Wachtell, Simpson, Slaughter & May, Macfarlanes: Business of Law

It was a long weekend of a different sort for the law firms working on the $130 billion Verizon Communications Inc.-Vodafone Group Plc deal announced yesterday.

Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz and Macfarlanes LLP, represented Verizon, while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP and Slaughter & May represented Vodafone. Debevoise & Plimpton LLP advised Verizon as well, while Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP represented Verizon’s financial advisers as well as the company’s lenders.

Representing Verizon from Wachtell are partners Daniel Neff, Steven Rosenblum, Eric Rosof, Jodi Schwartz and Eiko Stange; from Macfarlanes are partners Charles Martin and Graham Gibb. From Debevoise are partners Jeffrey J. Rosen, Steven J. Slutzky, Michael A. Diz and Peter A. Furci.

The Simpson Thacher partners representing Vodafone are William Curbow, Eric Swedenburg, Steve Todrys, Patrick Ryan, John Lobrano, Peter Thomas and Greg Grogan. From Slaughter & May representing Vodafone are partners Nigel Boardman, Roland Turnill and Craig Cleaver.

Davis Polk partners Phillip Mills, Simon Witty, Will Pearce and Jonathan Cooklin represented J.P. Morgan Securities LLC and Morgan Stanley & Co. as Verizon’s financial advisers.

Jason Kyrwood, Michael Mollerus and Harry Ballan, also from Davis Polk, represented JPMorgan Chase & Co., Morgan Stanley, Barclays Plc and Bank of America Corp., the banks providing roughly $60 billion in financing.

Under the terms of the deal, Verizon is buying the 45 percent stake in Verizon Wireless that Vodafone currently owns. In addition to the cash component, Verizon also will issue $60.2 billion in stock to Vodafone shareholders.

The stock portion of the deal is subject to what’s known as a collar, which places a floor of $47 and a maximum price of $51 on the shares that will be issued when the transaction closes.

The deal will give Verizon full control of the nation’s most profitable U.S. mobile phone carrier. It has been approved by both companies’ boards and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2014, according to a statement yesterday.

For more on the deal, click here.

In-House News

Bob Hoyt, PNC General Counsel, Moves to Role at Barclays

Barclays Plc, the U.K.’s second-largest bank by assets, said it hired Bob Hoyt as group general counsel from PNC Financial Services Group Inc.

Hoyt will start in mid-October, replacing Mark Harding, London-based Barclays said Aug. 30 in a statement. Before joining the second-largest U.S. regional bank as general counsel in 2009, Hoyt, 48, worked at the U.S. Treasury.

Harding quit in February with Finance Director Chris Lucas, who is under investigation by regulators about whether the bank adequately disclosed fees it agreed to pay to the Qatar Investment Authority when it sought to raise money from investors including the sovereign-wealth fund. Lucas was replaced by Tushar Morzaria last month.

“Banking is a highly regulated industry, the legal matters we face are myriad and complex, and it was important that we recruited a strong leader to succeed Mark,” Barclays Chief Executive Officer Antony Jenkins said in the statement.

The chief executive said Hoyt completes his executive team. He also hired Shaygan Kheradpir as chief operations and technology officer, responsible for helping the lender automate more systems to cut costs, and former Financial Services Authority CEO Hector Sants as head of compliance and government and regulatory relations.

Twitter’s General Counsel Announces Departure Via Tweet and Blog

Alexander Macgillivray, the general counsel of Twitter Inc., is leaving the company. He announced his departure on Friday, saying in his Twitter account that he is “Passing the torch. I care deeply about Twitter and our users, will continue to help while exploring other passions.”

Succeeding him is Vijaya Gadde, who, according to Macgillivray’s blog, has been “managing Twitter’s corporate and international legal work.” According to her LinkedIn profile, Gadde has been with Twitter for two years.

Law Firm News

Foley & Lardner Hires Beth Boland in Boston Office

Beth Boland has joined the business litigation and dispute resolution practice of Foley & Lardner LLP in the Boston office.

Boland focuses her practice on complex business litigation and government investigations in such areas as securities, insider trading, consumer and shareholder class actions and privacy, the firm said in a statement. She represents clients in industries that include high technology, financial services, manufacturing and retail. Boland also advises corporate boards regarding whistle-blower claims, corporate governance and disputes involving executive compensation and strategic business transactions.

“We are thrilled to add a lawyer of Beth’s caliber to our multifaceted team of business litigation attorneys,” Michael Tuteur, chairman of Foley’s litigation department and business litigation & dispute resolution practice, said in a statement.

Boland had been a partner in the Boston office of Bingham McCutchen LLP.

Environmental Lawyer Joins Troutman Sanders in Richmond

Brooks Smith, an environmental and administrative lawyer, has joined the environmental and natural resources practice of Troutman Sanders LLP. Smith, who previously was co-chairman of the environmental practice at Hunton & Williams LLP, will be based in Troutman’s Richmond, Virginia, office.

Smith will focus on environmental markets, sustainability, coal, energy, water, and compliance.

“Brooks’s deep environmental experience and top-flight reputation will further enhance our national capabilities,” Randy Brogdon, a partner in Troutman Sanders’s environmental and natural resources practice, said in a statement. “Brooks will play an important leadership role in the continued growth of our environmental practice.”

Smith’s practice focuses on the Clean Water Act and other areas of environmental law. Smith has helped clients develop and implement compliance assurance programs and defend against agency enforcement actions and citizen lawsuits. He has a client base that includes electric utilities, coal companies, manufacturers, water and wastewater authorities, local governments, developers and agribusinesses.

Smith wrote three books on Richmond history, contributed commentary to public radio for six years and served on a number of local non-profit boards and foundations.

First Nations Lawyer Joins Dickinson Wright in Toronto

Cherie Brant joined the Toronto office of Dickinson Wright LLP.

A member of the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte and with family from Wikwemikong First Nation on Manitoulin Island, Brant advises both First Nations and industry in the areas of commercial development, real estate and Aboriginal law. Brant provides strategic counsel to proponents in the natural resources and energy development sector seeking to develop projects with First Nations and to understand and address Aboriginal rights and interests.

In 2012, she completed the first 100 percent First Nation-owned wind power project in Ontario and is active in providing on-going advocacy to promote renewable energy development proponents across many jurisdictions, the firm said in a statement.

Brant is a member of the Law Society of Upper Canada, the Ontario Bar Association and the Canadian Council of Aboriginal Business. She is also an advisory member of the Collaborative Circle on Land and People and a board member of the Nature Conservancy of Canada, Ontario Region.

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