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Greenberg Traurig lures Dickstein team

Dickstein Shapiro LLP’s public policy and law practice chairman, Andrew Zausner, and 12 other attorneys and directors from the firm joined Greenberg Traurig LLP.

Zausner becomes chairman of Greenberg Traurig’s government law and policy practice in Washington. Others making the move include former Arkansas U.S. Senator Tim Hutchinson, former Michigan U.S. Representative Pete Hoekstra, former Maryland U.S. Representative Albert R. Wynn, and Rob Mangas, former chief of staff to U.S. Senator Wendell Ford of Kentucky.

“Our clients want further support in Washington,” Richard A. Rosenbaum, the firm’s chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We have made careful selections to build on our base of excellence, adding close to 40 lawyers and lobbyists in Washington during the past 12 months.”

Dickstein Shapiro said its public policy and political law practice will be led by Dennis Hastert, the longest-serving Republican speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, and Scott Thomas, former chairman of the Federal Election Commission. Biz Van Gelder continues to lead the congressional investigations practice.

“We wish our former colleagues the best,” the firm said in an emailed statement. “Dickstein Shapiro remains committed to providing the highest-caliber strategic advice and legislative counsel for our clients.”

Zausner focused on legislative activities at Dickstein Shapiro, serving as counsel on issues related to energy, natural resources, consumer products, health care, real estate, and international relations.

“Clients want the kind of broad yet unified and efficient presence that Greenberg Traurig can uniquely deliver,” Zausner said in a statement. “We were also drawn to the opportunity to build upon the fine platform here at a time when disciplined management, independent thinking, and real value are increasingly hard to find.”

Among the 40 attorneys and lobbyists that have joined Greenberg Traurig’s Washington office in the past year are former Patton Boggs LLP partners Robert Brams and Michael Schaengold, now co-chairmen of the firm’s government contracts and projects practice.

Wynn joined Dickstein Shapiro in 2008 after 16 years in Congress. He represented Maryland’s 4th District, which includes portions of Anne Arundel, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

Caesars said to tap Kirkland & Ellis

In other law-firm news, Caesars Entertainment Corp.’s largest unit hired law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP to advise the casino operator on how to reorganize its $17.4 billion of debt, according to a person with knowledge of the appointment.

Caesars Entertainment Operating Co. selected the New York- based company after taking pitches from restructuring firms this week, said the person, who asked not to be named because the matter is private.

The gaming company, which was taken private in 2008 by Apollo Global Management LLC and TPG Capital for $30.7 billion, has been in a battle with its bondholders that may result in a broad restructuring of its debt load.

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