Category Archives: Uncategorized

Morgan Lewis Expands Global Legal Hackathon into Philadelphia

Morgan Lewis is hosting the Global Legal Hackathon (GLH) on February 22-24 in our Philadelphia office, bringing the world’s largest legal hackathon to the city for the first time. The goal of the GLH is to crowdsource the legal industry to create innovative ideas and propose new technologies to improve both the business of law and access to the law.

We invite teams and individuals looking to thought partner with other law firms, law students, or tech professionals to join us for a weekend of collaboration. At the end of the weekend, teams will present their solutions on how to improve the legal industry to a panel of judges. Cities from around the world will present their winning team’s best idea to another panel of judges to ultimately find a single winner. “Morgan Lewis has long embraced change and innovation in the way we serve clients and provide access to justice for the underserved,” said Firm Chair Jami McKeon. “While no firm alone can achieve every goal, together we can move the needle.”

Global law firm Reed Smith announces the addition of Elle Todd in London

Global law firm Reed Smith has announced the addition of Elle Todd in London. Previously a partner and Head of Digital and Data at CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang LLP, Elle has worked for the largest corporations and household names as well as technology start-ups and entrepreneurs.

“We are delighted that Elle has agreed to join us. She has a unique skillset, combining a deep knowledge of the consumer brands, tech and media sectors with digital and data compliance expertise. She has a global perspective and is hugely regarded by clients for her innovative and practical approach. Elle’s work, advising companies at board level on digital transformation and data compliance, perfectly complements the capabilities of our wider team,” said Gregor Pryor, co-chair of Reed Smith’s global Entertainment & Media Industry Group.  “Following on from the arrival last year of Ingrid Silver in London and Virginia Burgess in New York, the addition of Elle is part of our continuing drive to build what we hope will be the world’s best team of lawyers in the sector.”

Elle has particular expertise in data protection and strategy, as well as innovative technology deals. She also has significant experience working in Asia, where she helped set up the media, data and technology practice in the region for her previous firm. At Reed Smith, she will help drive the group’s growth ambitions across the APAC region.

DAC Beachcroft’s Leeds office re-elects Michael Peeters as Location Head

Michael Peeters has been re-elected as Head of DAC Beachcroft’s Leeds office at St Paul’s House, Park Square. He has held the role since 2015.

DAC Beachcroft’s Leeds office is the firm’s third largest office location, after London and Bristol, and has over 300 colleagues. Michael’s time at the helm so far has seen a significant development of the firm’s full service commercial law offering to businesses and large organisations in the local Yorkshire and wider Northern market. Growth has been especially good in the sectors the firm focusses on, including financial services and health; these combine with the firm’s technology law expertise to result in strong ‘fintech’ and ‘healthtech’ practices in Leeds.

Michael, commenting on his re-appointment, said, “This is an exciting time for our office here in Leeds. My continued focus will be on driving growth across the North of England, working closely with colleagues in our Manchester and Newcastle offices.

“Leeds is a thriving city which offers us fertile ground for growth, and we look forward to building on our strong presence here. The firm is healthy, competitive and ambitious – as evidenced by our recent financial performance and our impending move to a new flagship headquarters building in the City of London – and we in Leeds will be instrumental to the firm’s continued success.

“I look forward to supporting and expanding our hard-working team in Leeds so that they can thrive in, and enjoy, their working lives. We are well-placed to meet the challenges of the future: we have a great combination of legal talent, a wide ranging portfolio of services and a modern, agile office.”

DAC Beachcroft’s Senior Partner Virginia Clegg commented, “Michael has been a fantastic Location Head, and I am delighted that he is able to build on the foundation he has created in Leeds.”

DAC Beachcroft has bolstered its banking and finance offering with the hire of ex-Kirkland & Ellis partner Chris Wall as Head of Banking.

Chris has broad banking and debt financing experience with a particular focus on leveraged financing transactions, corporate lending transactions, structured financings and restructuring situations acting for financial institutions, private equity sponsors and their portfolio companies, credit opportunity investors and listed corporates.

His remit will see him take charge of the firm’s Banking team including colleagues in the firm’s well-established real estate finance and corporate law practices.

John Williams, Head of Business Advisory at DAC Beachcroft, said, “Chris’s recruitment as Head of Banking represents a major statement from the firm and its Business Advisory and Real Estate teams.

“His broad-based finance credentials and blue chip CV meant his signature was much sought after. We think we have hired an exceptional candidate and now have a great opportunity to really develop our banking and finance practice.”

Chris said, “DAC Beachcroft has developed a strong presence and client base in the City of London, across the UK and internationally, which will present significant opportunities in the banking and debt finance space. I’m excited to join a confident firm with such high aspirations for growth.”

David Pollitt, DAC Beachcroft’s Managing Partner, added, “This is a key hire for our corporate and commercial practice, and underlines the firm’s ambition and capacity to attract the best talent. We look forward to seeing Chris’s contribution to DAC Beachcroft and to our clients.”

DLA Piper boosts UK asset finance offering with partner hire in Manchester

DLA Piper today announces that asset finance lawyer Rebecca Williams will be joining the firm as a partner in its Finance and Projects practice, based in Manchester.

Rebecca Williams will be joining the firm from Addleshaw Goddard, where she has been a partner since 2012. She advises clients on a range of asset finance matters including finance and operating leases, structured debt arrangements, block discounting and the sale and purchase of equipment lease portfolios. Her practice covers a broad spectrum of sectors including energy, IT, manufacturing and transport and she deals with a diverse range of assets including commercial vehicles, computer equipment, energy generation equipment, plant and machinery and rolling stock. She has a wide client base including lessors, lessees and asset finance intermediaries, and advises on transaction structuring and domestic and cross-border deals.

Alan Cunningham, who leads DLA Piper’s UK Asset Finance team, said: “Rebecca is an excellent and well-respected lawyer who will significantly boost our asset finance offering. Her practice is closely aligned with, and complementary to, our current business and we are confident that her extensive experience will be of enormous benefit to our team.”

International Group Head of Finance & Projects, Martin Bartlam, added: “Rebecca’s strong name in the market and significant experience will allow us to continue to grow our already successful UK asset finance team and to deepen our client relationships.

DLA Piper bolsters Data Protection practice

DLA Piper in Germany has hired Intellectual Property & Technology of counsel Prof Dr Jürgen Taeger, who joined the firm’s Cologne office with effect from 1 February 2019.

Prof Taeger is a leading commercial and information lawyer specializing in data protection, e-commerce and Internet law. Since 1996 he has been a university professor and held the Chair for Civil Law, Trade and Commercial Law and Legal Informatics at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg. Prof Taeger is Director of the University of Oldenburg’s interdisciplinary academic Centre for Law of the Information Society (ZRI), and has held the position of Director of the Institute of Law there since 2002. In 2007 he set up the successful “Informationsrecht LL.M” Master’s programme, which he still heads.

Alongside his research and teaching activities, Prof Taeger is a member of numerous organizations and advisory boards, including the German Foundation for Law and Information Technology (DSRI) which he has chaired since 2005, Deutsche Bahn’s data protection advisory council, and the German Association for Data Protection and Data Security’s (GDD) advisory council. He also sits on the editorial boards of numerous specialist journals (Zeitschrift für Datenschutz, Datenschutz-Berater, Datenschutz und Datensicherheit, Recht der Datenverarbeitung, Kommunikation & Recht), and has co-published the latest edition of a major commentary on the GDPR and the new German Federal Data Protection Act (BDSG), which appeared in 2019.

“The recruitment of Prof. Taeger marks another success for us in the further expansion of our data protection practice, which is already established amongst the leaders on the German market. His many years of experience will significantly strengthen our team”, said Dr Benjamin Parameswaran and Dr Konrad Rohde, Co-Managing Partners of DLA Piper in Germany.

Jan Pohle and Dr Jan Geert Meents, who as partners are currently responsible for the area of data protection law in Germany added: “We have one of the largest and most well-known data protection practices both in Germany and internationally. We also have a highly developed international network that generates cross-border counselling. This is an outstanding platform to offer our clients, which now, with Prof Dr Jürgen Taeger, is complemented by one of Germany’s leading data protection lawyers. We welcome him warmly to the firm, and are looking forward to a successful working relationship.”

“I am very much looking forward to being part of the outstanding DLA Piper team and contributing my expertise in data protection law”, added Prof Dr Jürgen Taeger.

Sherri Snelson Joins White & Case as a Partner

Global law firm White & Case LLP continues to expand its Global Banking Practice with the addition of Sherri Snelson as a partner in New York. Snelson will work closely with the Firm’s Financial Institutions and Private Equity (PE) Industry Groups.

“Sherri is a talented lawyer with an impressive background in complex financial transactions,” said Eric Leicht, Head of White & Case’s Global Banking Practice. “She will play a key role in helping us further expand our practice and strengthen our capabilities, particularly in the lending and private equity spaces.” 

Snelson has extensive experience working with private equity portfolio companies, lenders and private equity funds in connection with financing transactions, with a focus on leveraged financings.

Snelson was previously a finance partner at O’Melveny. Over the course of her career, she has acted as lead counsel on hundreds of finance transactions that span a wide array of industries and jurisdictions throughout the Americas, Europe and Asia.

“Continuing to grow our Global Banking Practice is a key pillar of the Firm’s strategy,” said Jake Mincemoyer, Head of White & Case’s Americas Banking Practice. “As the global financial landscape changes, so do our clients’ goals. Adding a highly experienced attorney such as Sherri further reinforces our commitment to serving our clients’ evolving needs.”

White & Case Adds Four Private Equity Partners in Hong Kong

Global law firm White & Case LLP has expanded its Global Mergers & Acquisitions Practice and Global Private Equity Industry Group with the addition in Hong Kong of four private equity partners, including leading private equity lawyer Daniel Yeh.

“As the private equity market in Asia-Pacific continues to grow rapidly in prominence – with record year-on-year investment growth in 2017 of 67 percent to US$118 billion – our clear ambition is to continue building a market leading private equity capability in the region,” said White & Case partner John Reiss, Head of the Firm’s Global Mergers & Acquisitions Practice. “The exciting addition of a private equity-focused four-partner team sends a strong message to the market that we’re determined to grow our role advising leading private equity clients on their most important Asia-Pacific deals. It’s another example of the strategic investments we continue to make in our private equity capabilities on a global basis, and complements recent expansion in the US and EMEA.”

The four lawyers join White & Case from Ropes & Gray and include William Fong, Steven Sha, Paul Tang (based in Hong Kong in due course) and Daniel Yeh, who join as partners, with Daniel appointed Head of Private Equity in Asia-Pacific. They advise global and Asia-Pacific-based private equity sponsors, financial investors and their portfolio companies, as well as select private and public companies, on complex, cross-border mergers and acquisitions, including leveraged buy-outs, bolt-on and carve-out acquisitions, joint ventures, structured investments, take-private deals and other public company transactions in Asia-Pacific and worldwide.

“The strong growth trajectory for private equity deal activity in Asia-Pacific is set to continue, and the arrival of our new partners is another milestone in the ongoing expansion of our capabilities in the region,” said White & Case partner Chris Kelly, who leads the Firm’s mergers & acquisitions practice in Asia-Pacific. “Daniel and his fellow lawyers bring a robust track record of successful transactions and an established market presence, combined with Mandarin language skills, which align strategically with our focus on Chinese corporates and private equity firms and both inbound and outbound Asia-Pacific deal activity. In combination with our strong sponsor and bank finance capabilities in Asia-Pacific, we’re positioned to act for private equity clients and other financial investors on all aspects of a transaction – a formidable market offering.”

John Reiss added: “Growth in the global private equity industry is a strategic priority for White & Case, and continuing to build our practice in Asia-Pacific is important to achieving that ambition. Recent progress includes the opening of a new office in Chicago with a focus on mergers and acquisitions and the lateral additions of private equity partners Gary Silverman, Thomas Horenkamp and Ray Bogenrief, as well as the addition of private equity partner Marwan Azzi in New York. Our private equity team in EMEA has been strengthened in key markets by the recent lateral additions of Mike Weir and Emmie Jones in London, Saam Golshani, Alexis Hojabr and Guillaume Vitrich in Paris, and Jan Jensen and Shoan Panahi in Stockholm, as well as the relocation of partner Marcus Booth to Dubai.”

For the full year 2018 on a private equity deals value basis, Mergermarket and Bloomberg ranked White & Case fourth globally, sixth in both the US and Europe, and first in Asia-Pacific. White & Case is ranked in the top ten law firms on a global mergers and acquisitions value basis by Bloomberg, Mergermarket and Thomson Reuters.

Trio of Hires Boosts Real Estate Team at Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs has announced that it has appointed senior lawyers Kevin Nagle, Amar Iqbal and Katherine Daud to its Real Estate team in Birmingham.

Formerly a partner at Shakespeare Martineau, with a career that included more than 10 years as group chairman of real estate, Mr. Nagle is a highly experienced real estate consultant with 30 years of professional practice in the legal sector. He has particular expertise in the residential development sector, acting for both developers and land owners, and is recognised in The Legal 500 UK for his work dealing with heavyweight residential portfolio sales.

Senior associate Mr. Iqbal has extensive experience in dealing with landlord and tenant, real estate finance and development work. He has worked in private practice, and in-house with housebuilder Barratt Developments PLC, covering all aspects of commercial and residential development.

Ms. Daud is an associate with broad experience in commercial asset management and landlord and tenant matters, particularly in the retail, storage and distribution and aviation sectors. She has also advised on acquisitions and disposals of commercial and high-value residential properties and property re-financings.

“We are delighted to welcome Kevin, Amar and Katherine to the firm,” said Nick Green, office managing partner and head of the Real Estate team in Birmingham. “The addition of three first-rate lawyers gives us greater strength in depth at a time when we are seeing an increase in instructions from both existing and new clients, as well as an uptick in mandates for large-scale transactions.”

The firm’s Real Estate Practice is noted for its strength in development, regeneration, real estate finance and banking. The Birmingham team has particular expertise in development and corporate real estate and, from a sector perspective, in the hotels, hospitality, retail, healthcare, energy and charity sectors.

Life Sciences Lawyer Joins Squire Patton Boggs Intellectual Property Practice

Squire Patton Boggs has added life sciences partner Todd Lorenz to its Intellectual Property & Technology Practice (IP&T) in San Francisco. Mr. Lorenz has extensive experience in the life sciences sector with a particular focus on patent prosecution, counseling, and IP transactions. He joins from Arnold & Porter.

“We represent major multinational pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies, as well as start-up companies in the same fields,” said David Elkins, Squire Patton Boggs’ global Intellectual Property & Technology Practice Group head. “Todd’s dynamic background and deep expertise in the life sciences sector will continue our leadership in this area.”

“I am thrilled to be joining a firm with a clear commitment to patent prosecution at the highest level, and I look forward to adding to their already deep bench of legal and technical expertise,” said Todd.  “Moving to Squire Patton Boggs has been transformative for me and my clients on multiple levels. The firm’s global footprint is more consistent with my practice and provides remarkable support and resources.”

Mr. Lorenz has over twenty-five years of experience in life sciences intellectual property law. His practice encompasses strategic patent prosecution and counseling along with related due diligence, opinion work, licensing, and litigation. He advises universities, clinical research centers, and emerging and established life science companies on all aspects of domestic and international patent procurement and enforcement in a broad range of technical areas including drug development (biologics & pharmaceuticals), drug delivery, digital health, diagnostics, industrial biotechnology, and laboratory instrumentation.

In addition to his legal practice, Mr. Lorenz is also Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Myocept Inc., a biotech start-up developing a new generation of transcutaneous therapeutics. This experience gives him unique insights into the needs and challenges of emerging companies.

With an academic background in biology and engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, clinical research experience in cancer immunotherapy at Harvard Medical School, and hands-on experience in drug development, formulation and commercialization at Myocept Inc., Mr. Lorenz brings a wide range of technical capabilities throughout the biotechnology and pharmaceutical arts to his law practice.

In August, Squire Patton Boggs enhanced its IP&T practice when partners Frank L. Bernstein, Vid R. Bhakar and Ronald S. Lemieux joined the firm in Palo Alto from intellectual property boutique Singularity LLP