Category Archives: Legal

DWF announces exclusive association with Wood, Smith, Henning and Berman LLP

International legal business DWF today announces it has agreed to an exclusive association with US law firm Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman LLP (WSHB). WSHB is a Los Angeles headquartered firm with 22 offices across the United States. It has 56 partners and 250 lawyers and generated gross revenue of $81m in its last financial year. It is a full-service law firm with core strengths in insurance, construction, real estate, professional liability, commercial and employment law. WSHB’s clients include Fortune 500 companies, mid-market businesses and domestic and international insurance companies.

Andrew Leaitherland, Managing Partner and CEO of DWF, said: “This is a significant move for us which greatly expands our reach in the US. DWF and WSHB already have a number of mutual clients and many more we consider mutual prospects. In particular, we both have strong insurance practices and already support some of the world’s largest insurers. Through this association we will be able to seamlessly serve those clients by bringing our model of Complex, Managed and Connected Services to the world’s largest market for both legal and insurance services.

“Our international strategy is client-led. We have opened offices or sought association partners where it makes sense strategically and where our clients operate and tell us they need our support. We have been considering our US growth strategy for some time, working to ensure that we found a partner that shares our values. We were particularly impressed by WSHB’s commitment to invest in technology and a willingness to embrace innovation. They share our desire to transform the delivery of legal services.”

The announcement follows a period of international expansion for DWF. In its last financial year it opened its first offices in Singapore, Italy and Qatar, added new offices in Australia and formed a strategic alliance in Turkey.

Daniel Berman, chairman and co-founder of Wood, Smith, Henning & Berman, said: “Since our formation in 1997 with one office and nine lawyers, our firm has achieved consistently strong organic growth. Our national platform now provides legal services in almost every state and in the past several years we have recorded double-digit growth of both revenue and lawyers. Partnering with DWF will enable us to move into the next phase of our development by not only tapping into an international network, but also by being able to access DWF’s innovative Connected Services business. This will allow us to provide our clients with multidisciplinary teams across different professional and business services in an integrated way.

“Most importantly, since our beginning, WSHB has been a firm created and built on a truly special culture of innovation, teamwork and diversity. DWF shares these core tenets making this association a terrific fit for us.”

DWF marks Australian expansion with Sydney launch

Almost 200 clients, associates and DWF people attended the Quay Restaurant on Sydney Harbour to network and raise a glass in celebration.

An innovator in the international legal sector, UK-headquartered DWF has established a strong presence in the Australian market since the business expanded into Sydney in January 2017, following the acquisition of global claims management business, Triton. A subsequent merger with Kaden Boriss brought further offices in Melbourne and Brisbane and most recently, a series of senior hires and a new office led to the establishment of a fourth location in Newcastle, New South Wales.

Chairman of DWF’s Asia Pacific division, Mark Hickey, said: “Australia and the wider Asia Pacific area is a key investment area for the business and we’re proud to celebrate the pace of our progression to date as one of DWF’s most rapidly-growing international regions.”

Jamie McPherson, Managing Partner of DWF (Australia), said: “Since DWF entered the Australian legal market, we have cemented our reputation as a progressive and forward-thinking legal business. We’ve disrupted the market, attracting the best legal talent to grow our team here to 100 people and we’ve expanded our reach with offices in four locations to better serve our clients. It was fitting to thank our clients and colleagues who have supported us on this exciting journey.”

Kirsten Farmer, Executive Partner of DWF’s Sydney office, said: “Our Sydney launch event was a timely opportunity to formally mark DWF’s rapid expansion across Australia’s East Coast and to show our appreciation to our clients for their continued support. It was a pleasure to host so many of our connections and indeed senior colleagues who travelled from our international offices, in such a spectacular setting at Sydney Harbour.”

DWF serves clients Australia-wide, providing specialist, integrated advisory, transactional and dispute resolution services in every Australian jurisdiction.

Nirangjan Nagarajah Joins White & Case as a Partner in Melbourne

Global law firm White & Case LLP has expanded its Global Mergers & Acquisitions Practice with the addition of Nirangjan Nagarajah as a new partner in Melbourne.

“Our ambition in Australia, where we have swiftly been recognized as a leading firm for infrastructure and project finance, is to advise our clients on their most important, complex, cross-border and domestic deals and disputes and ensure that we offer full service in the infrastructure sector,” said White & Case partner John Reiss, Head of the Firm’s Global Mergers & Acquisitions Practice. “Nirangjan’s arrival enhances the support we provide to our clients in the infrastructure sector, as well as with their corporate transactions, and enables us to deliver a leading M&A advisory capability to both our international clients pursuing investment opportunities in Australia and our Australian clients looking to grow overseas.”

Nirangjan’s practice is particularly focused on listed company takeovers and schemes of arrangement, and he has recently advised on a number of significant, high profile transactions in the Australian market. He also supports his listed clients on all matters relevant to listed entities, including listing rule compliance, corporate governance, capital management and takeover defence. Nirangjan has previously worked at the Australian Takeovers Panel and in the corporate finance division of the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC). He joins White & Case from Gilbert + Tobin, where he was a partner in the Corporate Advisory group.

“Nirangjan is a highly regarded, technically excellent and commercially-minded M&A lawyer whose skill set and client relationships dovetail excitingly with our ambitions for our Australian practice,” said White & Case partner Baldwin Cheng, Regional Section Head, Asia-Pacific Corporate, Finance & Restructuring. “As well as his experience in private practice, Nirangjan will ensure that our clients also benefit from the valuable M&A regulatory perspective he brings as a former lawyer with ASIC and the Takeover Panel.”

White & Case partner Eric Berg, Head of Asia-Pacific, said: “White & Case continues to pursue strategic growth in Asia-Pacific, with Nirangjan’s arrival following the additions during 2018 of white collar partner Bingna Guo in Beijing and litigation partner Brad Strahorn in Sydney. Nirangjan joins a strong and growing team in Australia, where we have nearly 60 lawyers, including 16 partners.”

Martin Järvengren Rejoins White & Case as a Partner in Stockholm

Global law firm White & Case LLP has expanded its Global Mergers & Acquisitions Practice with the addition of Martin Järvengren as a new partner in Stockholm.

“There is increased activity in all areas of financial institutions M&A in the Nordic region, where our ambition is to continue expanding our role advising clients on their most important, complex, cross-border deals,” said White & Case partner John Reiss, Head of the Firm’s Global Mergers & Acquisitions Practice. “As consolidation in the region’s financial services market continues, the regulatory burden on institutions will increase, and Martin’s arrival adds further strength and depth to the support our M&A team in the Nordics can provide to our clients.”

Järvengren rejoins White & Case in the Firm’s Global Mergers & Acquisitions Practice from Swedish alternative investment management firm Brummer & Partners, where he was Head of Legal. In that role, Järvengren managed the full spectrum of the firm’s legal affairs, including the structuring, formation, regulatory and ongoing legal and operational needs of its investment vehicles and investment advisory entities. Prior to Brummer & Partners, Järvengren was an associate at White & Case, based in Stockholm. He gained extensive experience advising on a broad range of corporate transactions, including cross-border mergers and acquisitions, private equity deals, disposals, joint ventures and restructurings, and was also focused on advising managers on the formation and operation of private investment funds, including private equity and real estate funds. Martin brings more than ten years of experience.

“Martin is an experienced financial institutions M&A lawyer with a combination of legal and commercial experience and a blend of transactional and regulatory skills that is unique in the Nordics,” said White & Case partner Allan Taylor, Regional Section Head, EMEA M&A/Corporate 2. “His addition to the team ensures that our clients benefit from the best financial institutions M&A and regulatory capabilities available in the market.”

Oliver Brettle, a member of White & Case’s global Executive Committee, said: “The arrival of Martin represents further progress in our strategic focus on profitable growth in the global financial institutions industry, and in our Global Mergers & Acquisitions Practice. He joins a strong existing M&A team in the Nordic region that has grown recently with the additions of lateral partners Jan Jensen, Shoan Panahi and Johan Steen, and the internal promotion of Henrik Wireklint.”

Richard Frye Returns to Weil as Partner in Dallas Office

International law firm Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP announced today that Richard (“Rick”) Frye has rejoined the Firm as a partner in the Firm’s global Private Equity practice and is based in the Dallas office.

“Rick’s significant experience in private equity ranges across many types of transactions and spans a wide variety of industries,” said Weil Executive Partner Barry Wolf. “We are excited to welcome him back to the Firm.”

“Rick has a proven record in private equity and a keen business sense,” commented Courtney Marcus, co-Managing Partner of Weil’s Dallas office and a partner in the Firm’s Banking & Finance practice. “He will be an invaluable asset to the Dallas office.”

Michael Aiello, Chairman of Weil’s global Corporate Department noted: “Rick brings broad market knowledge and will be an important part of our global Private Equity platform.”

Mr. Frye rejoined Weil from Winston & Strawn LLP, where he was a partner in their Corporate & Finance department, concentrating on complex corporate transactions for public and private companies, private equity sponsors, and portfolio companies. His practice focuses on equity offerings, minority equity investments, joint ventures, venture capital investments, public company reporting issues, matters of corporate governance and fiduciary obligations, and other general corporate matters. Prior to joining Winston & Strawn, he was an associate at Weil.

Mr. Frye commented: “I am thrilled to return to Weil and be part of its well-recognized global Private Equity practice. I look forward to collaborating with the Firm’s talented lawyers around the world to provide best-in-class advice to our clients.”

Simmons & Simmons re-elects Jeremy Hoyland as managing partner

International law firm Simmons & Simmons has today announced the re-election of Jeremy Hoyland for his third term as managing partner.

Since joining the firm as a trainee in 1989, Jeremy has worked in the firm’s Hong Kong and London offices and held several management roles. He was first elected as managing partner in May 2011 and his third term will officially commence on 01 May 2019.

A true impact

Throughout Jeremy’s tenure, the firm has experienced a series of substantial developments and growth.

The opening of six new offices (Beijing in 2011, Bristol in 2012, Singapore and Munich in 2013, Luxembourg in 2015 and Dublin in 2018) highlights the firm’s commitment to recognising, and meeting, the needs of its clients.

Revenue growth of almost 50% – an illustration of the firm’s ability to provide stability to clients while continuing to grow with compelling results. Over the past eight years, the firm have also seen improved profitability with a 53% increase in PPP.

Ongoing dedication and support of enhanced equality and diversity across the firm. Since 2011, the firm has seen a more than 100% increase in female partners. The firm’s diversity focus also reflects what it’s hearing from clients, as organisations increase their desire to work with more diverse and inclusive advisers.

In 2016 Simmons & Simmons became the first international law firm to implement flexible hiring. It has been consistently named in the Stonewall rankings and as a Top 50 Employer for the last three years.

What does the future look like?

As his new term begins, Jeremy, senior partner Colin Passmore, and indeed the whole firm will focus on building on their strengths and further embedding the sector focus to provide the best possible service to clients, while keeping innovation, a constant drive to adapt, and stability at the forefront.

Simmons & Simmons is certainly looking to the future. Jeremy’s third term coincides with the launch of various initiatives aimed at enhancing client focus and providing solutions to meet their growing needs. This includes the development of Adaptive – the firm’s flexible resourcing model that saw a turnover of £10m in the last financial year.

With an ambitious target for 30% of all annual partner and managing associate promotions to be women, the firm will continue to focus on ensuring training, alternative career paths and recruitment can assist in achieving these goals.

Innovation will also remain a focus as the firm looks to the future. Over the past year its new products, such as Translator and Disputes Aviator, have been a huge success and have a growing subscriber base. Jeremy is keen to maintain this focus and push the firm to further embrace the technologies that best suit their clients’ needs.

Senior partner, Colin Passmore added: “I am happy to welcome Jeremy into his third term, as are the rest of the partners. We have some ambitious plans for the future and I have no doubt he is the right person to have at the helm.”

Managing partner Jeremy Hoyland comments: “Over the past four years, we have seen developments in innovation, the use of new game-changing tools and technology and the rise of resourcing models that have had a real impact on the firm and our offering to clients. My focus now will be on driving Simmons & Simmons’ creativity and adaptability and further embedding our sector approach that we know is so important to our clients. The firm I know is bold and agile and these are going to be key attributes in dealing with the uncertainty in the months and years ahead.”

Dentons Jana Cohen Barbe appointed to Invitation Homes board of directors

Dentons, the world’s largest law firm, announces that senior partner Jana Cohen Barbe has joined the board of the directors of Invitation Homes Inc. (NYSE: INVH).

Barbe is the former Global Vice Chair of Dentons, the first woman appointed to the Dentons’ Global Board. She leads the Firm’s Tax-Oriented Investments Practice, which she founded and continues to grow and manage, advising many of the nation’s leading financial institutions and insurance companies in connection with affordable housing and community development investments.

“We congratulate Jana on her appointment to the board of directors,” said US CEO Mike McNamara. “The leadership she has shared with our Firm and clients will now be of benefit to Invitation Homes.”

Equally committed to serving her community, Barbe is the president emerita of Thresholds, Illinois’ oldest and largest provider of supportive services and housing to individuals with severe and persistent mental illnesses. Her service to Thresholds has spanned more than 25 years. As an impassioned advocate for women in law and business, Barbe frequently speaks and writes on professional advancement and leadership.

Barbe earned her JD from the University of Chicago Law School and her B.A., with honors, from Northwestern University.

Dentons welcomes new Litigation team in Hong Kong

Dentons Hong Kong LLP is pleased to welcome onboard partners Richard Keady and Robert Rhoda from Bird and Bird, who join to expand the litigation practice. The new team bolsters the firm’s expertise and capabilities in litigation and international arbitration in Hong Kong and the Asia Pacific region. The Hong Kong office welcomed the new team with a reception on their arrival day.

Prior to joining the firm, Richard headed Bird & Bird’s International Dispute Resolution group in the Asia Pacific region. He has more than 20 years’ experience advising governments, multi-national corporations, professional services firms and high-net worth individuals on high-profile litigation, international arbitration and investigations, with a particular expertise in highly regulated environments including the financial services, telecommunications, energy, aviation and life sciences sectors.

Robert has substantial experience in international arbitration and cross border litigation including 10 years spent in Hong Kong. He advises and acts for clients across Asia Pacific and further afield in the financial services, technology and energy sectors in international arbitration as well as litigation matters.

“We are thrilled to have this deeply experienced team on board. The expansion of our litigation capabilities is a key pillar of our strategic growth plans in Hong Kong. I look forward to introducing Richard, Robert and their teams to our clients,” said Keith Brandt, Dentons’ Hong Kong Managing Partner.

Nicola Dagg and IP Litigation Team Join London Office of Kirkland

Kirkland & Ellis is pleased to announce that leading intellectual property attorney Nicola Dagg joined the Firm’s London office today. In addition, a talented group of IP lawyers that includes partners Daniel Lim and Katie Coltart and associates Jin Ooi and Steven Baldwin will also join Kirkland in London.

“Nicola is one of the leading lights of the UK intellectual property community. She, Daniel, Katie, Jin and Steven form a first-class team of litigators with comprehensive experience across the spectrum of IP matters that are important to our clients,” said Jeffrey C. Hammes, Chairman of Kirkland’s Global Management Executive Committee. “They are a perfect match for Kirkland’s premier complex litigation practice, and will expand our IP litigation capabilities in Europe.”

Previously the global head of IP at Allen & Overy in London, Ms. Dagg brings more than 20 years of experience handling complex IP disputes and advisory work. Her international practice focuses on patent litigation and breach of confidence disputes. She has particular experience in dealing with the legal and commercial aspects of highly scientific and technologically advanced matters.

Chambers UK ranks Ms. Dagg as a Band 1 attorney for Patent Litigation and Life Sciences: IP/Patent Litigation (2018), noting that she is “obviously excellent,” “brilliant with clients,” and possesses “fantastic commercial judgement.” She is also rated as a “leading individual” for IP by The Legal 500 UK (2017), which calls her a “fantastic rainmaker with a large following.” She has an individual gold ranking in IAM Patent 1000, which noted her “impressive team-building and client-handling skills,” adding that “few people can knit together a multi-disciplinary team so that everyone genuinely pulls together and feels their contributions are valued and respected.”

“Kirkland’s entrepreneurial culture provides a strong platform for building a business,” Ms. Dagg said. “The Firm’s ambition, drive and confidence were very attractive for our team, and we see a huge opportunity to build a top IP litigation practice in London and to serve clients on a global scale.”

Mr. Lim’s practice focuses on life science patent litigation, particularly in the pharmaceutical industry, diagnostics and the emerging fields of precision medicine and cell and gene therapy. His experience spans a broad range of technical fields within life sciences, including oncology, immunology, neurology, molecular diagnostics, formulation science, pharmacokinetics, clinical pharmacology and biostatistics. He also assists clients with the strategic coordination and alignment of complex patent strategy to address loss-of-exclusivity events at a pan-European and global level. Mr. Lim has been recognized as a Rising Star in IP by Managing Intellectual Property in both 2017 and 2018.

“I’m excited about this once-in-a-career opportunity to build a new team from scratch. We believe our team and the Kirkland platform will be a powerful combination for clients,” said Mr. Lim.

Ms. Coltart focuses her practice on patent litigation, particularly in the life sciences and tech sectors. Her experience includes a broad spectrum of technological subject matters including those relating to antibody and other protein biologics, biological product development and screening platforms, checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapies, diagnostics and next generation sequencing technologies, wireless and mobile telecommunications, and e-cigarette/vaping technologies. She also advises on trade secrets, trademark and IP licensing matters in the finance, media and retail sectors.

“We are very excited by this unique opportunity to grow a leading IP litigation practice at Kirkland in London,” Ms. Coltart said. “We believe the Kirkland business model provides an incredibly strong platform for serving our clients globally across the range of IP rights.”

Mr. Ooi’s patent litigation practice focuses on the pharmaceutical and life sciences fields. Most recently, he has grappled with issues of second medical use and plausibility in the Patents Court of the High Court of Justice, English Court of Appeal and U.K. Supreme Court. Mr. Ooi is also experienced in litigating and arbitrating trade secrets disputes in the medical device, tech and aviation sectors, in addition to handling antitrust claims.

Mr. Baldwin has extensive experience representing clients in contentious and non-contentious patent, life sciences regulatory, copyright, trademark and trade secrets matters. He was recognized as a Rising Star in IP by Managing Intellectual Property in 2018. He regularly acts on complex cross-border life sciences and telecommunications patent disputes, former employee trade secrets cases and cases involving the law governing Supplementary Protection Certificates. Mr. Baldwin’s non-contentious experience includes a billion-dollar IP portfolio purchase and other high-value acquisition and licensing deals. He also has advised world-renowned soccer clubs and automotive clients on issues including image rights, sponsorship and global celebrity advertising campaigns.