Career Tracker: Deals and enforcement keep tax partners in demand

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Big Law tax practice hiring has been heating up with the season, bringing a wave of recent U.S. partner moves, including at least two practice leaders.

In New York, Steptoe & Johnson LLP brought on former Winston & Strawn tax controversy and litigation chair Larry Hill to co-head its tax controversy group, eyeing an increase in federal tax enforcement under the Biden administration. On the state and local tax front, Dentons partner Scott Brian Clark joined Day Pitney to chair its multistate tax practice and will split his time between Connecticut, New York and Florida.

Both enforcement concerns and demand for tax counsel amid high deal volume have other firms hiring as well. Lawyers making the leap in the past month include energy tax incentive specialist Scott Cockerham, who left Kirkland & Ellis for Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe in Washington, D.C.; tax disputes and transfer pricing expert David Farhat, who joined Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom from EY in D.C.; Silicon Valley-based Ora Grinberg, who took her M&A-focused tax practice from Goodwin Procter from Fenwick & West; New York tax transactions partner Michelle Jewett, who jumped from Stroock & Stroock & Lavan to Mayer Brown; and Hagai Zaifman, who left White & Case in New York to bring his renewable energy transactions-focused tax practice to Sidley Austin.

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Read on for more notable moves since our last Career Tracker:

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld recruited Anna Abram, former deputy commissioner for policy, legislation and other international affairs at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, to join the firm as a senior adviser in its public law and policy practice.

Jane Norberg has left the Securities and Exchange Commission’s office of the whistleblower to join Arnold & Porter. She will be a partner in the firm’s securities and enforcement and litigation practice.

Baker Botts has snagged another partner from Thompson & Knight. Executive compensation and benefits partner Jason Loden joined the firm’s Dallas office, following Shad Sumrow, who led Thompson & Knight's finance group.

Another Dallas-based Thompson & Knight partner, Craig Carpenter, joined Baker & Hostetler in the firm’s digital assets and data management practice group, where he will focus on privacy governance and technology transactions.

Blank Rome has added partner Jennifer Achilles to its white-collar defense and investigations group in New York from Reed Smith.

Andrey Spektor, a former assistant U.S. attorney in New York’s Eastern District, is joining Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner as a partner in the firm’s litigation and investigations group in New York.

Buchalter added shareholder Artin Betpera to the firm’s litigation and class action practice in Irvine, California, from Womble Bond Dickinson. The firm also added John Clough as a shareholder in its litigation group from FitzGerald Yap Kreditor in Los Angeles.

Tracy Rubin has joined Cooley as partner in its technology transactions practice group in Palo Alto from Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati.

Cozen O’Connor has added three new members. Health care and transactions attorney Jeff Saunders joins as a shareholder in Minneapolis from Dorsey & Whitney, Aselle Kurmanova joins the firm’s health care practice in New York from Seyfarth Shaw, and Jonathon Foglia joins the firm's transportation and trade practice in D.C. from KMA Zuckert.

Federal Trade Commission enforcement attorney Thomas Kost has joined Davis Wright Tremaine as counsel in the firm’s enforcement and investigations practice in Seattle.

Melissa Nelson joined Dentons from Seyfarth Shaw as a partner in its hotels and leisure practice in D.C.

DLA Piper added corporate partner Renée Delphin-Rodriguez in its San Francisco office from Crowell & Moring. David Peyman, the former deputy assistant secretary of state for counter threat finance and sanctions in the State Department's Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, joined the firm in Washington as counsel in its international trade practice.

Janet Conigliaro is returning to Dykema as a member in products, class actions and professional liability practice in Detroit from ZF Group, where she served as a director of legal regulatory counsel.

Fenwick & West has brought on Aman Singh as a partner in the capital markets practice from Weil, Gotshal & Manges in New York.

FisherBroyles has added capital markets partner Neil Hamilton in London from CMS.

Goodwin Procter has brought on Andrew Sparks, who was of counsel at Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, as a partner in its technology practice in San Francisco.

Greenspoon Marder is expanding its construction, real estate and litigation practice groups with partner Carol Sigmond in New York. She was previously of counsel at Porzio Bromberg & Newman.

Jason Zachary joined the corporate department at Haynes and Boone from Greenberg Traurig. He will split his time between Denver and New York.

Eleven former Bryan Cave partners are heading to Harrison & Held's Atlanta, Denver, St. Louis and international locations. The partners include Kimberly Civins, Brent Howard, Tiffany McKenzie, Michael Bland, Linsey Glosier, Stephanie Moll Kriegel, Lawrence Brody, Stephen Daiker, Steve Dawson, Jarriot Rook, Alan Singer and Dyke Arboneaux.

Hogan Lovells has brought on former Polsinelli intellectual property litigator Nitin Gambhir as a partner in its San Francisco and Silicon Valley offices.

Shardul Desai, a former assistant U.S. attorney in the Western District of Pennsylvania, has joined Holland & Knight as a partner in D.C. The firm also added litigation partner Kenneth Racowski as a partner in its Philadelphia office from Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney, where he was co-chair of the class action litigation practice.

Tom Healey has landed in Hughes Hubbard & Reed’s aviation practice from Katten Muchin Rosenman in D.C.

King & Spalding grabbed litigator Cliff Stricklin from Bryan Cave. He will be a partner in the firm’s special matters and government investigations team in Denver. Bankruptcy partner Timothy Hoffmann also joined in Chicago from Jones Day.

Latham & Watkins added Los Angeles litigator Kirsten Jackson to its complex commercial litigation practice from Kasowitz Benson Torres.

Linklaters has brought on partner Erez Liebermann and counsel Andrew Pak in New York as part of its launch of a U.S. data solutions, cyber and privacy practice. Pak and Liebermann, who will co-chair the new practice, join from Prudential Financial.

Lori Brown is rejoining Littler as its Miami office managing shareholder. She was previously the chief executive of ComplianceHR, a joint venture of Littler and Neota Logic.

Gail Levine left the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s bureau of competition to co-lead Mayer Brown's antitrust and competition practice in D.C. The firm’s D.C. office is also adding Carl Risch, the former assistant secretary of state for consular affairs, to its global mobility and migration practice in Washington.

McDermott Will & Emery added six transactions partners: Brian Gordon in Atlanta from DLA Piper; Marcus Helt in Dallas from Foley & Lardner; Parker Lee in New York from Hunton Andrews Kurth; Mal Serure in Los Angeles from Bryan Cave; David Solander in D.C. From Goodwin Procter; and David Wolff in Chicago from Kirkland & Ellis.

McGuireWoods added energy transactional partner Evelyn Kim in San Francisco from DLA Piper.

McKool Smith brought on IP trial lawyer Blair Jacobs as principal in Washington, D.C., from Paul Hastings.

Jason Vigna left Katten to join Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo as a member of its securities litigation practice in New York.

Morrison & Foerster has hired Aly El Hamamsy as a partner in its M&A and private equity investments and buyouts groups in New York. El Hamamsy joins from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Ashley Aull is rejoining Munger, Tolles & Olson as partner in L.A. after serving as chief of the criminal appeals section of the U.S. attorney’s office for the Central District of California.

O'Melveny & Myers has added William “Tim” Fink, a former senior legal adviser to the undersecretary of the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Fink joins as a partner in the intellectual property and technology practice in Washington, D.C.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan added bankruptcy litigators Erika Morabito and Brittany Nelson from Foley & Lardner as partners in D.C.

Rimon is bulking up its San Francisco office with securities partner Debra Vernon from Zhong Lun Law Firm and cannabis partner David Choi from Goldberg Segalla. Choi will split his time between Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Seyfarth has added two partners on opposite coasts. Litigation partner Andrew Escobar left DLA Piper to join the firm’s Seattle office. Labor and employment partner Annette Idalski joins Seyfarth’s Atlanta and Houston offices from Chamberlain Hrdlicka.

Christopher Zochowski, who co-chaired Winston's M&A practice and chaired its permanent capital practice, has joined Shearman as a partner alongside Bradley Noojin, another Winston M&A partner.

Sidley Austin hired Holt Foster to co-lead its energy practice in Dallas from Thompson & Knight, where he was head of the firm’s Dallas office. Carlton Fleming is now a partner in Sidley’s corporate and capital markets practices in San Francisco, joining from Cooley.

Steptoe & Johnson added Dave Stetson, a former Goldman Sachs vice president, associate general counsel and senior legal director of business intelligence. Stetson will be based in New York.

Taylor English Duma has added Michael Melfi as a partner in its corporate department in Ann Arbor, Michigan from Bodman.

Yan “Julian” Zou left Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, where he was counsel, to join Venable as a partner in the firm’s corporate department in San Francisco. The firm also hired Thomas Perez, the former chair of the Democratic National Committee, as a Washington, D.C.-based partner.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges has a new co-head of its complex commercial litigation practice with the addition of Andrew “Drew” Tulumello in Washington, D.C. office. He joins from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.

D.C.-based Alexander Ryan joined Willkie Farr & Gallagher as a partner in its executive compensation and employee benefits department, specializing in ERISA Title I matters, from Groom Law Group.

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Sara Merken reports on privacy and data security, as well as the business of law, including legal innovation and key players in the legal services industry. Reach her at

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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.