Career Tracker: Cannabis practices shore up against wave of deals

(Reuters) - As states such as Connecticut and New Jersey roll out cannabis-friendly legislation, top U.S. law firms are bulking up their cannabis practices in preparation for more deals and regulatory work.

Greenspoon Marder added five lawyers from Locke Lord and Taylor English to its cannabis practice as part of its launch in Chicago. The firm also appointed partner Nick Richards to lead its cannabis practice after losing former chair Rachel Gillette to Holland & Hart.

Gillette joined Holland & Hart's Denver office in June, taking a team of three associates to create that firm's cannabis practice.

Check out some other recent lateral moves:

Arent Fox has hired Scott Adamson as a partner in Los Angeles for its corporate and securities practice. He joins from Alston & Bird.

Peter Wright has joined Barnes & Thornburg’s environmental practice as a partner in Washington, D.C. Wright leaves his position as assistant administrator for the Office of Land and Emergency Management at the Environmental Protection Agency.

Buchalter has hired Marlene Williams as a shareholder in its intellectual property practice in San Francisco. She leaves Nixon Peabody, where she was a partner.

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft has welcomed Philip Khinda to its white collar defense and investigations practice. Khinda, who leaves Steptoe & Johnson, will split his time between the firm’s Washington, D.C., and New York offices.

Cozen O’Connor has added Kaan Ekiner as a member to its commercial litigation practice in the Wilmington, Delaware, office. He joins from Whiteford, Taylor & Preston where he was counsel.

Joseph DiRago has left Faegre Drinker Biddle & Reath to join FisherBroyles’s corporate department in Denver.

Fox Rothschild has hired Joseph DiPasquale in Morristown, N.J., as a partner in the Financial Restructuring & Bankruptcy practice. He joins from Lowenstein Sandler.

Jeffrey Schatz is leaving Kirkland & Ellis to be a partner in Fried Frank’s asset management practice in New York.

Goodwin Procter has named Sean Donahue as the new chair of its public company advisory practice and as a partner in its technology practice in Washington, D.C. Donahue joins Goodwin from Morgan Lewis.

Gordon Rees Scully Mansukhani has launched a Reno, Nevada, office with Stephen Kent as managing partner. Kent leaves Kent Law.

Greenberg Traurig has added James Doyle as a shareholder in its corporate practice in Washington, D.C. He joins from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Greenspoon Marder bulked up its cannabis practice in Chicago with partners Irina Dashevsky, Ryan Holz, Doug Sargent, and David Standa from Locke Lord and counsel Robert Johnson from Taylor English.

Haynes and Boone hired Christos Papapetrou as a partner in the firm’s litigation practice in New York. He joins from Levine Lee.

Abradat Kamalpour is leaving U.K.’s Ashurst to join the Jones Day’s financial markets practice in London. He will soon be based in the firm’s San Francisco office.

Kirkland & Ellis has hired Brittany Sakowitz as a partner in Houston for the firm’s corporate practice. She joins from Vinson & Elks. The firm also tapped Candice Andalia for its litigation practice in Washington, D.C.

Latham & Watkins is also getting a corporate partner. Ravi Purohit joins the firm as the global vice chair of the energy and infrastructure group in New York. Purohit, who previously worked as general counsel at Blackstone Infrastructure partners, will eventually be based in Houston.

McKool Smith added Christina Ondrick as principal in its intellectual property litigation group in Washington, D.C. Ondrick joins from Paul Hastings, where he was a patent attorney.

Morrison & Foerster’s Washington, D.C., office added an agency finance team to its finance department led by Greg Smith and Ann Lilienthal from DLA Piper. Smith was the previously DLA Piper’s U.S. chair of agency finance and co-chair of the projects and infrastructure practice. Lilienthal was an associate.

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has tapped Venable’s co-head of employee benefits, executive compensation and health practice Thora Johnson. She will be a partner in Orrick's cyber, privacy and data innovation practice from Washington, D.C.

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison has hired former federal prosecutor Joshua Hill Jr. as a partner in the litigation department. Hill, who will be based in San Francisco and New York, leaves Morrison & Foerster.

Kevin Matz is leaving Stroock & Stroock & Lavan to be a partner in Schiff Hardin’s New York office. He joins the firm’s Private Clients, Trusts and Estates Practice.

Seyfarth added partner Ian Taylor to its leasing practice group in Seattle. Taylor leaves Seattle-based Pacifica Law Group.

Data privacy attorney Wynter Deagle has joined Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton as a partner in San Diego. She was previously the managing partner of Troutman Pepper’s San Diego office.

William Levi is rejoining Sidley Austin’s litigation practice in Washington, D.C. Levi previously was chief of staff to former Attorney General William Barr.

Stroock is adding Steven Schneider from Baker McKenzie. He previously worked at the IRS and Ernst & Young.

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Arriana McLymore reports on the business of law, including diversity in the profession, corporate practices, legal education and attorney career life cycles.