King & Spalding, K&L Gates, Skadden Arps: Business of Law

King & Spalding LLP recruited Australian arbitration and construction lawyer Peter Megens as a partner in the Singapore office starting in July. Megens was at King & Wood Mallesons in Melbourne, where he was co-head of the firm’s arbitration practice and a senior member of its construction team.

“Our firm has made a strategic decision to invest further in our marquee international arbitration practice, and especially in our international construction disputes capability,” Reggie Smith, leader of global disputes at King & Spalding, said in a statement. “Peter’s stature as an outstanding construction disputes lawyer fits this bill, and nicely complements our world-class commercial and investment treaty arbitration practice serving the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore.”

Megens has more than 30 years’ experience representing clients in disputes arising out of construction, energy, mining and infrastructure projects, the firm said.

King & Spalding’s Singapore office serves as a hub for the firm’s energy, project finance and international arbitration work throughout the Asia-Pacific region.

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

Kaye Scholer’s Tuchman Joins Herrick Feinstein’s to Head Group

Herrick, Feinstein LLP announced that Louis Tuchman has joined the firm’s New York office as a partner and the newly appointed co-chairman of the firm’s tax and personal planning group. Tuchman was a partner in Kaye Scholer LLP’s tax department.

“From federal, state and cross-border taxation issues to joint ventures, bankruptcy, real estate, partnerships and LLCs, Louis brings invaluable experience in a range of areas,” partner Daniel A. Swick, who co-heads Herrick’s tax and personal planning group said in a statement.

Tuchman’s practice includes a focus on corporate taxation matters including mergers and acquisitions, net operating loss carryovers and consolidated returns, the firm said.

Herrick, Feinstein has 170 lawyers based in New York City.

James Kaplan Joins Quarles & Brady’s Chicago Office

James I. Kaplan joined Quarles & Brady LLP’s Chicago office as a partner in the corporate services practice group. Prior to joining the firm, Kaplan was a partner and chairman of the Midwest banking practice at DLA Piper LLP in Chicago.

He has experience in financial services regulatory matters, as well as banking, compliance, securities and shareholder disputes and other shareholder matters, the firm said. Kaplan’s transactional experience includes banking, trust, securities, asset management, brokerage and public and private offerings. He was also the founding general counsel at Brown Brothers Harriman & Co private bank.

Quarles & Brady has more than 400 attorneys at nine U.S. offices.

K&L Gates Expands Charleston Office With Two Partners

K&L Gates LLP hired Michael D. Bryan and Julius H. Hines as partners in the corporate/mergers and acquisitions and commercial disputes practices, respectively. Bryan joins K&L Gates from Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP, where he headed the firm’s sustainable energy group. Hines was previously a leader of the firm’s admiralty and maritime practice group at Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice LLP.

Bryan represents clients in the agricultural and industrial biotechnology, manufacturing, health-care and retail industries, the firm said.

A maritime lawyer and proctor in admiralty, Hines works with shipping clients in investigating and handling marine incidents such as oil spills, vessel collisions and accidental injury and death, and represents them in federal and state court litigation, the firm said.

K&L Gates has 48 offices in the U.S., Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East, and South America.

Proskauer Hires Equity Capital Markets Lawyer From UBS

Proskauer Rose LLP added to its IPO and equity capital markets practice with the hire of Robin M. Feiner as senior counsel in the firm’s global capital markets group in the New York. Feiner has more than 17 years of equity transaction experience, including senior positions at UBS Investment Bank and Citigroup Global Markets Inc.

Feiner was most recently executive director of Equity Capital Markets/Equity Corporate Finance at UBS. In that role, she helped book-run transactions for global companies listing in the U.S., in addition to creating UBS’s Annual IPO Conference.

“Her stellar reputation with top-tier investment banks and ability to deliver best-in-class execution with leading knowledge of legal practices and industry trends will serve our clients well in meeting their IPO and other complex equity transaction needs,” Frank Lopez, co-head of the Global Capital Markets Group, said in a statement.

Prior to UBS, Feiner spent seven years as a director in the Equity Capital Markets/Transaction Advisory Group at Citigroup Global Markets Inc., where she executed more than 50 IPOs, the firm said.

Proskauer has 13 offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia.

David Van Horne Joins Goodwin Procter in San Francisco

Goodwin Procter LLP announced that David W. Van Horne, Jr. has joined the firm’s business law department in its San Francisco office as a member of the technology companies group. He was most recently at Gunderson Dettmer, Stough Villeneuve Franklin & Hachigian LLP where he was a partner in its Silicon Valley office.

Van Horne will focus on representing emerging growth companies as well as advising venture capital funds and structuring investments, the firm said. He has experience with corporate formation and governance matters, venture capital financing and M&A transactions. His clients include Accel Partners, August Capital, Kleiner Perkins and DotNetNuke, among others.

“David’s keen sense of trends, particularly in the expanding San Francisco/Silicon Valley market, will provide existing and prospective clients with an invaluable resource as they seek to grow and evolve,” Bradley Bugdanowitz, chairman of the firm’s San Francisco office, said in a statement.

Goodwin Procter has 860 lawyers at nine offices in the U.S., Hong Kong and London.

News

Law Firm Quits Political Intelligence Work After Senator’s Query

The law firm being questioned by a U.S. senator over whether one of its lobbyists obtained and shared confidential government information on Medicare rates will no longer work with so-called political intelligence firms.

Greenberg Traurig LLP has “concluded that providing government relations services to an entity in the ‘political intelligence’ area may lead to misunderstanding and unintended use of those services, even when compliant with legal and ethical standards,” Jill Perry, a firm spokeswoman, wrote in an e-mail. “We will not represent such firms in the future.”

Mark Hayes, a Greenberg Traurig lobbyist, discussed the possibility of a rate change in an April 1 e-mail sent to Height Analytics LLC, a Washington-based investor firm that provides analysis and information about government decisions, a business known as political intelligence. In turn, Height advised its clients in a memo that helped boost insurer stocks 45 minutes before the official Medicare announcement.

Senator Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, is probing whether government information was leaked. Last week both the health insurer Humana Inc. (HUM) and Height said they were cutting ties with Greenberg Traurig after Grassley announced he was reviewing the situation.

According to an e-mail review by Bloomberg, Hayes told Height that “very credible sources” had said the government would reduce a payment cut for Medicare Advantage plans like Humana’s. Grassley has pushed for a law that would require those who seek profitable tidbits of information to register with the government.

Height has said it did nothing wrong. “Our report was based on careful and close analysis of the facts, and was solid, sound research in accordance with applicable laws and regulations,” Andrew Parmentier, Height’s managing partner, said in an April 17 statement to the firm’s clients. “Our analyst made an independent call based on multiple data points and he was correct on the big issue.”

Greenberg Traurig said it, too, hadn’t found evidence of any illegal activity.

“The firm and its shareholders had no financial connection with Height’s activities and Height has acknowledged using a variety of sources before issuing its alert,” Perry wrote. “We have found no information that any of our shareholders had access to any material confidential government information.”

For more, click here.

Volcker Recusal Vowed by OCC’s Top Lawyer Who Left Promontory

The top lawyer at the U.S. regulator of national banks left a consulting job where she was paid $1.2 million and advised some of the biggest firms now overseen by her agency, her financial disclosures show, Bloomberg News’s Jesse Hamilton reports.

Amy Friend was managing director at Promontory Financial Group LLC before rejoining the Office of Comptroller of the Currency as chief counsel in February. She will recuse herself for a year from discussions of the so-called Volcker rule to ban proprietary trading at banks and from matters affecting Promontory or six former clients, according to an OCC memo.

Friend arrived at the OCC as Promontory was drawing attention for its influence as a middleman between banks and regulators and for its hiring of ex-officials including Julie Williams, Friend’s predecessor as OCC chief counsel, and Mary Schapiro, ex-chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. Promontory also was a subject of a Senate hearing last week into a failed $2 billion review of U.S. foreclosure missteps.

Promontory clients listed in Friend’s filing include three of the top six U.S. banks by assets -- Citigroup Inc. (C), Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) and Morgan Stanley. (MS) Other firms, not previously known as Promontory clients, were American Express Co. (AXP), Fidelity Investments, Bank of New York Mellon Corp., Grosvenor Capital Management LP, LPL Financial Holdings Inc., MidCountry Financial Corp., National Australia Bank Ltd. (NABZY), Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. and the LexisNexis unit of Reed Elsevier Plc. (REL)

Friend said in an interview that when Comptroller of the Currency Thomas Curry asked her to come back to the agency, “I thought about it carefully” before agreeing.

“I really enjoyed Promontory, but in my heart, I really am a public servant,” Friend said.

Friend spent a decade as an OCC lawyer until 2008. For the next two years she was the Senate Banking Committee’s chief counsel under former Senator Chris Dodd, a Connecticut Democrat, helping craft the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 and a 2009 law to limit credit-card fees and increase notifications.

Dodd said in a statement that Friend “is one of the most fierce public advocates” he’s worked with.

Friend previously worked on the staffs of Senator Chuck Schumer of New York and Representative Rosa DeLauro of Connecticut, both Democrats.

The OCC memo on Friend’s recusal states that she won’t participate in Volcker talks. That’s because she advised some Promontory clients on the matter, OCC ethics counsel Jen Dickey said. Five U.S. regulators, including the OCC, proposed the Dodd-Frank Act’s Volcker rule in October 2011 and have been negotiating toward a final version while big banks have warned against it being too complex or restrictive.

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Litigation

Skadden Advises AB InBev on U.S. Approval for Modelo Deal

Anheuser-Busch InBev NV (ABI) and the U.S. Justice Department filed an agreement in court that resolves an antitrust lawsuit and allows the brewer’s $20.1 billion purchase of Grupo Modelo SAB to proceed.

AB InBev, in a filing April 19 in federal court in Washington, made binding commitments to turn winemaker Constellation (STZ) Brands Inc. into a competing brewer that will produce and control all Modelo brands in the U.S., including Corona, the country’s biggest import. The government said the accord could save beer drinkers almost $1 billion a year due to lower prices.

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP represented Anheuser- Busch InBev in the transaction and in regulatory approval. The antitrust regulatory team includes partners: Steven Sunshine, Ian John, James Keyte, Karen Hoffman Lent and Gregory Craig, on litigation.

The agreement permits AB InBev, the world’s biggest beermaker, to intensify its push into fast-growing emerging markets. It also allows Constellation to buy the stake that Modelo holds in their joint U.S. distribution venture for $1.85 billion, as announced at the time of AB InBev’s original bid. The Leuven, Belgium-based company expects the Modelo merger to deliver cost and revenue benefits of at least $1 billion a year as it extends its global lead over No. 2 SABMiller Plc. (SAB)

The company said in a statement it expects to close the transaction in June.

The case is U.S. v. Anheuser-Busch InBev NV, 13-cv-00127, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

For more, click here.

Firm News

Matthew McTygue to Head Edwards Wildman’s Boston Office

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP appointed Matthew V.P. McTygue, a partner in the firm’s business law department and co-chairman of the debt finance and capital markets group, partner-in-charge of the Boston office. He succeeds Jed Hendrick, who has led the Boston office for the past 18 years. Hendrick will assume a new role at the firm as department chairman of the public policy and government relations practice and will spend more time on his practice and professional commitments.

McTygue, who specializes in debt finance and private equity transactions, will oversee the growth of the firm’s office, continue to foster a supportive and inclusive work environment, and enhance the firm’s profile in the Boston community, the firm said. He joined Edwards Wildman in 1998.

“Matt has been deeply involved in running and participating in multiple firm committees, along with the debt finance practice at our firm,” Robert L. Shuftan, managing partner of Edwards Wildman said in a statement. “We are confident he will build on Jed’s impressive achievements for the firm in the Boston market.”

During Hendrick’s leadership, the office grew in key practice areas, including private equity and venture capital, intellectual property, public finance, insurance and reinsurance, and litigation, the firm said.

Edwards Wildman Palmer has 625 lawyers at 15 offices in the U.S., London 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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