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Buchanan Ingersoll, Fowler White Merge: Business of Law

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March 14 (Bloomberg) -- Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC and Florida-based Fowler White Boggs PA agreed to merge effective today, giving the combined firm about 530 lawyers and government relations professionals.

For the first year, the firm will be co-branded in Florida as Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney/Fowler White Boggs before taking the Buchanan Ingersoll name.

“This combination made sense from every angle,” Jack Barbour, Buchanan’s chief executive officer, said yesterday in a statement. “We were looking to increase our bench in Florida, but only with professionals from a firm with the same cultural values and strategic objectives as ours.”

Buchanan Ingersoll, which already had three offices in Florida, will now have more than 100 lawyers in the state, with almost 30 in the Miami and Fort Lauderdale offices and the remainder in Tampa, Fort Myers, Tallahassee and Jacksonville.

“Buchanan’s geographic reach and practice strengths were key factors in our decision to combine with them,” Rhea Law, Fowler’s CEO and chairwoman, said in a statement.

Buchanan Ingersoll, based in Pittsburgh, has 18 offices following the merger, including sites in California, New York and Washington. 

Deals

Proskauer Advises American Realty on Shopping Mall Spinoff

Proskauer Rose LLP is advising American Realty Capital Properties Inc. on the company’s plans to spin off most of its multitenant shopping-center business into a publicly traded real estate investment trust valued at more than $2.2 billion.

Proskauer partners Peter Fass and Steven Lichtenfeld, the co-heads of the real estate capital markets group, led the legal team, which includes partner Leslie Loffman.

The REIT will be known as American Realty Capital Centers and will initially own 69 shopping centers, the New York-based company said yesterday in a statement.

For more, click here.

Skadden, Simpson Advises on Permira’s Renaissance Learning Sale

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP is advising Permira Advisers LLP, which agreed to sell Renaissance Learning Inc. to Hellman & Friedman LLC for $1.1 billion, quadrupling its 2011 investment in the education-analytics company. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is advising Hellman & Friedman.

The Skadden team includes partners Allison Schneirov, private equity; Kenton King, corporate; Regina Olshan, executive compensation and benefits; Stephanie Teicher, banking; and Katherine Bristor, tax.

The Simpson Thacher team is led by mergers and acquisitions partner Chad Skinner and includes partners Brian Steinhardt, credit; David Rubinsky, executive compensation and employee benefits; and Peter Thomas, antitrust.

For more, click here.

News

Shareholder Lawsuits on M&A Deals Over $100 Million Continues

More than 94 percent of U.S. merger and acquisition deals topping $100 million were challenged last year, according to a report issued by Cornerstone Research, which said the data was part of a trend that began in 2010.

“As in prior years, litigation for the majority of 2013 M&A deals was resolved before the deal was closed,” Lassaad Adel Turki, a senior vice president of Cornerstone Research and head of the firm’s finance practice, said in a statement. “None of the lawsuits in our data went to trial, and all judgments, including summary judgments or judgments on the pleadings, were granted to the defendants.”

Plaintiff attorneys filed 612 suits challenging mergers and acquisitions in 2013, with most deals averaging five lawsuits. The Dell Inc. buyout resulted in 26 filings, the most of any M&A deal in 2013, according to the report.

For more, click here. 

Moves

Paul Hastings, Holland & Knight, Dentons: Lateral Moves

Paul Hastings LLP announced that Andrew Tenzer joined the firm’s restructuring practice as a partner in the New York office. He was previously a partner at Shearman & Sterling LLP.

Holland & Knight LLP recently added three new partners. William G. McCullough joined the corporate and financial services practices in Miami from Shutts & Bowen LLP. The firm also added Xavier Ruiz, formerly of K&L Gates LLP, in the New York office in its international cross-border transactions and Latin America practice groups. Tara Kaushik, who has represented energy companies, joined the West Coast land use and environmental practice. Kaushik, based San Francisco, was formerly with Manatt Phelps & Phillips LLP.

Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough LLP expanded its Jacksonville, Florida, office with the addition of three litigators who joined as partners: Frank Morreale, Troy Smith and Lee Wedekind. Morreale and Smith were with Holland & Knight LLP and Wedekind is from Smith Hulsey & Busey.

Summer Martin, formerly of McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP, joined Dentons as a partner in the health-care practice in Atlanta. 

Reed Smith LLP said Joseph Lincoln joined its financial industry group as counsel in Philadelphia. Lincoln was formerly a senior counsel at General Electric Capital Corp. in Norwalk, Connecticut.

Litigation

Exide Hiring King & Spalding for Lead Price-Fixing Investigation

Exide Technologies, the 125-year-old battery maker, asked for court permission to hire King & Spalding LLP as its special antitrust counsel to investigate possible price manipulation in the lead market.

For more, click here.

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

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net. Stephen Farr, Charles Carter

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