Dewey, Reed Smith, Cleary, Paul Weiss: Business of Law

Former partners of bankrupt Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP who agreed to pay $71.5 million to avoid future lawsuits won a judge’s approval of the settlement yesterday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

More than 400 partners will make contributions of $5,000 to $3.5 million, the newspaper said. The figure is based on calculations from the former partner income last year and this, unreimbursed tax advances and unpaid capital. The settlement excludes top managers Steven Davis, the former chairman; Stephen DiCarmine, the former executive director; and Joel Sanders, the former chief financial officer.

Dewey’s secured lenders and unsecured creditors supported the settlement. Two groups of retired partners objected, saying that lawyers who earned the most should pay more, the WSJ said.

Dewey once had 1,300 lawyers before liquidation began under Chapter 11 in May. There was secured debt of about $225 million and accounts receivable of $217.4 million at the outset of bankruptcy, the firm said. 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)

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Firm News

Reed Smith Opens Singapore Office Led by London Partner

Driven by institutional clients in the energy and natural resources sector, Reed Smith LLP opened an office in Singapore. It will be led by Gautam Bhattacharyya, who will relocate from London.

“The migration of major players over recent years toward Asia and Singapore in particular has prompted the firm to follow its clients,” said Kyri Evagora, co-chair of Reed Smith’s global energy and natural resources group.

New partners Barry Stimpson and Simon Sloane, previously at Holman Fenwick Willan LLP, and Philip Antcliffe, who rejoins Reed Smith as a partner after leaving for a job at Citigroup Inc. in 2011, will be resident in the office. Several lawyers from Reed Smith’s commodities team in London will also relocate, the firm said.

Bhattacharyya’s practice is in international commercial arbitration and litigation, especially in the fields of banking and financial services, energy and infrastructure, media and entertainment, and corporate and commercial law disputes.

Stimpson has more than 18 years’ experience in commercial, shipping and offshore matters in the area of international arbitration and commercial dispute resolution, with a concentration in the energy and natural resources sector.

Sloane practices in the area of international arbitration and commercial dispute resolution, with a concentration in the hotel and leisure, insurance, mining, construction and upstream oil and gas sectors.

Antcliffe advises clients on contracts facilitating their commodity trading business. He also advises traders on execution problems arising under those contracts and litigates disputes that arise with counterparties, the firm said.

Singapore is the firm’s fourth location in Asia, after opening offices in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai. Reed Smith has more than 1,700 lawyers in 23 offices throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia and the Middle East.


Spectrum to Acquire Stanley Home Business for $1.4 Billion

Spectrum Brands Holdings Inc., the consumer-products company controlled by Harbinger Group Inc., agreed to buy Stanley Black & Decker Inc.’s home unit for $1.4 billion in cash, expanding into the home-improvement and residential-hardware market.

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP is counsel to Stanley Black & Decker. Spectrum Brands’ legal adviser is Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.

The Cleary Gottlieb corporate team includes partner Ethan Klingsberg. Additional partners from Cleary Gottlieb include Jeremy Calsyn, antitrust; Sheldon Alster, tax aspects; and Len Jacoby, intellectual property.

From Paul Weiss, partners on the deal included Paul Ginsberg and Jeff Marell, mergers and acquisitions; Eric Goodison, bank financing; and Ray Russo, bond financing.

Spectrum’s shares jumped the most in more than two years. The purchase will add 75 cents to 80 cents a share in profit in fiscal 2013, the Madison, Wisconsin-based company said yesterday in a statement.

The deal will give Spectrum, which emerged from bankruptcy in August 2009, brands including residential lockset-maker Kwikset and Pfister, a manufacturer of faucets. It will be financed exclusively with debt and is Spectrum’s largest transaction since the $661 million purchase of kitchen-appliance maker Russell Hobbs in 2010.

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Cytec to Sell Coatings Business to Advent for $1.03 Billion

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP represents Cytec Industries Inc., which agreed to sell its coatings unit to private-equity firm Advent International Corp. for $1.03 billion to focus on more profitable businesses that make carbon-fiber composites and chemicals. Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP advised Advent.

The S&C New York-based team was led by merger and acquisitions partners Stephen Kotran and Melissa Sawyer along with partner Robert Downes on financing matters.

The Freshfields team acting for Advent was led by corporate partners Stephanie Hundertmark in Berlin and Matthew Herman and Doug Bacon in New York. Additional partners included Bruce McCulloch, competition; Jochen Dieselhorst, IP/IT; Boris Dzida, employment; and Claude Stansbury, tax.

The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter, Woodland Park, New Jersey-based Cytec said yesterday in a statement. Advent, based in Boston, agreed to assume liabilities of $118 million.

Cytec, the world’s second-biggest producer of carbon-fiber materials for airplanes, said in May that it would sell its coating resins unit, its largest by revenue, to focus on metal-processing chemicals and composites. It hired JPMorgan Chase & Co. as a financial adviser in January to review options.

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Latham, Crowell, Arnold & Porter, Littler Hire New Partners

Recent U.S. lateral partner moves included two teams of three jumping to new firms in Boston and Los Angeles. Lawyers also are joining firms in Washington, Austin, Minneapolis and Atlanta.

Latham & Watkins LLP announced that Kenneth Parsigian, Gwyn Williams and William J. Trach joined the Boston office as partners in the litigation department. All three were previously partners at Goodwin Procter LLP, the firm said.

Parsigian and Williams focus on complex mass torts and product-liability matters, class actions and litigation under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act for companies such as Altria Group Inc., Latham said in a statement. Trach focuses on white-collar cases, government investigations and complex civil litigation.

In another trio defection, Crowell & Moring LLP expanded its Los Angeles health-care group with the addition of three partners. Kevin Kroeker, Peter Roan and Scott J. Moore join the firm from Locke Lord LLP. They focus on handling regulatory, litigation, and transactional matters for managed care and other health-care organizations,

Kroeker has experience advising clients on regulatory compliance issues, mergers and acquisition and other health-care transactions, enforcement matters, and nonprofit governance issues. Roan, a trial lawyer, concentrates his practice on business litigation in the health-care and insurance industries.

Moore, also a member of Crowell & Moring’s corporate group, practices general business and corporate law with a special focus on information technology and real estate transactions in the health care industry.

In Washington, Arnold & Porter LLP hired a former senior trade association executive and legal counsel, Diane Bieri, as a partner. She will work with the firm’s Food and Drug Administration and health-care practice and antitrust groups.

As executive vice president and general counsel for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, Bieri was an advocate for research-based companies in the biopharmaceutical industry. In addition to acting as lead counsel to PhRMA’s president and chief executive officer and board of directors, Bieri collaborated with senior leaders of member companies to set strategic priorities and advance policy positions that helped to facilitate and protect the development of medicines in the U.S. and internationally, the firm said.

Environmental and technology lawyer Susan Snyder rejoined Vinson & Elkins LLP as a partner in Austin, Texas. Snyder’s practice will include environmental counseling and transactional matters, and she will provide environmental risk management counseling, both domestically and internationally. Snyder previously served as an associate in V&E’s environmental practice from 1989 to 1995. From 1995 to 2007, Snyder worked for semiconductor maker Advanced Micro Devices Inc., where she was promoted to executive legal counsel and vice president of international policy and relations.

She was a partner at Jackson Walker LLP from 2007 to 2011 and has taught courses in business law, international business and law, ethics and corporate social responsibility at The University of Texas McCombs School of Business.

Littler Mendelson PC hired Karen M. Charlson, previously a partner with Felhaber, Larson, Fenlon & Vogt PA and head of its workers’ compensation and occupational safety and health practice area, as a shareholder in Minneapolis. She will continue to focus her practice on workers’ compensation and Occupational Safety and Health Administration defense representation, as well as employment counseling and litigation.

Choate Hall & Stewart LLP hired Michael R. Dube as a partner in its securities-litigation and major commercial litigation groups in Boston. Dube was counsel in Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP’s securities and litigation/controversy departments and a member of its Dodd-Frank whistle-blower working group, the firm said.

Burr & Forman LLP added Robert H.G. Lockwood in Atlanta to the firm’s intellectual-property practice. He was previously a member at Miller & Martin PLLC in Atlanta. Lockwood handles IP counseling, licensing and prosecution. His practice involves trademark, trade dress, copyright, domain name and technology issues; IP audits and policies; and the evaluation and management of IP portfolios.


Obama Campaign’s Top Lawyer From Perkins Speaks on Voter Laws

Robert Bauer, general counsel to President Barack Obama’s re-election committee, Obama for America and Democratic National Committee, talks with Bloomberg Law’s Spencer Mazyck about recent changes to voting laws across the country.

Bauer, a partner at Perkins Coie LLP, also discusses the Obama campaign’s efforts to coordinate and deploy lawyers for election challenges.

To see the video, click here.

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