Category Archives: Legal

Winston & Strawn Expands Corporate Practice in Dallas Office

Winston & Strawn LLP is pleased to announce that Richard “Rick” Frye has joined the firm as a partner. Mr. Frye joins the Winston & Strawn Dallas office, which launched last month with 21 partners from eight different firms, including more than a dozen corporate and transactional attorneys.

“Our team of corporate and transactional attorneys in Dallas represents an elite group with deep experience at the top echelon of the legal profession in Texas and beyond,” said Tom Hughes, a corporate partner in Winston & Strawn’s Dallas office. “Rick brings significant experience in practice areas we’ve identified as critical to the success of our clients, especially those doing business in Dallas.”

Mr. Frye joins Winston & Strawn from Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP where he advised on complex corporate transactions for public and private companies, private equity sponsors, and portfolio companies. He works with companies in a variety of industries, including energy, media, technology, financial services, food and consumer products, and health care services. Since 2011, Mr. Frye has been on secondment twice, serving first with the M&A legal team of the strategic investment and development company of the Abu Dhabi government, followed by a year as the general counsel of a prominent music publishing company.

In building the Dallas office, Winston & Strawn has brought together an exceptionally strong transactional team that covers the gamut, from private equity and mergers and acquisitions to capital markets, finance, tax, and real estate. The group also has robust corporate governance and financial services regulatory experience. Composed of numerous accomplished practitioners, many that served in leadership positions at their prior firms, the team includes:

Andrew Betaque who focuses on the taxation of domestic and cross-border corporate and partnership business transactions, and previously served as a principal of Ernst & Young.
Ken Betts, who has more than 25 years of transactional, investment, and financial experience advising REITs and other real estate companies.
Jeff Cole, who has nearly 30 years of experience representing senior and junior lenders, private equity sponsors, and public and private companies with complex financings.
Billie Ellis, Jr., a well-known real estate and private equity lawyer who previously co-founded The Halifax Group, a $200 million private equity fund.
Chip Gage, who has extensive experience representing private equity funds, companies, and lenders in a variety of financing transactions.
Bryan Goolsby, who is a nationally recognized attorney handling a variety of transactional and regulatory issues affecting REITs.
Tom Hughes, who is an acknowledged go-to advisor for complex M&A and securities transactions, as well as restructuring matters.
Jordan Klein, who focuses on multifaceted credit transactions and restructurings for banks, finance companies, and other lenders.
David Lange, who concentrates on M&A, private equity, and venture capital transactions.
Matt Stockstill, who focuses on M&A, private equity, securities, and general corporate matters.
Christina Tate, who is a trusted advisor to several private equity funds in connection with a broad range of M&A matters, from platform acquisitions through exit transactions.
Todd Thorson, who has significant experience representing private equity funds related to corporate governance, M&A, and general corporate law.

“The founders of the Winston & Strawn Dallas office came together and made a decision to change the paradigm in the North Texas market. This will have ramifications not only in the region, but throughout the state,” said Bryan Goolsby, who, along with Tom Melsheimer, is a managing partner of the Dallas office. “We are delighted to have Rick join the team.”

Forsters announces its proposed acquisition of the Gowling WLG London Private Client team

Leading private client and real estate law firm Forsters LLP today announces its intention to acquire the Gowling WLG London Private Client team.  The team will add significantly to Forsters’ international and offshore private client capacity and will complement the firm’s already well established profile for onshore work.

The team, which it is planned will join Forsters on 1 May this year, includes four partners – Anthony Thompson, Catharine Bell, Nick Jacob and Daniel Ugur – as well as ten solicitors and five other members of staff. 

Following the acquisition, the Forsters Private Client team will comprise 48 lawyers, firmly establishing it as one of the UK’s top tier private client practices.  With the arrival of the Gowling WLG team, Forsters’ wider private wealth offering, including family and contentious trust and probate, will contribute more than one third of the firm’s revenue.

Commenting on the acquisition, Patrick Harney, partner and head of the Private Client team at Forsters, said:

“This acquisition will be highly significant for Forsters, increasing the scope and reach of our private wealth services and adding to our expertise for UK domiciled and internationally based clients.  There are strong synergies between our respective teams and existing client bases and this is a real opportunity to enhance Forsters’ position as a market leading law firm in private client work.”

A key driver for the acquisition is the broadening of Forsters’ geographical reach.  The firm already enjoys a very strong profile amongst US and European clients and the Gowling WLG team has established relationships in the Middle East and Asia.  Additionally, with London seen as the centre of excellence for trust work, Forsters will continue to increase its domestic and international client base for family governance advice – a significant growth area for the Private Client team in recent years. 

Paul Roberts, Managing Partner at Forsters, comments:

“The Gowling WLG team will be an excellent addition to our private wealth offering and to the wider firm.  Our strategy of focusing on what we are good at – real estate and private client –  has been successful and we have no intention of changing it. This acquisition will be another significant step in Forsters becoming recognised as a market leader in our chosen areas of excellence.” 

Freshfields strengthens its market-leading European corporate and finance practices with multiple partner hires 

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (‘Freshfields’) is pleased to announce the appointment of five prominent partners in the firm’s Paris office. The arrival of these partners will significantly enhance the firm’s corporate and finance capabilities in this key market.

 These hires reflect Freshfields’ ambition in France, which is a strategic market for the firm globally. They will strengthen the firm’s core transactional pillar and the offering to corporate clients and will grow both the financial investor and banking practices.

Guy Benda, Nicolas Barberis and Yann Gozal’s expertise will enhance both the corporate/M&A and private equity capabilities of the firm. Guy, Nicolas and Yann have advised a wide range of clients including major financial institutions, private equity funds and large multinationals. Their experience will support the firm’s ability to service clients on their most important mandates globally. 

Laurent Mabilat and Stéphanie Corbière will join the firm’s finance group. Laurent is one of the leading finance practitioners in Paris and has considerable experience of leveraged and acquisition finance and restructuring work. Stéphanie specialises in leveraged and acquisition finance and debt restructuring. Laurent and Stéphanie’s arrival will complement the firm’s current finance offering. They will focus on complex banking financings for sponsors, major financial institutions, large corporate clients and distressed debt investors.

Commenting on the appointments, Hervé Pisani, partner and head of the corporate practice in Paris, said: “These appointments are a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate our dedication to the French market. It is a significant step forward in our strategy to offer our clients integrated teams of experienced lawyers advising on a wide range of situations, on a national and global level.”

German Offices at McDermott Will & Emery Continue to Grow

International law firm McDermott Will & Emery announced today that Alexa Ningelgen, PhD, will join the firm’s Regulatory Practice Group as partner in its Düsseldorf office. Joining Ms. Ningelegen in Düsseldorf will be Eva Schöneich, PhD. Ms. Schöneich will serve as counsel in the Firm’s Corporate Practice Group. The two lawyers represent the latest arrivals at McDermott’s growing Düsseldorf office. 

Ms. Ningelgen focuses her practice on issues of public law and has significant experience with administrative proceedings and disputes, particularly in the areas of energy, infrastructure, food law, public institutions and immigration. In addition, Ms. Ningelgen also focuses on public development planning and building regulations. Ms. Ningelgen will be joining McDermott from Hogan Lovells. 

“We are thrilled about the opportunities that Alexa brings to our Firm’s Regulatory Practice Group in Germany, said Raymond Jacobsen, global head of McDermott’s Regulatory Practice Group. “In particular, her experience within the energy, infrastructure, comestibles and construction industries will be a key asset for our firm moving forward.” 

Ms. Schöneich has experience advising national and international companies and banks on issues of corporate law, focusing, in particular, on M&A transactions. Moreover, she has also advised private equity firms and companies operating in biotechnology, pharmaceuticals and material manufacturing. Ms. Schöneich was previously employed by another international law firm and most recently served as a Public officer with Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. 

“We are very excited to add Alexa and Eva to our firm, as both of them are outstanding lawyers,” said Norbert Schulte, PhD, head of McDermott’s German operations and the Düsseldorf office. “Alexa Ningelgen will develop our Düsseldorf-based operations in public commercial law and Eva Schöneich is a valuable addition to our busy operations in corporate law. The two are a good example that our firm is continuing to head for growth.” 

Earlier this year, McDermott added former managing partner at King & Wood Mallesons, Michael Cziesla, PhD, as a partner in the Firm’s Frankfurt office. Mr. Cziesla was joined by his long-standing colleague, Normann Wasse, who joined the Firm as counsel. Their arrival expanded the Frankfurt office’s operations in corporate law. A few weeks later, the Frankfurt office was further reinforced by the addition of Markus Hill, as partner in the Firm’s Tax Practice Group.

McDermott Further Expands its Private Equity Practice in Chicago

McDermott Will & Emery is pleased to announce the arrival of Gregory Metz as a partner in the Firm’s Chicago office.  Mr. Metz has joined the Firm’s Corporate & Transactional Practice Group with a particular focus on middle market private equity.

Mr. Metz joins McDermott from Ropes & Gray where he counseled clients on complex business transactions and advised private equity clients on mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, debt and equity restructurings, divestitures, and executive compensation and incentive arrangements.  Mr. Metz has an active practice representing middle market private equity funds across a broad spectrum of industries including in the health care private equity arena.

“We are thrilled to welcome Greg to McDermott’s global platform where he and his clients will benefit from the Firm’s strength and experience in middle market private equity,” said Harris Siskind, head of McDermott’s Corporate & Transactional Practice. “In addition, Greg’s experience in health care private equity will further enhance McDermott’s prominence at the intersection of health and corporate transactions, and we are looking forward to having him on board as the Firm continues to deliver excellence to our clients in this arena.”

McDermott’s leading private equity practice provides a one-stop legal solution for its clients.  Mr. Metz will work with McDermott’s experienced private equity lawyers who have advised leading private equity funds on hundreds of buyout transactions.  

“Greg is a highly respected private equity lawyer who is well known in the industry,” said Brooks Gruemmer, head of McDermott’s Chicago Corporate Advisory practice.   “We are excited that he has decided to join our group. The addition of Greg adds further depth to our growing private equity and M&A practices and will help us to continue to serve our national and international private equity and other transactional clients.”

Mr. Metz continues McDermott’s hiring trend in the Corporate & Transactional Practice group after the October arrivals of Albert Sokol in Boston and David Lipkin in Silicon Valley.  Other notable Corporate & Transactional hires in the recent months include New York partners Robert Goldstein, Frank Steinherr, Daniel Martin, Gary Emmanuel, and Jeremy Dickens.  The hiring trend can also be seen overseas with the additions of Alicia Videon, Piero Carbone, and Michael Holter in London, and the recent arrival of Dr. Michael Cziesla as a partner in Frankfurt.

Mr. Metz received his JD cum laude from Northwestern Pritzker School of Law and his BA summa cum laude from Washington University in St. Louis.

Pinsent Masons announces 2017 partner promotions

International law firm Pinsent Masons has announced the promotion of 16 individuals to its partnership, taking effect from 1 May 2017.

80% of the individuals being promoted to partner specialise in the firm’s five global sectors; Energy, Financial Services, Infrastructure, Real Estate and Advanced Manufacturing and Technology.

68% are women. This will see Pinsent Masons surpass its target of achieving 25% female representation among its partnership by 2018, a year ahead of schedule. The firm will now progress towards its longer term goal of 30% female representation.

The promotion round also includes the first Pinsent Masons partner to be made up in Sydney since the office opened in 2015.

Richard Foley, Senior Partner of Pinsent Masons, says:

“It is really inspiring to see the talent within our firm flourishing. We have worked hard to ensure a level playing field. All of those who have achieved this personal landmark have done so on merit and share our wider commitment to sector focus, legal excellence and innovation. This group will play a critical part in helping us achieve our vision of being seen as international market leader in our global sectors.”

The full list of those promoted to partner is as follows:

Sadie Andrew (Infrastructure, Australia)
Christopher Breen (TMT, UK)
John Bruce (Infrastructure, Energy, UK)
Alistair Calvert (Energy, UK)
Helen Corden (TMT, Universities, UK)
Claire Edwards (Financial Services, TMT, UK)
Christian Lütkehaus (Energy, Germany)
Sofia Parra Martinez (Infrastructure, UK)
Gurmukh Riyat (Infrastructure, Energy, UK)
Joanna Robinson (Real Estate, UK)
Alison Ross Eckford (TMT, UK)
Sonal Shah (Infrastructure, UK)
Katherine Sneddon (Infrastructure, UK)
Natalie Trainor (TMT, UK)
Kirsten Wolgast (TMT, Germany)
Christine Yuill (Tax, UK)

Maurice Allen joins DLA Piper

DLA Piper has announced that Maurice Allen has joined the firm as a consultant as of 1 March.

Prior to joining DLA Piper, Maurice was a consultant at Ropes & Gray, having co-founded their London office in 2010 and stepped down as senior partner in 2016.

In his new role at DLA Piper, Maurice will assist the firm’s Financial Services sector in developing both existing and new client relationships. He will be working with Charles Severs, Managing Director of Practice Groups, and Jan Geert Meents, Managing Director of Sectors and Clients.

Maurice is a highly respected finance lawyer, with extensive experience in complex transactions and cross-border financings. He has played a major role in the growth of a number of City law firms.

Simon Levine, Global Co-CEO at DLA Piper, said: “Maurice is an extremely highly-regarded banking and finance lawyer who has held very senior roles at a number of magic circle and US law firms. We are absolutely delighted that he has decided to join the firm and use his invaluable experience to help develop our client relationships in the Financial Services sector.”

DLA Piper announces integration with ABBC in Portugal

DLA Piper has today announced that it will join with Portuguese firm, ABBC, as of 7 March.

As a result of the integration ABBC, which has been a DLA Piper relationship firm since 2010, will adopt the DLA Piper brand. Angolan law firm, ADCA, which is affiliated with ABBC, will remain a member of the DLA Piper Africa Group.

ABBC in Lisbon has 50 lawyers and capabilities across DLA Piper’s eight key practice groups.

Simon Levine, Co-Global CEO at DLA Piper, said: “With the close economic integration of Spain and Portugal, the Iberian legal market has been increasingly seen by our clients as a single market. We have worked closely with ABBC for many years now and it is a natural evolution for us to join forces, enabling us to present our clients with a single, joined-up offering across the Iberian region.”

Across Spain and Portugal, DLA Piper now has strong industry capability in the firm’s key sectors, including: Banking and Financial Services, Real Estate, Technology, and Energy.

Juan Picon, Global Co-Chairman at DLA Piper, said: “Having a DLA Piper office in Portugal will complete our Iberian offering and enable us to service the many global and Spanish clients who need legal advice across Spain and Portugal, Latin America and, increasingly, Africa.” 

Nuno Azevedo Neves, Managing Partner of DLA Piper in Portugal, said: “Our relationship with DLA Piper has developed progressively over the past few years and our people and clients have benefited from access to the resources and capabilities of a global firm. Therefore, we are delighted to have the opportunity to complete the integration and to become part of DLA Piper: a development which will enhance further our ability to attract and retain the best lawyers, and to support our clients. We would like to thank our clients for their loyalty and support.”

Freshfields strengthens its market-leading European corporate and finance practices with multiple partner hires 

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP (‘Freshfields’) is pleased to announce the appointment of five prominent partners in the firm’s Paris office. The arrival of these partners will significantly enhance the firm’s corporate and finance capabilities in this key market.

 These hires reflect Freshfields’ ambition in France, which is a strategic market for the firm globally. They will strengthen the firm’s core transactional pillar and the offering to corporate clients and will grow both the financial investor and banking practices.

Guy Benda, Nicolas Barberis and Yann Gozal’s expertise will enhance both the corporate/M&A and private equity capabilities of the firm. Guy, Nicolas and Yann have advised a wide range of clients including major financial institutions, private equity funds and large multinationals. Their experience will support the firm’s ability to service clients on their most important mandates globally. 

Laurent Mabilat and Stéphanie Corbière will join the firm’s finance group. Laurent is one of the leading finance practitioners in Paris and has considerable experience of leveraged and acquisition finance and restructuring work. Stéphanie specialises in leveraged and acquisition finance and debt restructuring. Laurent and Stéphanie’s arrival will complement the firm’s current finance offering. They will focus on complex banking financings for sponsors, major financial institutions, large corporate clients and distressed debt investors.

Commenting on the appointments, Hervé Pisani, partner and head of the corporate practice in Paris, said: “These appointments are a fantastic opportunity to demonstrate our dedication to the French market. It is a significant step forward in our strategy to offer our clients integrated teams of experienced lawyers advising on a wide range of situations, on a national and global level.”

Boutique boost: Stewarts in talks to pick up Enyo to create £80m firm

Litigation boutique Stewarts Law is in discussions to buy Enyo Law in a deal which will see about £20m added to Stewarts’ revenue.

It is believed the deal to acquire Enyo Law will be finalised before the end of the financial year in April, although it is currently unknown how many lawyers and staff will be transferred to Stewarts.

The disputes boutique was founded in 2010 by former Addleshaw Goddard partners Simon Twigden, Pietro Marino and Michael Green.

The financial outlook for Enyo had been healthy, with revenue increasing by 27% from £15m in 2014/15 to £21m in 2015/16. Remuneration among members was also up significantly from £8.1m in 2015 to £12.5m in 2016.

A key mandate for the firm has been acting for sovereign wealth fund, the Libyan Investment Authority (LIA), in a $2.1bn claim for rescission of a series of trades purportedly entered into with members of the Société Générale Group; as well as LIA’s $1bn claim against Goldman Sachs over nine large financial derivative transactions that lost over 90% of their value. Enyo lost the Goldman Sachs case last year.

Stewarts Law, which generated £62.1m in fees last year, has also seen positive financial growth in recent times, with the firm’s highest paid member pocketing £1.7m for the 2015/16 financial year, a 20% increase from the previous figure. The litigation specialist also saw a consecutive year of double digit revenue growth, with revenue jumping 17% to £61.3m.

At Enyo, the highest paid member took home £2.9m last year, an increase from 2015’s amount of £1.8m.

Stewarts Law represented a number of retailers including Asda, Morrison, New Look and Next in a £1.2bn claim against MasterCard which was ruled on in January. The High Court decided in favour of MasterCard amid claims that the card issuer overcharged consumers due to controversial interchange fees.