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Baker, Clifford Chance, Royal Lawyers: Business of Law

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Baker Botts LLP’s Steve Wardlaw is taking over as partner in charge of the firm’s London office, after spending seven years in Moscow, the firm said.

During his time in Moscow, the firm grew from five attorneys representing institutional energy clients to 24, who advise on corporate, real estate and intellectual property work for Russian clients, in several industries, the firm said.

“Steve did a wonderful job in Moscow, so much so that we substantially extended what was originally intended to be only a two-year stay,” Baker Botts managing partner Andrew M. Baker said in a statement. “I look forward to Steve putting his imprint on London, and leading that office to the next level.”

Wardlaw joined Baker Botts’s London office in 2000, with a practice focused on energy clients. His clients prompted his move to Moscow in 2005. The following year he became partner in charge of that office.

He will divide his time between London and Moscow in order to serve his clients with Russia-related interests. Maxim Levinson succeeded him as partner in charge of the Moscow office.

Wardlaw succeeds Tony Higginson in London. Higginson will continue to practice, focusing on corporate and asset acquisitions and divestitures and energy sector projects.

Wardlaw said in a statement that he plans to expand the firm’s London office, which opened in 1998 and has 34 lawyers.

“Our experience in the energy, technology and life sciences sectors reflects the strength and diverse talent available to our clients throughout the firm,” Wardlaw said. “We are committed to enhancing these strengths in London, delivering advice from London to clients operating in a range of regions, including Europe, the Americas and sub-Saharan Africa.”

Baker Botts has more than 725 lawyers in 14 offices North America, Europe, China and the Middle East.

Hyde to Lead Clifford Chance Asia Pacific Finance Practice

Clifford Chance LLP elected Mark Hyde, the firm’s global head of restructuring and insolvency, to a four-year term as Asia Pacific finance practice area leader. He will relocate to Hong Kong in 2013. He will also run the restructuring and insolvency practice in Asia Pacific.

Huw Jenkins, who has led Clifford Chance’s finance practice in Asia Pacific since 2001, will continue to focus on worldwide projects as part of the firm’s energy and infrastructure group.

“We are delighted to welcome Mark back to the region and I’m certain that with his breadth of experience he will continue to build on Huw’s successes,” Peter Charlton, Asia Pacific managing partner said in a statement.

Hyde joined Clifford Chance in 1984, making partner in 1993. He has twice worked in the region. His restructuring and insolvency work has included clients such as the National Bank of Brunei, Peregrine, Monier, Dubai World and Nakheel. He has been head of restructuring and insolvency at Clifford Chance since 1998.

Clifford Chance’s Asia Pacific finance practice has more than 100 legal advisers including 23 partners in eight offices throughout the region, the firm said. Clifford Chance has 3,400 lawyers with 34 offices in 24 countries in Africa, the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East.


U.K. Royal Family Wins French Ruling on Kate Sunbathing Photos

The French magazine Closer, which published topless photos of the Duchess of Cambridge, must hand over the negatives and pay a 10,000-euro ($13,000) fine each time the images are published again, a French court ruled.

The ruling was issued today in Nanterre, France, against the magazine owned by the Berlusconi family’s Arnoldo Mondadori Editore Spa. The title was sued after it printed a series of photos of the duchess, Kate, and her husband Prince William, sunbathing on a private estate in France.

Closer was also ordered to pay Kate 2,000 euros in expenses for the case. Aurelien Hamelle, of Metzner Associes, the royal family’s lawyer, had asked for 5,000 euros at a hearing yesterday.

Delphine Pando, the lawyer representing Mondadori at the hearing yesterday, said the magazine doesn’t have staff photographers and didn’t own the photos.

“The photos are out there,” she said. “If a TV show wants to show an image of this edition, it’s got nothing to do with us.”

Ex-Trader Adoboli in Debt, Had Personal Spread-Bet Accounts

Kweku Adoboli, the former trader on trial for allegedly costing UBS AG $2.3 billion from unauthorized trades, was in debt and had several spread-betting accounts in violation of the bank’s rules, a prosecutor said.

The bank’s compliance department notified Adoboli, 32, that he should have flagged his personal trading through the spread-betting firms IG Index Plc and City Index Ltd. to UBS beforehand, prosecutor Esther Schutzer-Weissmann said at his trial in London yesterday.

Adoboli’s personal bank accounts were mostly overdrawn and he had borrowed money from various short-term lenders, she said. At UBS, his pay rose from 40,500 pounds ($65,900) in 2005 to 360,000 pounds in 2010, including bonus, another prosecutor said at the opening day of his trial last week. He lost 123,000 pounds through his personal trading with IG Index in the year leading up to his arrest, Schutzer-Weissmann said yesterday. Adoboli’s lawyers agreed not to challenge the information provided by the prosecutor.

The former trader is charged with falsifying records on exchange-traded fund transactions and other documents needed for accounting purposes as early as October 2008. Prosecutors also charged him with fraud for abusing his senior trader position. His trial, at a London criminal court, is scheduled to last eight weeks.

Lawyers at the firm Bark & Co. said in a statement on their website that Adoboli “is keen to proceed with the evidence and ensure that his own account is put forward,” which will give the jury a chance “to consider a radically different and compelling version of both his trading and the way he was managed.”

Adoboli was arrested by the City of London Police last year after he confessed in an e-mail to a UBS accountant to accruing losses during “the aggressive sell-off in the days of July and early August” as a result of the “escalation of the euro-zone crisis,” prosecutors said at the trial last week.

Adoboli worked for the Zurich-based investment bank’s Delta One desk, which handles trades for clients -- or risks the bank’s own money -- typically by speculating on a basket of securities. The loss UBS attributes to him came from trading in Standard & Poor’s 500, DAX and EuroStoxx index futures.

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Baker Botts Advises Waste Connections in $1.3 Billion Deal

Baker Botts LLP is advising Waste Connections Inc. in its agreement to buy subsidiaries of R360 Environmental Solutions Inc for about $1.3 billion, which will add oilfield waste-treatment services in the Permian, Bakken and Eagle Ford. Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Latham & Watkins LLP is advising R360.

The Baker Botts team includes partners Ted Paris and Breen Haire, corporate; Dan Kroll, tax; James Raborn, employee benefits & executive compensation; Matt Kuryla and Derek McDonald, environmental; Bob Wright, real estate; and Mitch Lukin, intellectual property.

Wachtell Lipton corporate partner Ante Vucic is leading the team for R360. Additional partners include Joseph D. Larson, antitrust; Adam J. Shapiro, executive compensation and benefits; Joshua A. Feltman, restructuring and finance; Jodi J. Schwartz and Joshua M. Holmes, tax. Latham partners Tim Fenn and Ryan Maierson in Houston and Laura Gabriel in San Francisco also advised R360.

The transaction is expected to increase Waste Connection’s earnings by boosting profit from treating, recovery and disposal services for oil and natural-gas producers, the company said in a statement yesterday.

“Through acquisitions and new facility development, R360 has created leading positions in key basins, providing closed loop oilfield waste services within an increasingly stringent regulatory environment,” Ronald J. Mittelstaedt, chairman and chief executive officer of Waste Connections, said in the statement. “This acquisition represents a natural extension of our existing E&P disposal activities.”


Former Dewey Leaders Seek to Limit Personal Liability in Suits

The top three former executives at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, the defunct law firm, filed objections to aspects of the proposed settlements with about 400 partners designed to bring in $71 million.

Steven Davis, the former chairman, Stephen DiCarmine, the former executive director, and Joel Sanders, the ex-chief financial officer, said last week that it’s improper that releases under the settlements end up making them solely liable for the firm’s failure.

The law doesn’t permit the settlements to eliminate their rights to have liability for only their “proportionate share” of damages, the three ex-executives said in a filing in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan. They also object to making secret the identities of the settling partners, saying they need to know who settled in preparing their defenses.

The firm’s former leaders also want the bankruptcy judge to strike a provision that would prevent settling partners from helping them fight lawsuits. The settlements come up for approval at a Sept. 20 hearing.

A team of four former Dewey lawyers who were involved in the $2 billion sale of the Los Angeles Dodgers this spring also have concerns. They are using the outstanding fees that need collecting from the sale as leverage in the proposed settlement, the Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

The four, Bruce Bennett, Sidney P. Levinson, James O. Johnston and Joshua M. Mester, now at Jones Day, are seeking damage claims for fraud and misrepresentation by the firm’s executive committee members, according to the paper.

Their request makes that the four partners claims for damages could continue if the clawback settlement moves forward, the WSJ reported.

Dewey once had 1,300 lawyers before liquidation began under Chapter 11 in May. The petition listed assets of $193 million and liabilities of $245.4 million as of April 30.

The case is In re Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, 12-12321, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).


Hogan Lovells Adds Five New IP Partners in Northern California

Hogan Lovells LLP hired five new intellectual property partners in Northern California, four of whom come from Hanes and Boone LLP’s Silicon Valley office.

Edward Kwok, Jennifer Lantz, Steve Levitan, and Clark Stone, most recently of Hanes and Boone, have joined Hogan Lovells as partners in the Silicon Valley office. Christian Mammen, who had his own private practice, joins Hogan in San Francisco.

“We are seeing tremendous growth in our global intellectual property and patent litigation practices, and these new partners give us additional capabilities and critical mass in one of the most important technology and IP markets in the world,” Hogan Lovells Co-Chief Executive Officer Warren Gorrell said in a statement.

The incoming partners will focus on IP litigation in federal courts, state courts, the International Trade Commission, and arbitration proceedings, with an emphasis on patent and trademark litigation for West Coast and Asia-based technology clients.

The group has experience in electrical engineering and computer science-related fields, as well as Internet search, high-temperature superconductivity, mobile telecommunications, digital video and audio, and biotechnology matters.

Hogan Lovells’ intellectual property practice group has more than 390 lawyers, specialists, and paralegals worldwide, the firm said. The team handles IP litigation in U.S. and European courts, the ITC, and other international forums.

Hogan Lovells has 2,300 lawyers at more than 40 offices in the U.S., Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and Asia.

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