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Kramer Levin, Simpson on Del Monte Deal: Business of Law

Del Monte Pacific Ltd., the Philippines-based pineapple, tomato and fruit-juice company, agreed to buy the consumer food business of closely held U.S. foodmaker Del Monte Foods Co. for $1.68 billion to expand in the world’s biggest economy.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is representing Del Monte Foods, while Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP represents Del Monte Pacific.

The Kramer Levin team includes partners Jay A. Neveloff, real estate; Peter G. Smith, corporate; and David J. Fisher, banking and finance.

Corporate partner Marni Lerner is leading Simpson Thacher’s team.

The deal between the two unaffiliated companies gives the Asian firm rights to the Del Monte, Contadina, S&W and College Inn brands in the U.S., the San Francisco-based company said in a statement Oct. 15. The Philippine company already has licenses for some of the brands in parts of Asia.

Del Monte Pacific is seeking to expand into the U.S., where consumer spending rose in August for a fourth consecutive month. The deal gives it canned fruit, vegetable and broth brands as part of a business that counts Wal-Mart Stores Inc. among its customers. The lines generate annual sales of about $1.8 billion, according to the statement.

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Ex-New York State Charities Bureau Chief Joins Zuckerman Spaeder

Zuckerman Spaeder LLP hired Jason R. Lilien, former New York State charities bureau chief under Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman, in the firm’s New York office to lead its new nonprofit-organizations practice.

Lilien will represent clients in the nonprofit sector in corporate governance and compliance matters, internal investigations, regulatory and enforcement actions, corporate transactions, nonprofit formation, and charitable fundraising the firm said.

“Under his leadership, we have taken our Charities Bureau to an entirely new level and made it a vehicle for transformational change for New York’s nonprofits,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “Without Jason’s leadership, we would never have passed groundbreaking charities reform legislation in New York.”

Lilien joins former colleagues, Steven M. Cohen, who was Governor Andrew Cuomo’s top adviser and Cuomo’s chief of staff in the attorney general’s office, and Mitra Hormozi, former chairman of the New York State Commission on Public Integrity and former chief of the Organized Crime Unit of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York.

Zuckerman Spaeder has lawyers at offices in Washington, New York, Tampa, Florida, and Baltimore.

McCarter & English Adds Investment Management Lawyers

McCarter & English LLP announced that Laura Anne Corsell joined the firm as a partner along with a counsel in Philadelphia. She was previously a partner at Montgomery, McCracken, Walker & Rhoads LLP and chairwoman of the investment management practice.

Corsell counsels investment companies and investment advisers with respect to the Investment Company Act of 1940, the Investment Advisers Act of 1940 and related federal and state regulations, the firm said.

“McCarter’s commitment to a cross-disciplinary approach to its financial services clients was critical in our decision to join McCarter,” Corsell said in a statement. “We hope our experience in investment management will complement the deep expertise for which McCarter’s business practice groups have long been known.”

McCarter & English has 400 attorneys at offices in Boston, Hartford, Connecticut; New York; Newark, New Jersey; Philadelphia; Stamford, Connecticut; and Wilmington, Delaware.

Venable Adds to Corporate, Tax Practices in Washington

Venable LLP added Washington corporate attorney Ralph W. Hardy Jr. and tax attorney Stephanie M. Loughlin, both from Dow Lohnes PLLC. Loughlin led Dow Lohnes’s tax planning practice.

Loughlin handles tax matters such as advising businesses in structuring joint ventures and acquisitions, and she represents closely held businesses and their owners in succession issues, estate planning and charitable objectives, the firm said.

Hardy advises on transactions including mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. He has been especially active in the technology, energy, pulp and paper industries, the firm said.

Venable has offices in Washington, California, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia.

Shipping Finance Lawyer Berman Joins Norton Rose in New York

Shipping and corporate finance lawyer Brad Berman joined Norton Rose Fulbright LLP. He was previously executive director at the Liberian International Ship and Corporate Registry.

Berman focuses on maritime and corporate finance, offshore incorporation and private wealth planning.

“Norton Rose Fulbright has one of the largest teams of transport lawyers in the world. Expanding and developing our U.S. shipping practice is a continued focus, and we are fortunate to add a lawyer of Brad’s capability and esteem to the group,” Kenneth Stewart, managing partner of Norton Rose Fulbright’s U.S. member firm, said in a statement.

Norton Rose Fulbright has more than 3,800 lawyers in more than 50 cities in Europe, the U.S., Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.

Patton Boggs Adds Three Lawyers to Its Dallas Office

Patton Boggs LLP added two partners and another lawyer in its Dallas office. The firm hired Gina E. Betts, a former partner and chairwoman of the private-equity practice in the Dallas office of Locke Lord LLP as a partner. Laurie G. Lang also joined the firm as a partner from Munck Wilson Mandala. Kenneth L. Betts, previously of Locke Lord, joined the firm as of counsel.

Gina Betts has experience in corporate and securities law including representing issuers and purchasers in debt and equity public and private transactions, as well as in LBOs and MBOs, portfolio company acquisitions and dispositions, fund formations and other matters, according to her firm biography.

Lang has experience in corporate financing transactions as well as with senior and subordinated financings, secured- and unsecured-loan transactions, merger-and-acquisition financing, and workouts and restructurings, the firm said in a statement.

Kenneth Betts has represented real estate investment trusts and other issuers and underwriters in public and private offerings of debt and equity securities. He has experience structuring listed and nontraded public offerings and REIT mergers, the firm said.

Patton Boggs has more than 450 lawyers at offices in the U.S. and the Middle East.

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