Category Archives: Legal

Former Illinois Solicitor General Michael Scodro joins Mayer Brown’s Supreme Court & Appellate practice in Chicago

Mayer Brown announced today that Michael A. Scodro has joined the firm as a partner in the Supreme Court & Appellate practice in Chicago. Previously, Mr. Scodro was a partner at Jenner & Block LLP. Earlier in his career, he was a lawyer at Mayer Brown.

Prior to Mr. Scodro’s most recent stint in private practice, he spent more than six years as the Illinois Solicitor General, where he oversaw the civil and criminal appeals divisions of the Attorney General’s Office, supervising more than 40 attorneys in appeals in which the state was a party. He also advised the Illinois Attorney General on constitutional and other significant legal issues.

“Mike is a seasoned appellate court practitioner with extraordinary oral advocacy and writing skills, and we are thrilled to welcome him back to the firm,” said Andrew Marovitz, a co-leader of the firm’s global Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice. “His vast experience representing clients in jurisdictions around the country and before the US Supreme Court, together with his time as Illinois’ chief appellate lawyer, complements our bench of esteemed appeals lawyers in Chicago and nationwide. Mike’s experience handling matters involving state court appellate litigation, complex commercial litigation, domestic and international commercial arbitration litigation and state and local tax litigation, expands our existing appellate capabilities.”
As an accomplished litigator and appellate advocate, Mr. Scodro has argued dozens of cases before the US Supreme Court, state supreme courts, federal courts of appeals and all five districts of the Illinois Appellate Court. Additionally, as solicitor general, he coordinated with other state attorney general offices across the country in the preparation and filing of multi-state amicus briefs in the US Supreme Court and brought Illinois to the forefront among the states in this area of Supreme Court advocacy.

Previously in his illustrious career, Mr. Scodro served as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor and for the Honorable Jose Cabranes of the US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

“I’m excited to re-join Mayer Brown’s nationally respected appellate platform and work alongside a team of litigators—several of whom have served as mentors—to advise our clients on some of the most significant commercial matters in federal and state courts of review and the US Supreme Court,” said Mr. Scodro. “The appellate practice’s preeminent reputation, team-based approach and extraordinary depth and breadth, are truly exceptional.”

Mr. Scodro is an active member of the legal community, including serving as a long-time Lecturer in Law at the University of Chicago Law School, where he teaches a seminar on US Supreme Court practice. He is an elected member of the prestigious American Academy of Appellate Lawyers and American Law Institute, recently served as president of the Illinois Appellate Lawyers Association, and later this year will become chair of the American Bar Association’s Council of Appellate Lawyers. In addition to being selected as a Fellow of Leadership Greater Chicago, Mr. Scodro was appointed to the American Bar Foundation and multiple Illinois Supreme Court, Seventh Circuit and ABA committees. He also served as a member of the Special Supreme Court Committee on Illinois Evidence that developed the state’s first code of evidence and was recently appointed by the Illinois Supreme Court to chair its Committee on Professional Responsibility.

Rebecca Eisner, partner-in-charge of Mayer Brown’s Chicago office, said, “Mike is deeply embedded as a leading member of our local legal community, and his arrival solidifies our reputation as a premier US Supreme Court and appellate practice. Mike’s addition also continues the strategic expansion of our Chicago office.”

As a prominent voice in the legal community, Mr. Scodro has written numerous articles and is a prolific speaker on issues surrounding appellate advocacy and the Supreme Court. He has received a variety of honors and accolades, including the Supreme Court Best Brief Award from the National Association of Attorneys General on six occasions.
Mr. Scodro earned his JD from Yale Law School and graduated summa cum laude from Dartmouth College.

Sidley Continues to Build Out Its European Private Equity and Restructuring with an Eight-Partner Addition in Munich

Sidley Austin LLP announced today that it will be significantly strengthening its private equity, corporate and restructuring practices with the addition of eight partners to its Munich office. The new group comprises seven partners from Kirkland & Ellis, headed by leading private equity and M&A lawyer Volker Kullmann, and Kolja von Bismarck, head of the German Banking and Financial Restructuring group at Linklaters. Joining Mr. Kullmann in the move from Kirkland are tax partner Roderic Pagel, corporate partners Björn Holland, Christian Zuleger, Marcus Klie and Nicole Schlatter, and finance/capital markets partner Markus Feil, a close-knit team who have worked together for many years.

The eight new Munich partners will join corporate partner Jan Schinköth, who himself joined Sidley’s Munich office last month, and Erik Dahl, who opened Sidley’s Munich office last year, coming with his team of five other private equity-focused partners based in London. With these new partners, Sidley will have been joined by 21 new private equity-focused corporate, finance, restructuring and tax partners in London and Munich, with nearly all of them having worked closely together prior to joining Sidley.

“The addition of these outstanding partners to our Munich office is another key step forward on Sidley’s road toward first-tier global leadership in acting for managers and holders of private capital,” said George Petrow, Sidley’s managing partner for the European region. “Contrary to growing skepticism in some quarters about the future of globalized markets, we remain convinced that the ability to offer cross-border legal services will continue to offer outstanding growth opportunities to the firms capable of exploiting them, and nowhere more so than in private equity, restructuring and M&A.”

“The Munich team build-up is an important milestone for our firm because in any viable global growth strategy, Germany is bound to play a crucial role,” explained Erik Dahl, global co-leader of Sidley’s Private Equity practice. “Home to the largest economy in Europe and the fourth largest in the world, Germany, with Munich as one of its most dynamic hubs, still offers significant potential for private equity and restructuring relative to other key regions, especially at a cross-border level. We have spent a lot of time in putting together a group of market leaders in Germany who combine a wealth of transaction experience with legal excellence and commercial judgment, and who share our vision of a multidisciplinary European team working cohesively on a global scale.”

“Like all my colleagues now joining Sidley’s Munich office, I am delighted by the outstanding prospects of this move” commented Volker Kullmann. “What has impressed me most about Sidley is its willingness to move forward as a truly global firm, its strive for excellence and its team culture. I have no doubt that Sidley’s global success story will continue to unfold, and I look forward to being a part of it.”

New partner appointed for Gowling WLG’s Paris tax team

International law firm Gowling WLG has strengthened its Paris tax team with the appointment of Julien Monsenego as Partner.

With more than 15 years’ experience, Julien specialises in French and international taxation and joins the firm from Olswang France LLP where he worked as a Funding Partner. During this time, he worked on the creation of the Paris tax department and his extensive knowledge will help Gowling WLG’s Paris office grow further in its support and advice to businesses.

In the last five years, Julien has achieved significant rankings success, where he has been listed in Chambers Europe (2015 and 2016), Chambers Global (2015 and 2016), Legal 500 (2012 to 2016) and Décideurs, where he was listed in six different tax categories in 2016.

Julien said: “Gowling WLG has a really great team in Paris and this move provides an exciting new chapter of my career. The tax team has been doing some fantastic work and is already well-established in this field so I am looking forward to building on their excellent client base and continue offering the fantastic service the firm is renowned for.”

Holding a Master of Business Management and Finance at EM Lyon Business School, as well as a Master of Law, Taxation and Finance at Lyon III University, Julien is also a member of the International Fiscal Association (IFA) and IACF (French Tax Professionals Association).

Valérie Blandeau, co-managing partner for Gowling WLG’s Paris office, said: “Julien is an outstanding partner and legal profession and he joins at a time where our office continues to grow in strength. His extensive knowledge and experience of tax law in both France and overseas, coupled with his strong client focus, makes him a fantastic addition to our tax team in Paris and provides a fantastic start to 2017.”

Earlier this year, the intellectual property (IP) team in Paris appointed Céline Bey in a move that will see Gowling WLG grow its international IP service.

Gowling WLG strengthens corporate practice with Petra Beyer

Gowling WLG is growing its corporate presence in Germany by hiring Dr Petra Beyer.

Petra will join Dr Andreas Woelfle in Stuttgart, as a director in the corporate law team.

Petra specialises in corporate, banking and capital law, as well as general contract law and international commercial law. In 1997, she joined Haver & Mailaender, where she became a partner in 2001. She left the firm in 2016.

Petra Beyer focuses on advising mid-sized OEMs with an international footprint, as well as companies from the IT-sector on M&A transactions and other areas of corporate law.

Another one of her focus areas is cross-border contract design with international trade deals. Dr Petra Beyer has represented both German and international clients in legal disputes before ordinary courts, as well as arbitration courts.

She can draw upon comprehensive litigation experience and brings with her particular expertise in capital investment law. In recent years, Petra has advised a major German bank, as well as an Irish insurance company, on investment consulting cases.

Dr Andreas Woelfle, who heads up the German M&A practice, said: “With Dr Beyer, I am happy to have gained an experienced and dedicated colleague, who will greatly enhance our practice with her profound knowledge in corporate and transaction law, as well as with her further expertise. What is more, with her open-mindedness and pan-European experience, she is a very good fit for Gowling WLG and our growing practice group.”

Dentons adds Richard Liskov as senior counsel in Insurance Regulatory practice

Dentons, the global law firm, today named Richard G. Liskov as senior counsel in the Insurance Regulatory practice. In this role he will advise corporate and banking clients on regulatory and coverage issues, while also representing insurers and intermediaries. Liskov will be resident in the Firm’s New York office.

Liskov provides a comprehensive range of acquisition and reorganization services to insurers, reinsurers, producers and financial institutions dealing with licensed insurers. He regularly counsels clients on securing and maintaining all regulatory approvals and licenses to market and sell insurance products.

“Richard’s extensive public and private sector background working with insurers, reinsurers, producers and financial institutions will add a new dynamic to our insurance team that will help clients to better navigate their relationships with licensed insurers, producers, companies that own, or deal with, regulated insurance companies,” said Mike McNamara, US CEO.

A former deputy superintendent and general counsel of the New York State Insurance Department (now the New York State Department of Financial Services) and a former assistant attorney general for the state of New York, Liskov will counsel clients on internal investigations and those initiated by the New York Attorney General. He will also continue to advise insurers on insurance M&A transactions.

Liskov is a lecturer-in-law and adjunct faculty member at Columbia University Law School, where he also received his JD. He earned a BA from Brandeis University.

Gibson Dunn Opens Houston Office

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP is pleased to announce that it has opened a new office in Houston.  The new office will be anchored by a team of highly regarded partners, who focus on complex energy transactions in the oil and gas sector. 

Together, the team will have the full range of energy transactional experience, including public and private M&A, asset acquisitions and divestitures, and joint ventures; debt and equity capital markets; finance and restructuring; tax (focused on MLPs); and regulatory matters.  The team will initially consist of eight partners, who will be announced in the coming weeks.

“We are extremely excited to open a new office in Houston, long considered an epicenter of the energy industry,” said Ken Doran, Chairman and Managing Partner of Gibson Dunn.  “Over the years, we have built a premier energy practice with broad transactional, regulatory and litigation capability.  Our new partners have impressive practices and impeccable reputations, and with their addition, we will significantly expand our transactional capability in the oil and gas industry and take our energy practice to the next level.”

“This is a significant move for the firm,” said Rob Walters, Partner in Charge of the firm’s Dallas office.  “Our new Houston office will be initially focused on energy transactions, but we expect the office to work closely with the Dallas office and other lawyers throughout our firm to attract restructuring, litigation, appellate and regulatory opportunities.”

“Our new partners are leaders in their respective fields,” said Jeff Chapman, Co-Chair of the firm’s M&A Practice Group.  “They have proven track records in sophisticated energy industry transactions.  Their practices will complement and strengthen our energy practice and ensure Gibson Dunn’s place among the leading energy law firms in the world.” 

Clifford Chance hires leading Nigerian lawyer to strengthen its Nigerian practice

International law firm Clifford Chance announced today that Olamide Oladosu has joined the firm’s leading Nigerian practice as a director, based in the firm’s London office.

Olamide Oladosu is a qualified lawyer in Nigeria and will be re-qualifying as an English solicitor. He joins from Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria (RMB), where he held the position of General Counsel. In this role, which he held from 2014, Olamide provided advice on a broad range of transactions including infrastructure finance, M&A, debt capital markets and helped establish the RMB stockbroking subsidiary in Nigeria.

Anthony Giustini, Regional Managing Partner for Africa, said:

“Our Nigerian and Anglophone West Africa practice has an impeccable reputation and track record. In an ever more challenging competitive and economic environment, Olamide’s understanding of the market will further strengthen our leading practice as we help our clients – both international and Nigerian – to navigate the risks and opportunities of this new landscape. He will also help us strengthen further our relations with the top Nigerian firms.”

Edmund Boyo, Head of Clifford Chance’s Nigerian practice, added:

“We are delighted that Olamide has chosen to join Clifford Chance. His experience and network will be invaluable to the firm’s Nigerian practice and to its clients, as will his deep understanding of the market.”

Clifford Chance has a top-ranked Nigerian practice, regularly advising international and Nigerian clients on some of the most complex, high-profile mandates thanks to its international reach, extensive experience and expertise. In Nigeria, Clifford Chance has relevant experience in a variety of industries including banking, energy, natural resources, infrastructure, private equity, telecoms, and across a full range of legal services from project finance to capital markets, lending, private equity, corporate/M&A and arbitration. It is recognised for its ability to deliver international market practice in the Nigerian business environment to international and Nigeria-based businesses.

Recently, the firm advised Dangote Industries Limited on the acquisition of Twister B.V., an engineering company. It also advised 15 lenders on financing of the Azura-Edo power plant.

Olamide Oladosu said:

“I thoroughly enjoyed my time at RMB, where I worked on great projects, with great people. I am now delighted to join Clifford Chance, where I look forward to working with teams in all practice areas and all offices that play an active part in the development of Clifford Chance’s ambitious Nigerian practice.”

Prior to his role at Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria, Olamide was previously a partner at Templars, a leading Nigerian law firm, where he worked with the Structured Finance, Energy & Project and Tax teams. He was the lead Nigerian law partner advising the project company on financing of Nigeria’s pioneering, USD 1 billion Azura-Edo power plant, Nigeria’s first fully privately financed independent power plant (IPP), as well as BTG Pactual’s USD 1.53 billion acquisition of 50 percent of Petrobras’ African unit, with operations in Nigeria and Tanzania.

Clyde & Co launches in Chicago and Washington, DC

International law firm continues significant US expansion with hire of ten-partner insurance and litigation group

US and international law firm Clyde & Co is pleased to announce a significant expansion in the United States with the hire of a ten-partner insurance and litigation group and the launch of offices in Chicago and Washington, DC.

The group, which includes a number of other attorneys and staff, joins from Troutman Sanders LLP. It comprises highly regarded insurance coverage, trial and litigation teams, with a focus on financial lines, professional lines, directors & officers and general liability work for US and international insurance carriers, professional services firms and corporations.

Simon Konsta, Clyde & Co Senior Partner, says: “To be joined by a team of this size and calibre represents another significant milestone in our US growth story. We are committed to continuing to invest in the United States and having this group on board, which includes a number of leaders in their fields, provides us with the opportunity to further broaden and deepen our global offering for our clients.”

The expansion is the latest growth for Clyde & Co in the US and follows the opening of a Miami office in July 2016. The firm now has eight offices and nearly 50 partners and 200 legal professionals nationally in offices including San Francisco, Newport Beach, Atlanta, New York City and New Jersey.

The joining team includes four partners in Chicago and six partners in Washington, DC.

The four partners in Chicago are:

Eileen King Bower is currently office managing partner and has a general liability and professional liability practice.
Clint Cameron will also lead the Chicago office. He practices mass tort and pollution general liability coverage litigation, with particular experience in large asbestos cases.
David Cutter has a broad national insurance litigation practice representing insurers in D&O, professional liability, and general liability matters and also advises on broader litigation and transactional risk matters.
James Sanders primarily represents insurers in complex, high-stakes insurance coverage litigation, with an emphasis on long-tail environmental and toxic tort claims.

The six partners in Washington, DC are:

Jack Gerstein is a renowned trial lawyer with a diverse litigation practice across professional liability, insurance, toxic torts, commercial fraud and product liability.
David Gische has an insurance coverage and coverage litigation practice involving directors and officers and professional liability policies.
Leslie Ahari has counselled and litigated on behalf of insurance clients in complex directors & officers and professional liability coverage matters arising nationwide.
Meredith Werner represents insurers in complex disputes arising under directors and officers and other professional liability policies.
Patrick Hofer is a nationwide trial and appellate litigator representing insurers in complex coverage disputes, specializing in issues at the intersection of insurance and corporate law.
Gaby Richeimer litigates insurance and non-insurance matters in state and federal court, including insurance coverage and bad faith lawsuits.

James Burns, Clyde & Co Head of Americas, says: “With this latest growth we continue to make progress towards our goal of being the leading insurance coverage and defense firm in the United States. This is a significant and high-calibre group of lawyers. They provide us with a presence in two key locations and strengthen our ties with some of our largest clients and will be a terrific addition to our firm in the Americas and beyond.”

Eileen King Bower comments on behalf of the joining team: “Clients increasingly want support not just locally, but across the US and the world. Clyde & Co has an unmatched reputation in the insurance sector globally and provides us with a great platform to broaden out our insurance coverage and trial practices. We’re excited to be playing a part in this latest phase of the firm’s growth.”

Clyde & Co operates as a single global partnership and focuses on five core sectors globally: insurance, infrastructure, trade and commodities, energy and transportation. The United States is a core market for many of its clients, which include many US and international insurance carriers.

Clyde & Co appoints leading public procurement specialist

Global law firm Clyde & Co has today announced the appointment of David Hansom as a Partner in its Infrastructure group, where he will lead the firm’s public procurement offering.

David is a leading procurement lawyer with over 15 years’ experience. He specialises in public procurement law with sectoral expertise across transport, energy, education, health, technology and waste. He joins from Veale Wasbrough Vizards, where he was Partner and National Head of its public sector team. He was previously at Eversheds.

David has significant expertise in procurement structuring of real estate development projects as well as advising on public sector funding, trading and state aid issues in the context of procurement projects. He also has procurement litigation experience.

Liz Jenkins, Projects & Construction Partner at Clyde & Co, comments: “We’re delighted to have David join the firm. He has a standout reputation in the market and will bring a wealth of expertise to both our public and private sector clients.”

“Procurement law has grown significantly in the UK over the past 20 years and David’s hire will help us further enhance the end-to-end contentious and non-contentious support we offer clients across the firm’s core sectors.”

David Hansom comments: “Clyde & Co is a firm with an outstanding reputation, an exceptional infrastructure offering and an impressive global footprint. I’m delighted to be joining and helping build the firm’s capacity in procurement further, both nationally and internationally.”

“With Brexit negotiations on the horizon, the UK may experience gradual reform of the existing procurement regime. With the firm’s expertise and international reach, it will be well positioned to help steer our clients through this changing landscape.”

Clyde and Co’s infrastructure group comprises over 150 lawyers world-wide. It advises on the full project pipeline – from planning and investment to construction and post-delivery. The group works across all asset types: social, energy, transport and commercial development and is proud to have advised on iconic projects across the UK and worldwide.

Reed Smith bolsters its European platform with arrival of 50 strong team from King & Wood Mallesons

Global law firm Reed Smith has announced the hire of several teams, including 17 partners, three counsel, 22 associates, one jurist and seven trainees, as well as two knowledge management lawyers and six secretaries, from King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) to its London, Frankfurt, Munich and Paris offices. The partners and their established teams are expected to join the firm on Monday, 23 January and follow several lawyers and business services personnel who joined the firm on Monday 16 January.

“It is a mutually rewarding opportunity”, said Tamara Box, Managing Partner for Europe and the Middle East. “These teams recognised that our global platform, strong collegiate culture, and high quality client base were a good fit for them, and we at Reed Smith seized the opportunity to expand our capabilities through top quality talent in industry sectors, practices and offices that are strategically important for our business. It’s clearly a win-win, not only for all the lawyers involved but for our clients globally.”

Corporate, M&A, private equity, financial services regulation, litigation, competition and tax are all areas of strategic focus for Reed Smith and the KWM teams joining the firm are renowned market leaders in these areas. Together, the 50 strong group represent many of the same clients and have built their reputation as a cohesive team across disciplines, connecting their skills to provide an integrated service to clients across the UK, Germany and France. Uniquely, this complements Reed Smith’s approach and, as well as sharing experience in areas of practice, the firm acts for many common clients.

Reed Smith has a long history and proven track record of successful integration of lateral hires, mergers and office openings – notably this month the firm celebrates ten years following the Reed Smith Richards Butler merger and in the past three years alone the firm has appointed 150 partners (in particular, within the firm’s five key industry sectors) to substantially add to its global platform.

In London, the firm will be joined by: financial regulatory partners David Calligan, Tim Dolan, Tamasin Little and Adrian Brown; corporate partners Delphine Currie and Mark Sanders; private equity partner Laura Brunnen and senior counsel Martin Bowen; and tax partner Gareth Amdor. As part of the move, the partners will be joined by 10 associates, three trainees, two knowledge management lawyers and two secretaries.

The KWM financial services regulatory team has a market-leading practice, advising banks, funds, real estate, private equity, retail banking and emerging FinTech companies on non-contentious regulatory matters, as well as advising on structured finance matters. The addition of the team will bring Reed Smith’s financial regulatory team to almost 150 lawyers globally.

In Paris, the firm will be joined by competition/antitrust partners Marc Lévy and Natasha Tardif; tax partners Sylvie Vansteenkiste, Fanny Combourieu and Raphaël Béra; and corporate and private equity partners Guilain Hippolyte and Pierre-Louis Périn. Following these Paris-based partners will be tax counsel Gwenaël Kropfinger, 10 associates, one jurist, four trainees and four secretaries.

The market-leading seven-lawyer competition team advise on French and EU antitrust disputes for many international clients, including clients common to Reed Smith. The team is involved in a great number of major on-going competition cases and its clients have said that partners Marc Lévy and Natasha Tardif “are always present when you need them and deliver high quality work” (source: The Legal 500). The Paris tax team includes three partners, one counsel, three associates and one jurist who have strong expertise in private equity, advising on all elements of fund formation including all tax issues related to funds, carried interest and management incentives. The team also advise on corporate/LBO and real estate tax matters as well as on tax audits for both funds and high net worth individuals. They combine non-contentious expertise with a strong litigation capability. The Paris corporate/private equity team includes two partners and two associates. The team’s work covers international M&A, private equity, venture capital, fund formation, governance and structuring for French groups as well as listed companies.

“The prominent reputation of the KWM Paris practice and these talented lawyers in competition, private equity and tax has had us chasing these lawyers for some time; we’re delighted to see our efforts come to fruition in such an exciting way”, said Tamara Box.

In Germany, Reed Smith will be joined by competition/antitrust partner Tilman Siebert (in Munich) and litigation partner Francis Bellen (in Frankfurt). The partners will also be joined by counsel Dr Michaela Westrup (in Munich) and two associates (one in Frankfurt and one in Munich).

One of the biggest gains from the move will be the expansion of the firm’s European corporate practice, where the firm shares many mutual clients with these new partners. The KWM corporate team are known market leaders in corporate, competition/antirust, private equity and tax in their respective jurisdictions. Together, this combination with Reed Smith’s existing team will create a group of almost 80 lawyers with impressive synergy across Reed Smith’s established European platform.

“This group demonstrates the power of working together as a truly joined-up cross-border team and what that offers our clients. This is how we work at Reed Smith and is why the opportunity to combine our practices instantly appealed to us”, said Peter Teare, Reed Smith partner and head of the firm’s Europe and Middle East corporate practice. “The marrying of our existing corporate team with this group of high quality lawyers enables us to offer an even greater European corporate capability to our clients in each of our key European markets.”

Expansion of Reed Smith’s presence in Germany, in line with its industry group focus, remains a key commitment for the business. The firm has been established in Munich for over 10 years and, since the launch of its Frankfurt office in 2015, has grown to almost 50 lawyers across both offices.

The arrival of partner Francis Bellen and his team will significantly expand the firm’s current litigation capability in Germany. Further, partner Tilman Siebert and his team will introduce a much-desired competition capability to the firm’s growing German corporate practice (now 14 lawyers strong). The two teams will work closely together on major cartel damages cases and other contentious competition matters, representing global corporates, financial institutions and private equity houses.

“Germany is the largest economy in Europe and, as such, an important market for many of our clients and we continue to seek opportunities to build on the successful opening of our Frankfurt office”, said Rolf Hünermann, office managing partner of Reed Smith’s Frankfurt office. Dr Stefan Kugler, Munich office managing partner, adds: “The expansion of our existing litigation capability and the launch of a competition and antitrust practice have long been ambitions for our German business. Francis’ and Tilman’s client base are simply a perfect fit for us and have helped us accomplish these goals.”