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Fox Rothschild, Wachtell Lipton, Norton: Business of Law

Fox Rothschild LLP poached a team of eight attorneys from Day Pitney LLP to open a Morristown, New Jersey, office this summer that specializes in real estate.

Robert A. Klausner, Deirdre E. Moore, Christopher M. Rider, Grace J. Shin and Mat D. Carlson joined Fox as partners along with three associates.

“We have been looking to expand our transactional practice in Northern New Jersey for quite a while and to find such a prestigious real estate group, one of the few groups in New Jersey rated Band 1 by Chambers USA, is quite an exciting opportunity for Fox,” Stanley L. Goodman, managing partner of Fox Rothschild’s Roseland office, said in a statement.

Day Pitney’s managing partner Stanley A. Twardy said in an e-mail that the firm is disappointed to see the group depart.

“But this is how the legal business is today,” Twardy said. “We still have one of the best real estate practices in the region and our real estate department is doing just fine despite the departures.”

Klausner has experience in leasing, acquisitions and dispositions, joint venture structuring, financing and build-to- suit, spec and urban development, the firm said. Moore advises commercial and residential developers and investors, handling matters related to the acquisition, sale, leasing, management and financing of commercial, retail, mixed-use development and redevelopment projects, as well as industrial and golf course projects.

Rider has experience in acquisitions and sales, commercial mortgage, mezzanine and construction financings, debt restructurings, joint ventures, development and construction projects, and commercial leasing. Shin handles commercial real estate transactional matters, particularly those related to leasing and sales and acquisitions. Carlson represents clients in commercial real estate transactions involving acquisitions, dispositions, financings, commercial leasing and real estate joint ventures, according to the firm statement.

Fox Rothschild has three offices in New Jersey with more than 150 attorneys. The firm has more than 500 lawyers in 17 U.S. offices.

K&L Gates Adds Commercial-Disputes Partner in Miami

K&L Gates LLP hired Kevin K. Ross-Andino, previously at Foley & Lardner LLP, as a partner in the commercial disputes practice.

Ross-Andino represents clients throughout the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean on cross-border business disputes and arbitration matters. He advises on private placement of debt and equity securities, insurance coverage, products liability, judgment enforcements, intellectual property rights, financial institutions and creditors’ rights, and mergers and acquisitions and post-employment disputes, the firm said.

K&L Gates has 47 offices in the U.S., Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and South America.

Michelmores Hires Osborne Clarke Private-Client Team Head

Michelmores LLP hired Sandra Brown in the firm’s Bristol office as a partner in the private client group. Brown was head of the private client team at Osborne Clarke for nearly 15 years, the firm said.

Michelmores plans to continue to grow its national and international private client practice.

“Our aim is to build rapidly on the existing practice, and recruit more top class private-client lawyers into the Bristol office,” Will Michelmore, senior partner and head of Michelmores’ private client team said in a statement.

The firm now has 350 employees and 53 partners, with offices in London, Bristol and Exeter.

Corporate Restructuring Lawyer Joins Blank Rome in Philadelphia

Blank Rome LLP hired Leon R. Barson as partner in the business restructuring and bankruptcy group in the Philadelphia office. He joins Blank Rome from Pepper Hamilton LLP where he was a partner in the corporate restructuring and bankruptcy group.

Barson focuses his practice on corporate reorganizations, workouts, debtors’ and creditors’ rights, and corporate transactions, the firm said.

Blank Rome has more than 500 attorneys at 12 offices in the U.S. and Asia.

Corporate and Banking/Finance Lawyer Rejoins Chadbourne

Adam Mycyk has rejoined Chadbourne & Parke LLP as an international partner in the Kiev office. Mycyk, who was a partner at CMS Cameron McKenna LLP in Kiev, is returning to focus on corporate and banking/finance matters in Ukraine, the firm said.

Mycyk, who left Chadbourne in 2007, advises international and Ukrainian companies, banks, investment banks and other financial institutions and investors on structuring and implementing debt and equity inward investments involving privatizations, mergers and acquisitions or joint ventures and on complex cross-border commercial and financing transactions.

Chadbourne has 12 U.S. and international offices.

Fees

Gupta Ordered to Pay Goldman Sachs $6.2 Million for Probe Fees

Rajat Gupta, the former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS) director convicted of passing tips to his friend Raj Rajaratnam, was ordered to pay the bank more than $6.2 million in restitution as a victim of his insider trading, in part to pay for fees generated by law firm Sullivan & Cromwell LLP.

Goldman Sachs argued that as a result of Gupta’s crimes, it was entitled to $6.9 million in legal fees and other expenses it had spent during a federal probe of the bank by the Manhattan U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as a parallel investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Gupta, 64, who sat on the board of New York-based Goldman Sachs and Cincinnati-based Procter & Gamble Co. (PG), was convicted in June of passing information he gathered at board meetings to Rajaratnam, his former business associate who was co-founder of the hedge fund Galleon Group LLC.

“Goldman Sachs has proved by a preponderance of the evidence that 90 percent of its tendered expenses were both necessary and incurred during its participating in the investigation and prosecution,” U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff, who presided over Gupta’s criminal trial, said in a ruling yesterday.

Rakoff said that he reviewed the more than 542 pages of billing records from Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, which represented the firm during the investigation of both Gupta and Rajaratnam. Rajaratnam, convicted of insider trading in 2011, is serving an 11-year prison sentence.

Gupta was found guilty of leaking tips to Rajaratnam about Goldman Sachs, including information about a $5 billion investment by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (BRK/A) on Sept. 23, 2008, and a second tip about a quarterly loss at the firm in October 2008.

“In convicting Gupta of conspiracy and substantive insider trading violations, the jury necessarily determined that Gupta breached his duty as a director of Goldman Sachs,” said Steven Peikin, a Sullivan & Cromwell partner. “The victim here is Goldman Sachs.”

Peikin had argued that Goldman Sachs was entitled to recover expenses including money it spent conducting an internal investigation; funds spent representing the firm during U.S. criminal and civil investigations of both Rajaratnam and Gupta and expenses paid to Gupta for his defense. Goldman Sachs also said it was entitled to funds it paid the law firm in response to the government’s request for documentation and the preparation of Goldman Sachs witnesses. Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Officer Lloyd Blankfein testified at both Rajaratnam’s and Gupta’s trials and was deposed during the parallel SEC case.

Gary Naftalis, a lawyer for Gupta, declined to comment on the judge’s ruling.

The case is U.S. v. Gupta, 11-cr-00907, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Deals

Wachtell Lipton, WilmerHale on Chesapeake Shale Stake Sale

Chesapeake Energy Corp. (CHK) agreed to sell a stake in an Oklahoma oilfield to China Petrochemical Corp. for less than one-third of its estimated value. Chesapeake shares tumbled the most in three months.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz is serving as legal adviser to Chesapeake Energy’s board of directors. Ray Lees at Commercial Law Group is the outside counsel representing Chesapeake Energy. Reginald Brown and Benjamin Powell of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr LLP are advising on regulatory issues, Wachtell said in a statement.

Wachtell Lipton’s team is led by corporate partner David A. Katz and antitrust partner Nelson O. Fitts.

Sinopec, as China’s second-largest energy producer is known, will pay $1.02 billion in cash for a 50 percent interest in 850,000 acres Chesapeake controls in the Mississippi Lime formation, the companies announced in separate statements. The price equates to $2,400 an acre, less than the $7,000 to $8,000 at which Oklahoma City-based Chesapeake valued the asset in a July presentation.

The transaction includes wells that were pumping the equivalent of 34,000 barrels of crude a day during the final three months of 2012, according to Chesapeake’s statement. The per-acre price lags the $4,425 and $2,750 SandRidge Energy Inc. (SD) received in successive Mississippi Lime deals in 2011, said Michael Kelly, an analyst at Global Hunter Securities LLC in Houston. Neither of the SandRidge sales included producing wells, he said.

Chesapeake agreed to sell more than $12 billion in oilfields and pipelines since the beginning of 2012 to plug a cash-flow deficit aggravated by low prices for natural gas, which accounts for about 80 percent of the company’s output. Chesapeake failed to meet its asset-sales target last year and the prices received haven’t matched the company’s projections.

Chesapeake wants to raise $4 billion to $7 billion this year from asset sales, according to a presentation published on the company’s website yesterday.

For more, click here.

Firm News

Employment and Labor Boutique Joins Norton Rose in Calgary

Norton Rose LLP acquired a small Calgary employment and labor boutique, Armstrong Mitchell Lawyers.

As of March 1, the firm’s two partners, William J. Armstrong and Timothy D. Mitchell along with two associates will join the firm.

The Armstrong Mitchell lawyers have experience advising private and public sector employers in provincial and federal jurisdictions in labor relations, employment, human rights, occupational health and safety and workers compensation matters, the firm said.

“We are excited to be expanding our employment and labour capabilities in the Canadian market by adding respected expertise to our existing practice,” Richard J. Charney, the employment and labor global practice leader said in a statement.

Norton Rose will be combining with U.S. law firm Fulbright & Jaworski on June 1. Norton Rose Fulbright will have 3,800 lawyers at offices worldwide.

King & Spalding Appoints Holleman Charlotte Office Head

Finance partner W. Todd Holleman has been appointed managing partner of King & Spalding LLP’s Charlotte, North Carolina, office.

Holleman, a resident in the firm’s Charlotte office since it opened in 2007, represents financial institutions and funds, energy companies, private equity sponsors and project developers. He has expertise in leveraged acquisition finance and energy and commercial real estate finance, the firm said.

King & Spalding’s Charlotte office has 28 lawyers, including 12 partners. The office provides legal services primarily in the areas of finance, litigation, private equity, corporate and real estate.

Among recent major deals and cases by partners in the Charlotte office are a $1 billion dollar credit facility provided by Wells Fargo Bank to Puget Sound Energy, the $335 million sale of TMW Systems, a patent infringement victory for McKesson, the firm said in a statement.

King & Spalding has 800 lawyers in 17 offices in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East 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.

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