Heller Ehrman creates financial tech practice

San Francisco firm Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe is taking on the former Citigroup general counsel for technology and intellectual property (IP) to launch a financial technologies practice.

Michael Nugent will head a new group aimed at capitalising on the moves by financial institutions to focus on developments in IT.
While at Citigroup, Nugent was responsible for all global technology and IP matters and advised Citibank, Schroder Salomon Smith Barney, Primerica and Travelers Insurance.
The new group at Heller Ehrman will comprise 25 lawyers, including 10 partners, spread across the firm’s principal offices in New York,
Washington DC, San Francisco and Silicon Valley.
The new team will advise financial institutions and e-finance companies and will bring together lawyers from the IT, IP litigation, corporate and financial services groups. They will advise on financial and regulatory compliance, consumer privacy, data security, IP protection programmes and litigation.
Nugent said Heller Ehrman is one of the first US national law firms to pull together a team that includes technology, corporate and litigation lawyers.
Nugent was previously executive vice president and general counsel for Walker Digital, an incubator that invented, patented and launched new business models such as Priceline.com. And he has served as deputy general counsel for the Information Technology Association of America.
As well as the four main offices, 600-lawyer Heller Ehrman also has
practices in Los Angeles, San Diego, Seattle, Oregon, Anchorage, Hong Kong and Singapore. It has affiliated offices in Rome, Paris, Milan and Frankfurt.