Kirkland, Covington on Bristol Deal: Business of Law

Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. received legal advice from Kirkland & Ellis LLP on its plan to quit the diabetes-treatment business by selling its stake in a venture to partner AstraZeneca Plc for as much as $4.3 billion.

Covington & Burling LLP, together with AstraZeneca’s in-house legal team, advised AstraZeneca on the deal. Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP is advising AstraZeneca on both U.S. and U.K. tax-law matters tied to the acquisition.

The Kirkland team was led by corporate partners Sean Rodgers and Joshua Zachariah and included corporate partners David Fox, Daniel Wolf, based in New York, and corporate partner Patrick Huard in San Francisco.

Covington’s Catherine Dargan and Stephen Infante led the mergers and acquisitions team. Additional partners included Lucinda Osborne and Amy Toro, life sciences; James Dean and Miranda Cole, antitrust/competition; Mike Labson and Grant Castle, drug regulatory advice; and Christopher Walter and Robert Newman, labor and employment.

The Davis Polk tax team includes partners Neil Barr and Jonathan Cooklin.

Fried Frank Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP acted as counsel to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the financial adviser to Bristol-Myers. Corporate partner Philip Richter led the team.

AstraZeneca will pay $2.7 billion upfront and as much as $1.4 billion more depending on regulatory, commercial and sales goals, the companies said yesterday. London-based AstraZeneca also will pay as much as $225 million if some assets are transferred to Bristol-Myers.

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Latham on Essex’s $4.3 Billion Deal for BRE Properties

Essex Property Trust Inc. agreed to buy BRE Properties Inc. for about $4.3 billion, creating the largest publicly traded apartment landlord on the U.S. West Coast. Goodwin Procter LLP is advising Essex while Latham & Watkins LLP is advising BRE.

Latham’s corporate team was led by partners John Newell and William Cernius. Advice also was provided on real estate matters by partner David Meckler, on environmental matters by partner Christopher Norton, on tax matters by partners Michael Brody and Ana O’Brien, on employee benefits and compensation matters by partner James Barrall, and on finance matters by partners Glen Collyer and Kimberly Posin.

Ballard Spahr LLP is special Maryland counsel to BRE with a team that includes partner Douglas Fox. BRE’s in-house team was led by general counsel Kerry Fanwick.

Buying BRE will expand Essex’s holdings in California, particularly in the San Francisco Bay area, one of the hottest U.S. apartment-rental markets.

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Firm News

Herbert Smith Names Leydecker and Rigotti Joint CEOs

Sonya Leydecker and Mark Rigotti will take over as joint chief executive officers of Herbert Smith Freehills LLP beginning in May for a three-year term.

Both are members of the executive board. Leydecker has been head of disputes and a global head of practice for almost nine years while Rigotti is the managing partner for clients and industries, the firm said.

“Appointing new leaders represents a further important post-merger milestone, and in Sonya and Mark we are fortunate to have two partners who will bring to the role a powerful combination of management skills, leadership ability and practice experience,” senior partner Jonathan Scott said in a statement.

Leydecker, who joined the firm in 1984 and was promoted to partner in 1991, was head of disputes at Herbert Smith from April 2005 to October 2012. She became global head of disputes of Herbert Smith Freehills following the 2012 merger.  

Rigotti, who joined the firm in 1988 and was promoted to partner in 1996, was head of banking and finance at Freehills from January 2004 until November 2005 and head of corporate at Freehills from November 2005 until February 2008. He was managing partner for clients at Freehills until the merger in October 2012, when he took on his current role. 

The firm’s CEOS are former Herbert Smith managing partner and London lawyer David Willis and Sydney partner Gavin Bell, the former managing partner of Freehills.

Herbert Smith Freehills has 2,800 lawyers at more than 20 offices across Asia, Europe and the Middle East, and North America.

Akin Gump Will Open Orange County Office Led by Partner Paul Lin

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP will open an office in Orange County, California, in January, its fourth office in the state and 20th worldwide. Los Angeles corporate partner Paul Lin will be the partner in charge.  

The office will focus on cross-border matters, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, intellectual property, dispute resolution and real estate, the firm said in a statement.

“Orange County is an increasingly significant business hub for the U.S., California and, in particular, Greater China, as well as for foreign companies doing business in the U.S. and for U.S. companies conducting outbound business,” Lin said in a statement.

In addition to Orange County, Akin Gump has California offices in downtown Los Angeles, Century City and San Francisco. The firm has more than 850 attorneys in the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Moves

Dentons Adds Corporate partner Ata Dinlenc to New York office

Dentons announced two new partners this week. Ata Dinlenc joined its corporate practice as a partner in New York from Baker & McKenzie LLP.

Catherine Hess also joins the firm as a partner in the health-care practice in the Washington office. She previously worked as senior counsel at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.

Dinlenc’s practice includes energy project development, acquisitions, financings and workouts. He represents developers, investors and financial institutions in debt and equity financings and restructurings involving energy, natural resources and other assets, the firm said. He also structures and negotiates contracts related to construction, fuel supply and power sales.

Hess will focus her practice on government and internal investigations and Medicare and Medicaid compliance matters on behalf of health systems, hospitals, manufacturers and other health-care organizations, the firm said.

Dentons has about 2,600 lawyers and professionals in more than 75 locations in more than 50 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the Americas.

Nixon Peabody Hires California Private-Equity Partner Kenny

Marc Kenny joins Nixon Peabody LLP as a partner in the private-equity practice in Los Angeles. He was previously with Davis Wright Tremaine LLP. 

Kenny counsels clients on cross-border private equity, mergers and acquisitions, venture capital, securities and corporate finance transactions, with an emphasis on the digital media, communications, technology, entertainment, health-care and energy industries.

“He has an exceptional network of relationships and will leverage his connections to make strategic introductions to help our clients grow their businesses,” Seth Levy, managing partner of Nixon Peabody’s Los Angeles office, said in a statement.

Nixon Peabody has more than 600 lawyers at offices in the U.S., China and London.

Haynes & Boone Hires Real-Estate Partner Dave Calabrese in N.Y.

Haynes & Boone LLP hired real estate partner Dave Calabrese in New York. He was previously at Bryan Cave LLP.

Calabrese has experience in development and investment, as well as commercial leasing, including both capital lease transactions and occupancy lease transactions, the firm said.

“Dave’s skill and experience nicely complements the firm’s already strong bench of talent,” Walter Schleimer, co-chairman of the firm’s real estate practice group, said in a statement.

Haynes & Boone’s real estate practice has more than 60 lawyers. The firm has offices in the Americas and Asia.

BakerHostetler’Adds Tax Partner John Bates in Washington

BakerHostetler LLP said John D. Bates joined the firm’s tax group as partner in Washington. He was previously at Ivins, Phillips & Barker, a Washington tax specialty firm.

Bates practices international and corporate tax law with a focus on transactional matters. He has experience in matters including the taxation of mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and restructurings; inbound and outbound investment; and foreign tax credit planning.

BakerHostetler’s tax group has more than 75 tax attorneys in 11 offices. The firm has almost 800 attorneys in the U.S. 

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

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

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