York, and was admitted to practice in California in 1998.

He began his career on Wall Street, as an officer and department manager in various securities trust and servicing divisions of Irving Trust Bank and Prudential-Bache Securities.

The attorney then joined the SEC’s Pacific Regional Office in Los Angeles, where he rose to the rank of Deputy Assistant Regional Director where he managed a team of attorneys who investigated and litigated cases involving accounting and financial fraud, insider trading, Internet fraud, stock manipulation, and broker-dealer, investment company and investment adviser compliance issues, the firm said.

One of his most notable SEC cases was SEC v. Mark S. Jakob, a civil and criminal case against the individual who disseminated a false press release over the Internet that resulted in Emulex Corp. losing nearly $2.2 billion in market capitalization in just 16 minutes, the firm added.

Prior to joining Foley yesterday, Hyatt was a partner and litigator with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, serving as head of that firm’s Securities Regulatory Enforcement Team.

On Monday, Kelly C. Crabb, formerly of Morrison & Foerster, and Richard W. Kopenhefer, formerly of McDermott Will & Emery, made a move to Sheppard Mullin.

Both joined the firm’s Entertainment, Media & Technology and Labor & Employment practice groups as partners.

Guy Halgren, chairman of the firm, said that both attorneys are “an excellent fit with the firm, from both industry and practice perspectives.”

He opined that Crabb’s “broad sports and media practice, along with his long history of representing clients throughout Asia, dovetail well with both our entertainment group and our global media practice.”

Halgren also praised Kopenhefer as “one of only a handful of lawyers recognized as a preeminent entertainment labor attorney” whose “unique expertise bridges two of the firm’s cornerstone practices: entertainment and labor.”

Crabb said he was attracted to the firm by its “global media practice and…collegial spirit.” He predicted that firm’s “deep industry expertise in a variety of areas such as sports, IP, advertising and media transactions” would provide “natural synergies with [his] diverse entertainment practice.”

Olympic Connection

The attorney has served as legal counsel in connection with three Olympic Games including representation of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the 2008 Games, the firm said.

His practice areas include live events; content rights acquisition and licensing; motion picture, television, Internet and other content production, financing, distribution and exhibition; music business contracts; commercial endorsements and advertising; and corporate mergers and acquisitions and joint venture transactions, the firm said, adding that the attorney, who is fluent in Japanese, has brokered cross-border deals in Japan, China, Korea, New Zealand, Australia, Russia, the UK, Canada and Brazil, among other countries.

Crabb’s past and current clients include NBA China, MLB Properties, Daewoo Motor Sales, The Magic Store/Yo Gabba Gabba, the Mountain West Conference, Quantum Leaps Corp., Skinit and LightStream Entertainment.

Crabb earned his undergraduate degree and a master’s degree from Brigham Young University before attending Columbia Law School. He is licensed to practice in both New York and California, and gained admission to the California State Bar in 1991.

Kopenhefer remarked that “Sheppard Mullin is a top-notch firm with go-to entertainment and labor groups” and that the “quality of people and depth of these two practice areas convinced me that this is the perfect home for me.”

Entertainment Labor Lawyer

The attorney specializes in entertainment industry labor law matters including residuals, credits disputes, union organizing, labor arbitration, civil litigation, collective bargaining and practice before the National Labor Relations Board, the firm said, adding that his clients include Focus Features, Lionsgate Entertainment, Lakeshore Entertainment, Mandate Pictures, Hallmark Cards, Summit Entertainment and Morgan Creek.

From 1978 to 1984, Richard was employed as a field attorney for the NLRB in both its Cincinnati and Los Angeles regional offices. 

Kopenhefer received his law degree from the University of Cincinnati College of Law in 1978 after graduating magna cum laude from Duke University in 1975. He was admitted to the State Bar in 1985.

Also on Monday, Holland & Knight announced that Veronica Perez had joined the firm’s Los Angeles office as partner in the Public Policy and Regulations practice.

Rich Gold, head of that group, opined that Perez brought “invaluable experience in the government sector and public policy” to the firm.

“She has a first-rate track record with both government decision makers and private sector leaders, which will help strengthen our firm’s capabilities and expand the services that we offer our clients,” Gold said.

Perez will concentrate her practice in the government section and will work on a wide range of lobbying and legal issues, including land use, legislative and government counsel, public contracting and redevelopment issues, the firm said.

She came to the firm from her position as vice president of legislative and legal affairs for the Central City Association.

Prior to that, Perez served as managing attorney of the American Dream Program in the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office, and worked as an associate at DLA Piper and Dewey Ballantine LLP.

Perez attended the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and Columbia Law School before being admitted to the State Bar in 2000.


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