Category Archives: Legal

María González Calvet Joins Ropes & Gray’s Anti-Corruption and International Risk Team in Washington, D.C.

In Latin America, the increase of enforcement activity, the passage of new laws, and greater coordination between U.S. and Latin American authorities have put companies doing business and investing in the region under heightened pressure to detect and prevent corruption. To help clients identify and mitigate corruption-related risks, global law firm Ropes & Gray has added María González Calvet, a former prosecutor and in-house counsel at a Fortune 100 company, to its market-leading anti-corruption and international risk practice. Ms. Calvet joins today as a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office.

Ms. Calvet is recognized as a leading authority in the application of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and other anti-bribery statutes in Latin America. She advises clients on enforcement matters; transactions with governmental entities and financial institutions; risks associated with consortia and other partnerships; and M&A due diligence, including diligence in high-risk markets. At Ropes & Gray, Ms. Calvet, who is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, will focus on conducting internal investigations, counseling companies on disclosures to and negotiations with regulators, and helping clients build, improve, and implement effective compliance programs.

“Roughly half of all FCPA investigations in 2017 had a Latin America component, so effectively navigating the risks posed by this region is increasingly critical to our clients in the U.S. and abroad,” said Alex Rene, co-chair of the anti-corruption and international risk practice and managing partner of the Washington, D.C. office of Ropes & Gray. “María’s experience uniquely positions her to help clients do business ethically in Latin America, and beyond.”

Throughout her career, Ms. Calvet has acquired significant experience in anti-corruption and other investigative matters in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe, and in every significant business sector. Prior to joining Ropes & Gray, Ms. Calvet was Executive Counsel for Global Investigations at General Electric, where she helped protect and defend the company in Latin America. Before joining General Electric, Ms. Calvet spent four years at the U.S. Department of Justice as a trial attorney in the Fraud Section’s FCPA Unit, leading some of the Department’s most important international white collar criminal investigations in Latin America, with a particular focus on corruption in the region. She also focused on other complex white collar crimes, such as money laundering and bank, mail, wire and health care fraud, in districts around the U.S., with a focus on conduct arising out of Latin America.

“I am delighted to join Ropes & Gray, a prestigious global law firm with an international client base and a renowned anti-corruption and international risk practice,” said Ms. Calvet. “I know that my years in government service, combined with my in-house and private practice experience, will be assets to Ropes & Gray’s clients, and I look forward to working with them as they manage their risks in Latin America and around the world.”

Ms. Calvet earned a B.A. in English from the University of Pennsylvania, where she received numerous accolades, including an undergraduate Mellon Foundation Fellowship and the Alice B. Paul Award, which recognizes extraordinary women students. She then received an M.A. in English from the Pennsylvania State University, followed by a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Upon graduation from law school, she clerked for Judge Legrome D. Davis of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

The arrival of Ms. Calvet follows two notable additions to Ropes & Gray’s anti-corruption and international risk practice in the past year. Partner and co-head of the firm’s London international risk practice Judith Seddon joined Ropes & Gray’s London office in January, and is recognized as one of the leading financial crime lawyers in the U.K. Additionally, partner Ama Adams joined the Washington, D.C. office in November 2017, bringing with her a strong focus on international transactions and the U.S. government’s regulation of trade and global investment.

September 2018 Bircham Dyson Bell announces 11 new legal directors

Leading law firm Bircham Dyson Bell (BDB) is pleased to announce the appointment of 11 new legal directors, including 1 external hire. The appointees cover the breadth of BDB’s departments; 5 in business services, 3 in government and infrastructure, 2 in private wealth and 1 in real estate.

The following senior associates have been made up to legal director in BDB’s business services department:

Robert Chidley acts for a range of clients in relation to mid-market private mergers and acquisitions, private equity investments and public company transactions. He has a particular focus on AIM and corporate insolvency related queries.

Andrew McGlashan advises on a broad range of corporate matters including domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions and was recommended in the Legal 500 last year for mergers and acquisitions of up to £50 million.

Toby Richards-Carpenter has particular expertise in drafting shareholders’ agreements and advising on property ‘special purpose vehicle’ transactions.

Tessa Trevelyan Thomas is instructed on a broad variety of transactional matters and has extensive experience in corporate governance, disclosure issues and the Takeover Code.

Sarah Williams provides advice to a wide range of charities and not for profit organisations on governance, commercial and fundraising matters in the context of legislative developments and increasing regulatory scrutiny.

The firm’s private wealth department, which remains one of the largest specialist teams in the UK, has been further strengthened by Hamish Frost’s appointment as trust director and Patrick Lynam’s appointment as legal director:

Hamish is head of trust management and is an expert on UK tax compliance affecting resident and offshore trusts. He also deals with the day-to-day management of trust assets, with a specialism in trustee investing.

Patrick works closely with the tax trusts and estate planning team in relation to the capital tax planning and administration of estates. Patrick is instructed by individuals, trustees and institutional landowners on matters relating to the management of rural property holdings and has a particular expertise in bloodstock law.

BDB’s award-winning government and infrastructure team is further bolstered by the appointment of 3 legal directors:

Rahul Bijlani has over 15 years’ experience in public law with a focus on major infrastructure projects. He has a unique expertise in road user charging, in particular environmentally based charges such as the London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

Elizabeth Paraskeva’s practice consists of property, development and compulsory purchase law, she has acted for public and private sector clients for nearly two decades.

Lee Tearle is a specialist infrastructure planning lawyer and has experience of both promoting and objecting to major infrastructure projects, particularly rail, electricity and harbour developments under different consenting regimes.

Robert Young has joined the firm’s real estate team from Watson, Farley & Williams as a legal director. He has notable experience in investment management as well as advising on the acquisition, disposal and financing of sites for renewable energy projects.
Andrew Smith, managing partner of BDB, comments:

Bircham Dyson Bell and Pitmans announce merger discussions underway

Pitmans and Bircham Dyson Bell (BDB) have entered into exploratory merger discussions. Like all successful firms, BDB and Pitmans are always looking for better ways to deliver services to clients and provide the best working environment for staff. There are a number of obvious synergies including sector focus, culture and geography.

A formal vote with the partners will take place on 27 September 2018. If these discussions do result in a merger, it would propel the firm towards the top 50 for revenue in the UK, with a headcount of 80 partners and 404 staff.

We have decided to make this announcement now so that we can be transparent with our staff and clients throughout the process. As the discussions progress we will make further announcements.

Ashurst strengthens alternative legal services capability with the appointment of partner Chris Georgiou as co-head of Ashurst Advance

International law firm Ashurst announces the appointment of Christopher Georgiou as a partner to co-lead its global Ashurst Advance team, to be based in London. Chris will join Mike Polson as co-head of Ashurst Advance as the firm demonstrates a clear commitment to significantly expand its successful global alternative legal services offering.

Chris joins from Fieldfisher, where he helped build and headed up the firm’s innovative alternative legal solutions platform, Condor. With over 25 years’ experience in the legal sector, both in private practice and in-house, Chris has a deep understanding of clients’ changing needs, and has a market leading reputation in developing innovative solutions for clients. Prior to joining Fieldfisher, Chris spent fourteen years with Ashurst successfully building a global securities and derivatives practice and as co-head of the firm’s bank sector, and played a key role in establishing the firm’s alternative legal services capability in Glasgow in 2013.

Managing partner, Paul Jenkins, commented:

“Chris is a fantastic addition to our Ashurst Advance team and builds on the firm’s continued investment in what we see as a critical growth area and important market. In recent years we have witnessed fundamental changes in the global legal services market and his arrival will enable us to further develop our alternative legal services offering. His outstanding expertise and drive will add great depth to the team and real value to our clients.”

Mike Polson, co-head of Ashurst Advance, commented:

“Through Ashurst Advance, we have established and substantially grown our alternative resourcing capability, increased use of legal technology and successfully applied process methodology and legal project management in the delivery of major matters. Chris’ appointment is part of our significant commitment to continue to develop a broader and more diverse integrated legal services delivery model for clients in what is a strategically important asset for the firm. His market leading reputation and skills will give us a massive boost in driving forward Ashurst’s innovative and transformative projects and we are confident he will make a very significant contribution to our future success.”

Chris Georgiou, added:

“Clients’ demand for alternative delivery of legal services offering “better, faster, cheaper” solutions and innovative digital products is accelerating. I am looking forward to working with Mike, together with many former colleagues, to develop the Ashurst Advance capability and help deliver to clients the solutions which they need. The strength and global reach of the Ashurst Advance platform, combined with the firm’s unconditional commitment to innovation, create an unmatched opportunity to help clients find efficiencies, recalibrate their own legal functions and navigate the many challenges which they face such as Brexit, IBOR discontinuance and other regulatory and structural change.”

Ashurst set to expand Luxembourg law capability with new office opening

International law firm Ashurst today announces plans to launch a new office in Luxembourg, having now received Luxembourg Bar Association licence approval.

Partner Isabelle Lentz, head of the firm’s Luxembourg desk, will act as managing partner of the office, which is set to open in October this year. The firm’s Luxembourg desk was set up in 2011 and advises on a broad range of corporate, private equity, funds, restructuring, regulatory, real estate and banking matters.
Commenting, managing partner Paul Jenkins said:

“As a leading investment fund centre in Europe, the second largest globally in terms of assets under management and a hub for international banks and fintech, the opportunities in Luxembourg are significant. Growing our offering and building on the proven track record of our established Luxembourg desk is an exciting prospect and one which will greatly enhance our client service offering.”

Isabelle Lentz added:

“Over recent years, Luxembourg has secured its status as a key financial centre and as one of the frontrunners of preferred EU locations for transfer of business related to Brexit, that is only set to increase. I am really looking forward to capitalising on this by developing our presence in Luxembourg and enhancing our capability.”

DLA Piper further expands UK Construction team

Global law firm DLA Piper has been joined by leading construction and infrastructure partner Sarah Thomas, along with four other lawyers.

“Sarah is a leading international construction lawyer and brings a wealth of experience to our existing 50 strong UK Construction team.”

Sarah joins in London from Pinsent Masons, which she joined in 1991. She has over 25 years’ experience advising on major infrastructure projects, both in the UK and internationally, with a particular focus on the process sectors – energy, mining, water and waste – and more recently on electricity interconnectors, having advised on projects linking Northern Ireland with Scotland and the UK with France.

Sarah is listed as ‘”recommended” for her work as a water lawyer, mining lawyer and a construction lawyer by Chambers & Partners and Legal 500. She was also listed by Women in Mining as one of the 100 Most Influential Women in Mining in December 2015.

The other four lawyers joining DLA Piper’s UK Construction team this summer are:

Legal director Victoria Ball, who joins in Birmingham from Trowers & Hamlins and was previously an in-house lawyer at Interserve plc
Legal director Ross Campbell, who joins in Edinburgh from Eversheds Sutherland and specialises in infrastructure, energy and utility projects

Senior associate Zina Ieseanu, who joins in London from Fieldfisher and advises on interconnector projects and
Associate Sara Milne, who joins in Edinburgh from Allen & Overy’s Dubai office and advises on international energy and infrastructure projects

The new hires further build on the growth of DLA Piper’s UK Construction & Engineering practice, which saw Peter Lowe promoted to partner in London on 1 May 2018 and follows the arrival of UK Construction Head Stephen Malley in London and the construction disputes trio of Paul Giles, David Moss and Alison Fagan in Manchester, in the past three years.

Stephen Malley said: “Sarah is a leading international construction lawyer and brings a wealth of experience to our existing 50 strong UK Construction team. Together with the hires of Victoria, Ross, Zina and Sara, the firm has shown its strong commitment to supporting our clients on construction and infrastructure projects, within the UK and worldwide.”

DLA Piper welcomes senior insurance hire

DLA Piper has announced the hire of leading international insurance and reinsurance partner, Rebecca Hopkirk.

Rebecca, who will be based in London, specialises in high value complex international property, energy and heavy industrial losses and claims for insurance and reinsurance companies worldwide. She has been involved in a number of natural catastrophe losses in various parts of the world, and has extensive experience resolving and managing disputes by way of arbitration, litigation and ADR in Europe, South America, the Middle East, North Africa and Asia.

Rebecca has also advised on a variety of losses arising from alternative risk transfers, bankers blanket bond risks, the PA LMX spiral, workers compensation programs, agricultural risks and regulatory issues. Rebecca joins from RPC, where she was Co-Head of the Property and Energy Group, having joined in 2014. She was previously a Senior Partner at HFW.

Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry, Global Co-Chair of the Litigation and Regulatory group, said: “Rebecca has a stellar reputation in her field and we are delighted that she is joining us. Her highly international practice made her a natural fit for the firm and she will be a valuable addition to our offering in this area.”

PK Paran, Global Co-Chair of the Insurance sector, said: “London continues to be a very important global insurance market and Rebecca’s arrival will bolster our ability to provide our UK and international insurance clients with a full service practice. I look forward to working with her to strengthen our existing global insurance disputes platform.”

Leon Taylor, Head of Insurance and Reinsurance Claims in the UK, said: “Clients value the service we are able to provide in London on complex, international insurance and reinsurance disputes, across a wide spectrum of both traditional and emerging classes of business. Rebecca’s proven reputation in international property, energy and industrial risks complements our strong offering in this and other areas, and will enable us to drive forward our practice.”

Chad McCormick Joins White & Case as a Partner in Houston

Global law firm White & Case LLP has added new partner Chad McCormick to its Global Tax Practice. McCormick will also work closely with the Firm’s Global Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) Practice.

“Chad is an excellent energy-focused tax attorney with a critical strength in oil & gas matters,” said John Reiss, White & Case’s Global Head of M&A. “The breadth and depth of Chad’s transactional tax experience will be a benefit to our clients. He will play an important role as we continue to grow in Houston.”

McCormick advises clients on federal income taxation, with a particular emphasis on the tax issues that relate to domestic and cross-border mergers, acquisitions, and separations in the energy sector. He comes to White & Case from Kirkland & Ellis, where he was a partner and led the tax practice in its Houston office.

“In the first half of 2018, global M&A values reached levels not seen since 2007 and energy was a large part of that,” said Gregory Pryor, Head of White & Case’s Americas M&A and Corporate Practice. “Chad has advised sophisticated clients on some of the most complex transactions in the energy space. Adding Chad’s oil & gas expertise to our strong tax practice and our growing Houston office demonstrates our commitment to our oil & gas industry clients and the growth of our overall M&A practice.”

McCormick joins a growing roster of partners in White & Case’s new Houston office, including new Firm partners Jay Cuclis, Christopher Richardson, Charlie Ofner, Steven Otillar, Steven Tredennick, David Strickland and Jorge Mattamouros, plus relocated partner Saul Daniel. The Firm has grown its Houston office to nearly 20 lawyers since it opened in February.

Laura Durrant Joins White & Case as a Partner in London

Global law firm White & Case LLP has expanded its Global Commercial Litigation Practice with the addition of Laura Durrant as a new partner in London.

“White & Case is a leading law firm for cross-border litigation and investigations and has represented clients on their most important matters in complex litigation, concerning regulatory issues and in some of the most significant enforcement actions arising from the financial crisis,” said White & Case partner Glenn Kurtz, head of the Firm’s Global Commercial Litigation Practice. “Looking ahead, our clients will continue to need support from leaders in bank litigation and enforcement who guided clients through the crisis and are able to apply their expertise and experience in the new landscape, and Laura’s addition adds further strength and depth to the service we provide.”

Durrant arrives at White & Case from the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), where she spent more than eight years and was most recently Head of Litigation & Investigations. In that role, she took the lead on contentious regulatory and financial crime issues, working with the bank’s businesses globally across a range of issues including actual and threatened litigation, business-as-usual but higher risk supervisory reviews and various enforcement and internal investigations. Durrant also advised on investigations, enforcements and prosecutions by authorities in the US, Europe and Asia. She began her career as an associate with Herbert Smith Freehills, and brings nearly 15 years of experience.

“The last decade has been a very busy time for us, advising financial institutions on the most complex contentious issues arising from the financial crisis. The litigation and enforcement environment for banks is now in a period of change; with the arrival of Laura and Chris Brennan, we are equipping White & Case to support clients in addressing the challenges that they will face,” said White & Case partner John Reynolds, who co-heads the Firm’s Global Financial Institutions Industry Group. “Laura and Chris worked together for a number of years and are now joining forces at White & Case. We look forward to introducing our clients to our expanded and experienced litigation and regulatory enforcement team.”

White & Case partner Charles Balmain, Regional Section Head, EMEA Disputes, said: “As we continue to compete toe-to-toe with the magic circle, it’s exciting to welcome an experienced and accomplished lawyer like Laura, who has a strong market profile and excellent relationships with key figures in the banking industry. We expect financial services regulatory enforcement and litigation to continue to grow, and Laura joins a London litigation team which has continued to expand during 2018 with the arrival of partners Hannah-Field Lowes and Chris Brennan.”

Oliver Brettle, London-based member of White & Case’s global Executive Committee, said: “Our 2020 strategy focuses on driving profitable growth in London, in the global financial institutions industry, and in our disputes practice. The addition of Laura, who has gained tremendous experience at both RBS and previously at Herbert Smith Freehills, represents further progress in all three areas.”

Leading Antitrust Partner Joins Latham & Watkins in Madrid

Arrival of José Maria Jiménez Laiglesia adds significant expertise to the firm’s Spanish, European, and Latin American Antitrust & Competition capability.

Latham & Watkins LLP is pleased to announce that José Maria Jiménez Laiglesia has joined the Madrid office as a partner in the Litigation & Trial Department. Jiménez Laiglesia is widely regarded as one of Spain’s leading antitrust lawyers, with vast experience advising domestic and international companies, financial institutions, and private equity firms on a variety of competition and regulatory law matters.

Jiménez Laiglesia has more than 25 years’ experience advising clients in relation to joint ventures, strategic alliances, and mergers and acquisitions, including phase II cases and cases with remedies. He also has a formidable track record in abuse of dominant position cases, cartel investigations, and state aid matters before the European Commission, the European Courts, and the Spanish Competition authorities and Courts.

“We are committed to establishing the market-leading practice equipped to handle complex, cross-border mandates for domestic and international clients,” said Juan Picon, Office Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins in Spain. “José Maria is one of the elite antitrust practitioners in Europe, with broad expertise across a range of contentious and non-contentious matters, and he will significantly strengthen our Spanish, Latin American, and European platform.”

“The Spanish antitrust authority is fast-becoming one of the most active in Europe,” added Sven Völcker, Co-Chair of the firm’s Global Antitrust & Competition Practice. “José Maria is a highly skilled and formidable advocate for his clients, who brings tremendous experience advising on bet-the-company transactions and investigations to our practice.”

“José Maria has an illustrious track record advising C-Suite executives and boards on a number of market-shaping transactions and disputes,” said Jamie Wine, Global Chair of the Litigation & Trial Department. “He is a renowned strategist, with phenomenal technical expertise and a deep understanding of the workings of the Spanish and European antitrust authorities, and we are delighted to welcome him to the firm.”

Jiménez Laiglesia is the latest high-profile lawyer to join Latham & Watkins’ Madrid office, following the arrivals of corporate partners Juan Picón, Ignacio Gómez-Sancha, and José Antonio Sánchez-Dafos, employment partner Naiara Rodriguez-Escudero, and corporate counsel Ana González-Linares. The firm also recently bolstered its European antitrust practice with the addition of Jacques-Philippe Gunther in Paris and Adrien Giraud in Brussels.

Jiménez Laiglesia joins Latham & Watkins from DLA Piper in Madrid.