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King & Spalding, McDermott, Sidley, Venable: Business of Law

Michael D. Petty, the former vice president of development and regulatory law at Amgen Inc., has joined King & Spalding LLP’s FDA and life sciences practice. He will be a pharmaceutical regulatory partner in the firm’s Washington office.

The firm also recruited Nigel Heilpern, formerly of Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson LLP, to start a real estate department for its London office, the firm said.

Petty was responsible for building Amgen’s regulatory law department and for legal support and strategy in corporate research and development operations for pharmaceuticals, biotechnology products and medical devices. Previously, Petty was associate chief counsel for enforcement at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, where he handled a variety of civil, criminal and administrative enforcement matters.

Heilpern will join King & Spalding’s capital transactions and real estate practice group as a partner. His practice focuses on premium real estate matters, covering equity investments, banking and finance, private equity, fund formations, sales and leasebacks and general development finance. Heilpern was local head of real estate at Fried Frank, the firm said.

The London real-estate group will be the third new English law practice that King & Spalding has established in the past year, after the competition and dispute resolution groups were established. Heilpern will become the ninth lateral partner in London in the last two years, the firm said.

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

McDermott Hires Four Partners in New York, Chicago, Washington

McDermott Will & Emery LLP announced four new partner hires this week, including structured finance attorney Perry Sayles, tax litigation lawyers Roger Jones and Andrew Roberson, and energy attorney Alex Choinski.

Sayles, formerly of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP, joined the firm’s New York office as a partner in its financial institutions advisory practice group.

In addition to his work in traditional corporate finance, project finance and acquisition finance, Sayles has experience advising clients on derivatives, securitization and structured product transactions as well as collateralized loan obligations and collateralized debt obligations. Sayles also provides regulatory and transactional advice to investment funds on a range of investment strategies.

Jones and Roberson, formerly at Latham & Watkins LLP, will work in the Chicago office in the tax controversy team, the firm said. Jones focuses his practice in the area of tax controversy and international tax law. Roberson also specializes in tax controversy matters.

Alex Choinski, of Baker Botts LLP, joins the energy advisory practice in Washington. Choinski represents both borrowers and lenders in the financing of complex infrastructure projects and asset acquisitions in the electric power, oil and gas, renewable energy, transportation and telecommunication sectors domestically and internationally. Choinski has experience conducting transactional negotiations and developing legal documentation throughout Latin America, according to the firm.

McDermott has more than 1,000 lawyers, with offices in the U.S., Europe, and a strategic alliance in Shanghai.

Sidley Hires Global Finance Partner in New York

Sidley Austin LLP has hired Alexander Moon in the firm’s global finance practice as a partner in the New York office. Moon was formerly with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, the firm said.

His practice includes the representation of U.S. and international banks based in Europe and Asia in a range of secured and unsecured financings, with a focus on the financing of commodities in domestic and cross-border contexts.

Moon’s transactional experience also includes the representation of financial institutions in a variety of corporate financing activities, including general commercial lending, project financing, acquisition financing, letter of credit and trade finance facilities, commercial real estate and hospitality financing, private equity and hedge fund investments, U.S. Export-Import Bank supported financings, and various structured financing transactions.

Sidley Austin has approximately 1,700 lawyers in 18 cities in the U.S., Asia and Europe.

Venable Hires IP Partner Adam Hess in Washington

Venable LLP has hired IP litigator and counselor Adam R. Hess, who joins the firm as a partner in Washington. Hess joins the firm after 21 years with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, where he was chairman of Pillsbury’s intellectual property litigation practice as well as managing partner of the firm’s Northern Virginia office, the firm said.

An IP litigator with experience in federal court litigation and handling Section 337 investigations at the International Trade Commission, Hess also has a cross-border background representing Asia-based technology companies, in Japan, China and elsewhere. He also counsels clients on IP transactions, such as portfolio management, licensing, due diligence, and patent prosecution.

Hess is at least the 10th senior IP attorney to join Venable offices in New York, Washington and Los Angeles in the last year and a half, the firm said.

Venable has more than 500 lawyers at seven U.S. offices.


NBC Sells A&E Stake to Disney, Hearst for $3.03 Billion

Comcast Corp.’s NBC Universal entertainment unit agreed to sell its 15.8 percent stake in A&E Networks to the venture’s co-owners, Walt Disney Co. and Hearst Corp., for $3.03 billion.

Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP advised NBC Universal, while Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP advised A&E.

The Davis Polk corporate team included partners William H. Aaronson and Marc O. Williams. Partner Neil Barr is providing tax advice. Partner Arthur J. Burke is providing antitrust advice. Partner Jason Kyrwood is providing credit advice. All are based in New York.

Skadden New York banking partner Stephanie Teicher was on the deal.

NBC will be paid in cash and with a senior note issued by A&E, the company said July 10 in a filing. The price implies a $19.2 billion value for all of the company, which includes A&E, Lifetime and the History Channel cable networks.

The sale brings Philadelphia-based Comcast cash it can use to help purchase the rest of NBC Universal, Marci Ryvicker, an analyst with Wells Fargo Securities, said in a July 6 research note. Disney, based in Burbank, California, and Hearst, in New York, gain complete ownership of A&E, which also includes Military History and Crime & Investigation Network.

The three-way ownership structure for A&E Networks was created in 2009 when New York-based NBC Universal, Disney and Hearst merged the Lifetime and A&E cable channels.

The accord included a provision for NBC to leave the partnership if it chooses and for Disney and Hearst to become 50-50 owners. Comcast exercised its option on March 26.

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