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Jones Day, Gibson Dunn, Wilson Sonsini: Business of Law

Sept. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Maria Luisa Canovas, formerly of Hogan Lovells LLP, joined the New York office of Jones Day as a partner in the mergers and acquisitions practice.

Canovas’s practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and energy transactions, and her clients include major multinational companies and individual investors, as well as private investment funds, venture capital groups and their portfolio companies. She has experience advising U.S. clients on their investments in Latin America. She also advises clients on financing alternatives and exit strategies as well as on corporate workouts and restructurings.

“She will work closely with the partners and clients of our Mexico City and Sao Paulo offices, as well as of our Madrid office and our recently opened Miami office,” Wesley Johnson, partner-in-charge of Jones Day New York, said in a statement. “Her experience and recognition in the Latin American market makes her a great asset to the strong team we already have in place advising clients on transactions in the region.”

Jones Day has 40 offices in business and finance centers throughout the world.

Former California U.S. Attorney Stevens Joins Gibson Dunn

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP said Charles J. Stevens rejoined the firm in the San Francisco office as a partner.

Stevens, a former U.S. attorney, was the founding partner of Stevens, O’Connell & Jacobs, a litigation boutique focused on government investigations, which combined with DLA Piper LLP in 2011. Most recently, Stevens has been a mediator with JAMS, focusing on matters involving government claims, such as the False Claims Act and teaching a mediation course at University of California, Davis Law School.

At Gibson Dunn, Stevens will practice in the areas of government and internal investigations, white collar defense and related complex civil litigation.

“He is an outstanding lawyer with a stellar reputation both in Northern California and nationally,” Ken Doran, chairman and managing partner of Gibson Dunn, said in a statement. “Expanding the firm’s white collar practice is a priority for the firm, and the addition of a partner with Chuck’s strong background and stature both in private practice and as a U.S. attorney is a tremendous step toward expanding our white collar and litigation capability.”

Stevens became a partner at the firm in 1990, after working as an assistant U.S. attorney in the public corruption and government contract fraud unit in the Central District of California in Los Angeles.

In 1993, he was appointed U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California by President Clinton. Among other matters, he coordinated the indictment of the Unabomber.

After leaving the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Stevens and another former U.S. attorney founded the boutique litigation firm, Stevens, O’Connell & Jacobs, which focused on government and internal investigations.

Gibson Dunn has more than 1,100 lawyers and 18 offices in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

Natural Gas Lawyer Natalie Regoli Joins Baker & McKenzie

Natalie Regoli joined Baker & McKenzie LLP’s North America banking, finance and major projects practice as a partner in Houston.

Regoli, who will be a part of the energy, mining and infrastructure practice, was previously at Angola Marketing Ltd., which is part of the Angola LNG Project group of companies. She has experience advising on the lifecycle of liquefied natural gas projects, including recently working as the lead lawyer managing a $15 billion LNG facility in Angola.

As an in-house lawyer, Regoli was responsible for legal matters related to the Angola LNG facility. She also has experience in the negotiation and drafting of engineering, procurement and construction contracts and with sale and purchase agreements.

“The emergence of shale gas in North America in recent years has caused a significant shift in the global energy market and spawned considerable investments in LNG export facilities in the U.S.” David Hackett, chairman of Baker’s North America banking, finance and major projects practice, said in a statement. “Natalie has very unique experience in the U.S. and global LNG area.”

Baker & McKenzie has more than 4,100 lawyers in 74 offices in 46 countries.

Proskauer Adds to Private Investment Funds Practice in Asia

Proskauer Rose LLP said Yong Ren joined the firm’s global private investment funds group as a partner in the Beijing office.

He comes from Mayer Brown LLP, where his practice focused on representing private equity, hedge funds, funds of funds, venture capital, distressed opportunities, mezzanine and real estate firms in the U.S., Asia and Europe.

Ren represents clients in private investment funds from formation to management and compliance. He also advises China-based general partners on establishing funds and related regulatory matters.

Proskauer has offices in the Americas, Asia and Europe.

Squire Sanders Hires Financial Services Team in Sydney

Squire Sanders LLP expanded its financial services practice group with the hiring of partner Tom Lennox, who joins the firm’s Sydney office with two additional lawyers from DibbsBarker.

A structured finance specialist, Lennox has experience within the aviation and real estate sectors. The two other attorneys have experience in structured finance, particularly in the areas of asset finance and project finance.

“With the recent hire of Josh Clarke in Perth and the Lennox team in Sydney, we now have finance capabilities spanning Australia,” John Poulsen, Australian managing partner of Squire Sanders, said in a statement. “We are looking to expand our services in a number of key areas where we are experiencing client demand.”

Lennox spent 19 years at Mallesons, where he was partner in charge of the firm’s Sydney and Hong Kong offices. He was general counsel for Allco Finance Group before joining DibbsBarker in 2009.

Squire Sanders has more than 1,300 lawyers in 39 offices in 19 countries.


Twitter Sets Market Debut in Motion With SEC Filing for IPO

Twitter Inc., the microblogging service with more than 200 million members worldwide, filed to go public Sept. 12, moving closer to the most highly anticipated offering since Facebook Inc.

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati PC was San Francisco-based Twitter’s lead law firm, according to the Wall Street Journal, which sited people familiar with the matter. A call and an e-mail to Wilson Sonsini for comment weren’t immediately returned.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc. will be the lead underwriter for the initial public offering, according to people with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified because the information isn’t public. Twitter -- which disclosed it had filed to go public in one of its 140-character messages known as a tweet -- didn’t say when it may complete its market debut, or how much it plans to raise.

A public listing marks a watershed moment in Twitter’s journey from its 2006 beginning as a way for Web users to publish short messages, to a megaphone for hundreds of millions of members worldwide to join conversations on global affairs, sports and entertainment. Chief Executive Officer Dick Costolo will need to convince investors that the offering will fare better than Internet IPOs from Facebook, Groupon Inc. and Zynga Inc., which all lost more than half their value within six months of their listings.

Twitter didn’t give insight into its financials because the company filed confidentially with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS, Act. Under the rule, companies with less than $1 billion in annual revenue can submit IPO filings without making their S-1 prospectus public until shortly before the sale.

Vijaya Gadde, a former lawyer for Wilson Sonsini was promoted to general counsel on Aug. 30.

For more, click here.

Milbank Advises Underwriters in Verizon $49 Billion Bond Sale

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP said it represented the underwriters for Verizon Communications Inc.’s $49 billion bond sale, the largest corporate debt offering on record.

Milbank’s deal team was led by global securities partners Robert W. Mullen Jr. and Paul Denaro. Milbank has been underwriter counsel on other major debt transactions for Verizon. Also working on the transaction were London-based global securities partner Timothy Peterson and New York-based tax partner Andrew Walker.

Demand for Verizon bonds is being bolstered by investors seeking to align their holdings with debt indexes after the phone carrier doubled its notes outstanding with the record $49 billion offering.

Prices on Verizon debt have soared with the issuer poised to climb to the fourth-largest borrower from 12th on the Bank of America Merrill Lynch U.S. Corporate Index. The $45 billion of fixed-coupon securities in the sale may increase the New York-based company’s weighting on the Barclays U.S. Corporate Investment-Grade Index to 2.25 percent from 1 percent.

Verizon’s sale was managed by Barclays Plc, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Morgan Stanley, the company said in regulatory filings. The underwriters were paid $265.3 million in fees.

For more, click here.

Firm News

Bradley Arant Names Managing Partner of Charlotte Office

Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP named Dana C. Lumsden managing partner of the firm’s Charlotte, North Carolina, office. Lumsden is a member of the firm’s litigation department and financial services and intellectual property practice groups.

Dana “has served Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in many leadership capacities and is well suited to this new responsibility overseeing our work in Charlotte,” firm Chairman Beau Grenier said in a statement.

Lumsden focuses his practice on business litigation, including intellectual property disputes, securities and commodities litigation, investigations and enforcement proceedings, and the resolution of regulatory controversies concerning consumer financial services.

Bradley Arant has more than 440 attorneys in seven the southeastern U.S. offices.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Amon in New York at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at

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