— William O’Connor has joined Cooley as a partner in the litigation department. O’Connor previously headed Morrison & Foerster’s San Diego litigation department and chaired the firm’s unmanned aircraft systems/drones group and airports and aviation practice. O’Connor’s broad experience includes commercial disputes, trials and arbitrations with a focus on product liability, aviation disputes, patent license agreements, supply contracts, partnerships, real estate and insurance coverage.

“As our global litigation bench grows in stature, we’re strengthening our core by adding talented and proven next-generation trial lawyers,” said Mike Attanasio, chair of Cooley’s global litigation department. “Bill fits this profile perfectly. He has a stellar record of client service paired with significant trial experience, having first-chaired matters covering all aspects of complex commercial litigation.”

O’Connor’s practice includes commercial litigation, product liability and cutting-edge aviation-related litigation and regulatory matters. An experienced pilot, he also understands the technical aspects of aviation litigation.

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Aubree Green and Leah Strickland have been made partners at Solomon Ward Seidenwurm & Smith LLP.

“Aubree and Leah are impressive attorneys with extensive, diverse legal skills,” said Daniel Gardenswartz, Solomon Ward’s managing partner.

Strickland, who became a partner on Jan. 1, is a member of the firm’s litigation practice group. Her practice focuses on business litigation, employment litigation and intellectual property disputes. Strickland is currently a member of the San Diego County Bar Association’s Legal Ethics Committee and Appellate Practice Section. Green, who will join the partnership effective July 1, is a member of the firm’s business and corporate and real estate practice groups. She also represents clients in land use and other regulatory matters relating to real estate development.

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Ballard Spahr and Lindquist & Vennum have completed their merger, according to Ballard Spahr Chair Mark Stewart. The combined firm — which retains the name Ballard Spahr — has more than 650 lawyers in 15 offices across the United States. The merger strengthens client offerings at Ballard Spahr — particularly in the area of private equity and strategic merger and acquisition transactions — and provides the practice depth and expanded industry capabilities of an Am Law 100 firm to clients of Lindquist & Vennum.

J. Anthony Girolami has been promoted to partner at Stoel Rives LLP. Girolami is one of four Stoel Rives attorneys who became new partners at the firm effective Jan. 1. Girolami’s promotion continues the firm’s commitment to grow its San Diego office through a focus on client value and diversity.