Breaking News

Vimpelcom Agrees to Sell 51% of Djezzy to Algeria for $2.64 Billion
Tweet TWEET

Cooley, Freshfields, Jackson Lewis: Business of Law

Cooley LLP opened a Los Angeles office with the addition of four partners from three law firms.

The new partners include David Hernand, former co-chair of Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP’s media, entertainment and technology practice, who will be the partner-in-charge of the new office.

Former DLA Piper LLP partner David Young, who was the firm's corporate and finance group chair for Los Angeles, San Diego and Phoenix, will head Cooley’s business and technology practice group in Los Angeles, Cooley said.

Christopher Shoff, who was also a partner at DLA Piper, and Jennifer Massey, a former partner at Hollywood entertainment law firm Morris Yorn Barnes Levine Krintzman Rubenstein & Kohner have also been hired, the firm said.

The new office, in Santa Monica, is Cooley’s fourth in California and will serve the firm’s existing relationships and clients who number 200 in the region, the firm said.

“Entering the Los Angeles market has long been a strategic goal of our firm,” Cooley Chief Executive Officer Joe Conroy said.

The firm said Los Angeles was the fourth largest venture capital/emerging company market in the country with an influx of $567 million in venture capital brought by entrepreneurs in the region in the first quarter of 2012. The firm said it hopes to become the “go-to” firm to navigate the convergence of technology, venture capital, content and digital media companies in the area.

Hernand has experience representing large and small corporate, private equity, venture capital, talent agencies and investment banking clients on mergers, strategic partnering arrangements and raising public and private capital.

Young has experience in the Southern California venture capital and technology community. He specializes in emerging growth companies and the venture capital firms, strategic investors and investment banks that finance these companies.

Shoff was a partner in the corporate and finance group that Young headed. He has experience in venture capital and initial public offering work. He specializes in emerging growth companies in a variety of sectors including technology, media and life sciences.

Massey has a practice advising clients on the convergence of technology and entertainment. She represents Silicon Valley companies in their entertainment and content-related initiatives, and counsels Hollywood talent in partnering with and investing in technology companies.

The firm also hired Randy Churchill to head Cooley’s business development outreach in the region. He has worked in the Los Angeles entrepreneurial community as an attorney, financial printing account executive and, since 2000, director of emerging company services for PwC’s Southern California technology practice, the firm said.

Cooley has 650 attorneys in 10 U.S. offices as well as an office in Shanghai.

Freshfields Appoints China Head of Energy and Natural Resources

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP appointed Gang Yuana head of the energy and natural resources practice in China.

Yuana specializes in energy and resources-related corporate and regulatory work and advises state-owned Chinese energy and resource companies in their cross-border transactions, the firm said.

“As China’s demand for energy continues to grow, Gang will lead Freshfields’ work in assisting our Chinese energy and natural resources clients fulfill their overseas ambitions, from M&A and joint ventures to the development of international energy projects,” Robert Ashworth, Freshfields Asia managing partner, said in a statement.

Freshfields has over 2,500 lawyers in 27 offices, 15 countries and 16 jurisdictions across the world.

News

Romney-Obama Lawyers Rake in Millions as Campaign Spending Soars

Every four years, a new mix of politicians assembles to compete for the opportunity to run for president. While the candidates’ names and faces change, the lawyers stay the same, Bloomberg News’ Jonathan D. Salant reports.

Attorney Michael Toner, a partner at Wiley Rein LLP, began his presidential-campaign legal career in 1996 working for Republican nominee Bob Dole. He worked for George W. Bush in 2000. In 2008, his first client was former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson before signing with party nominee Arizona Senator John McCain.

Democrat Bob Bauer, a partner at Perkins Coie LLP, worked for former New Jersey Senator Bill Bradley’s presidential campaign in 2000, his law partner represented Massachusetts Senator John Kerry in 2004, and Bauer landed then-Senator Barack Obama of Illinois in 2008.

Republican Ben Ginsberg, a partner at Patton Boggs LLP, cut his teeth in 1996 working for then-California Governor Pete Wilson’s White House run before joining Bush in 2000 and 2004. Four years later, he landed a new client, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and he’s still representing him today.

At the presidential level, “you go to people who aren’t going to learn on the job,” said U.S. Court of Appeals Senior Judge Ralph K. Winter Jr., who taught election law at Yale University in Connecticut and is still an adjunct professor there.

Or, as Toner put it, you go to the “fraternity,” a tight- knit pool of campaign finance and election-law specialists who spend much of their time in between presidential contests either helping to write new laws or blowing up the ones already on the books. Either outcome is good for business.

The five law firms specializing in presidential campaigns have been paid $50 million since 1999 by candidates, political parties and political action committees, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group that tracks campaign spending.

For more, click here.

Ex-News Corp. Editors Brooks, Coulson Charged Over Hacking

Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, former lead editors of the News of the World tabloid in Britain, are among eight former News Corp. (NWSA) journalists being charged with conspiring to intercept voice mail to get stories.

The group sought between 2000 and 2006 to hack the mobile- phone messages of more than 600 people, including U.S. actors Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie and murdered British schoolgirl Milly Dowler, who went missing in 2002, the Crown Prosecution Service said in London yesterday.

“There is sufficient evidence for there to be a realistic prospect of conviction,” Alison Levitt, the top legal adviser to Britain’s director of public prosecutions, said at a press conference. The criminal cases are “in the public interest.”

The others charged are former managing editor Stuart Kuttner, former news editor Ian Edmondson, former chief reporter Neville Thurlbeck, former assistant editor Greg Miskiw, former assistant news editor James Weatherup and former private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, who worked for the tabloid.

“I am not guilty of these charges,” Brooks said yesterday in an e-mailed statement. “I did not authorize, nor was I aware of, phone hacking under my editorship.”

Coulson said in a televised statement outside his home that he never did anything to harm the police probe into Dowler’s disappearance.

“I have always operated under the strict guidance and advice of News International’s lawyers and under the instructions of the newspaper’s editors, which will be abundantly clear when this matter comes to court,” Thurlbeck said in a statement issued by his lawyer Henri Brandman.

Edmondson, who was fired in January 2011, said in a statement through his law firm that he looks forward to clearing his name at trial “when the truth finally emerges.”

“I am extremely disappointed by today’s decision, given that in 2006 I was the subject of a comprehensive police investigation,” Mulcaire said in an e-mailed statement. “I intend to contest these allegations strenuously.”

For more, click here.

Deals

Citic to Buy Credit Agricole’s CLSA Unit for $1.25 Billion

Citic Securities Co. (6030), China’s largest brokerage by market value, agreed to buy Credit Agricole SA (ACA)’s CLSA unit for $1.25 billion, joining banks across Asia acquiring the assets of troubled European financial firms.

Gide Loyrette Nouel advised Crédit Agricole and Investment Bank (Crédit Agricole CIB) in connection with the sale. Kirkland & Ellis LLP advised Citic.

The GLN team was led by partner Guillaume Rougier-Brierre, with assistance from Arnaud Lunel in Paris, as well as Rebecca Silli in Hong Kong and Thomas Urlacher in Beijing

The Kirkland team was led by Hong Kong partner Nicholas Norris with partners Michel Debolt in Hong Kong, Edwin del Hierro in Chicago, and Pierre-André Dubois and Ian Taplin in London.

The Chinese firm completed its purchase of a 19.9 percent stake in the brokerage for $310.3 million, the companies said in a statement on July 20. Citic Securities will buy the remaining 80.1 percent for $941.7 million, subject to conditions including regulatory approval, the companies said.

Buying CLSA would give Citic Securities the overseas research component lacking in its operations as Chairman Wang Dongming seeks to expand beyond mainland China. His challenge will be to marry CLSA’s independent-focused culture with that of the state-backed brokerage, JPMorgan Chase & Co. analysts said.

“In the long term, this transaction, if successfully executed, could become critical” for Citic Securities to compete with investment banks at home and abroad, Joseph Leung and Josh Klaczek of JPMorgan wrote in a note on July 20. “The downside risk is execution, particularly given cultural differences.”

For more, click here.

Moves

Former Caesars Entertainment Chief Counsel Joins Jackson Lewis

Jackson Lewis LLP said Ann Haley Fromholz joined the firm’s Los Angeles office as partner.

Fromholz joins from Caesars Entertainment Corp. in Las Vegas, where she served as vice president and chief counsel for the Enterprise Labor and Employment group. Previously, she worked as senior counsel in the labor and employment division for both ConocoPhillips and Kaiser Permanente, the firm said.

In her in-house counsel positions, Fromholz advised management and human resource professionals about employment discipline and termination, as well as personnel policies and practices.

At Caesars, Fromholz was responsible for managing the labor and employment division of the legal department, and worked with human resources at 38 properties nationwide to ensure employment law compliance. She managed over 100 single-plaintiff employment cases and several wage hour and discrimination class actions, the firm said.

Jackson Lewis has over 700 attorneys in 49 locations nationwide.

Mayer Brown Expands Hong Kong Corporate & Securities Practice

James Fong has joined Mayer Brown LLP as a partner in the corporate and securities practice. Fong, who was a partner at Hogal Lovells LLP, has more than 12 years of experience in handling corporate finance transactions, including Hong Kong IPOs, listing of exchange traded funds, block trade, rights issue, takeover, private equity, joint ventures and regulatory compliance, the firm said.

Fong is the third recent hire in China for the firm. Henry Wang and Billy Au joined the Beijing office this month, with Au also working out of Hong Kong.

“As part of the strategic plan, the addition of James Fong, Henry Wang and Billy Au in Greater China will see our practice having a much more in-depth capability in ECM and M&A offerings,” said Patrick Wong, the head of corporate and securities in Asia.

Mayer Brown has 20 offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Amon in Brooklyn, New York, at eamon2@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

Bloomberg reserves the right to edit or remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.