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Chertoff on Port Authority Chairman Case: Business of Law

Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey’s chairman, David Samson, hired Covington & Burling LLP senior counsel Michael Chertoff to represent him in the probe of the lane closures at the George Washington Bridge, the law firm said in an e-mail.

The closures in September backed up traffic for miles in Fort Lee, the New Jersey town that abuts the bridge to Manhattan. Documents recovered during a New Jersey Assembly Committee investigation suggest the closure may have occurred because the Democratic mayor didn’t endorse Republican governor Chris Christie’s re-election.

Chertoff is a former Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and former assistant attorney general for the Criminal Division of the U.S. Justice Department, where he oversaw the investigation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. At Covington, he concentrates his practice on white-collar defense and investigations.

Samson was nominated to the Port Authority board by Christie in 2010 and elected chairman in February 2011. Christie, who said he had no knowledge of the closure, said that he spoke to Samson on Jan. 8 and believed that he knew nothing about the issue.

For more, click here.

Deals

Sullivan Represents AB InBev on Oriental Brewing Purchase

Sullivan & Cromwell LLP is representing Anheuser-Busch InBev NV in its agreement to pay $5.8 billion for South Korea’s Oriental Brewery Co.

The deal will allow InBev to regain control of a company that became the Asian nation’s biggest brewer under KKR & Co. and Affinity Equity Partners Ltd.

AB InBev, the world’s biggest beermaker, sold it to KKR in 2009 for $1.8 billion when it sought to cut debt following InBev NV’s $52 billion takeover of Anheuser-Busch Cos. KKR subsequently sold 50 percent of the asset to Affinity. Since then, Oriental Brewery has become South Korea’s largest beermaker and more than doubled earnings, boosted by its Cass brand.

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP advised KKR and Affinity with a deal team that included partners Mark Pflug, Katie Sudol and Jin Park, mergers and acquisitions; Sinead O’Shea, financing; Katharine Moir, tax; David Vann, regulatory; and Andrea Wahlquist, executive compensation.

S&C’s deal team included partner Michael DeSombre in Hong Kong and Joonkeun Yoo, special counsel in Hong Kong, along with partner Frank Aquila in New York.

For more, click here.

Partner Moves Round-up

Latham, Squire Sanders, Edwards Wildman, Littler: New Partners

Former Securities and Exchange Commission official John Sikora joined Latham & Watkins LLP’s Chicago office in the litigation department. Sikora spent 16 years at the SEC, where he most recently worked as assistant director in the Chicago Regional Office and in the asset management unit of the enforcement division, the firm said in a statement.

Also joining Latham is Howard Lam, who will be in the Hong Kong office in the finance department. He was previously at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP. Lam’s practice focuses on banking, cross-border debt restructuring and insolvency work, and complex financing transactions.

In London, Squire Sanders LLP hired Alison Hardy from Wragge & Co. for the firm’s real-estate litigation team.

Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP also hired a partner in London. James Crabtree joins the insurance and reinsurance department from Taylor Wessing, where he was head of the international insurance group.

Laura Paglia joined Borden Ladner Gervais LLP in the corporate commercial litigation and arbitration group from Torys LLP.

Winston & Strawn LLP said David E. Wang, most recently at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, joined the firm in Silicon Valley with a practice focusing on patent infringement litigation.

Littler Mendelson PC added labor and employment lawyer Tamsen L. Leachman, previously with Fisher & Phillips LLP, in the Portland office.

Carlton Fields Jorden Burt added Marc Druckman, formerly of Akerman LLP, to its business transactions practice group in Miami.

Andrea Barach joined Baker Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC in Nashville, Tennessee, as a shareholder and a member of the business department. She was previously with Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLP.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Amon in New York at eamon2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net

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