Debevoise, Pepper, Bingham, Eversheds: Business of Law
Debevoise & Plimpton LLP advised Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ), which said it will buy Hughes Telematics Inc. (HUTC) for $612 million in cash, vaulting the telephone company deeper into the automotive-technology market.
The Debevoise team was led by partners Jeffrey J. Rosen, chairman of the firm’s corporate department, and William D. Regner, co-chairman of the firm’s mergers and acquisitions group. New York partner Lawrence K. Cagney, chairman of the firm’s executive compensation and employee benefits group also worked on the deal.
Skadden New York partners included Jeffrey Brill, mergers and acquisitions; Gregory Fernicola, corporate finance; Stuart Finkelstein, tax; Neil Leff, executive compensation and benefits; and Wilmington corporate partner Robert Pincus.
Verizon will pay $12 a share in the acquisition, which is expected to close in the third quarter, the New York-based company said in a statement June 1.
Hughes, based in Atlanta, sells products that offer GPS tracking, communications and safety features in cars. The deal gives Verizon a new source of growth as it faces saturation in the U.S. market for mobile phones and land lines. Verizon is competing with carriers like AT&T Inc. (T) and other companies such as Apple Inc. (AAPL), which sells both devices and services.
“Connected devices are expected to be another leg of growth,” Walter Piecyk, a New York-based analyst with BTIG LLC, said in a telephone interview. Verizon is betting that the more they can operate in your car “the better they can integrate with what’s in your hand or at home,” he said.
Hughes offers voice and data connections to vehicles that are monitored through call centers, according to company filings. The system provides emergency services, location-based features and vehicle diagnostics.
Dewey Creditors Represented by Legal Recruiter, Car Service
Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP’s unsecured creditors will be represented by individuals from a legal recruiting and placement firm, a car service company and an equipment leasing company, according to a list of the three committee members appointed by the U.S. Trustee.
Tracy Hope Davis, who oversees bankruptcies in the New York region, listed HireCounsel, Inta Boro Acres Inc. and Fidelity National Capital Inc. in a notice of the appointments filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Manhattan May 31. The defunct law firm will also have a four-person committee of former partners, including two whose addresses are care of Duane Morris LLP, according to a separate filing.
Dewey’s Memorial Day bankruptcy filing indicated it might not be able to pay all of its secured debts, which it must do before giving anything to unsecured creditors. The firm disclosed $225 million of secured loans from banks and bondholders, to be paid mostly by collecting $255 million of bills to clients. Analysts value those bills at as little as 40 cents on the dollar.
Topping a list of Dewey’s unsecured creditors is the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., claiming $80 million for underfunded pensions. Second is Dewey’s landlord, Paramount Group, claiming $3.8 million for property taxes and May rent, followed by Thomson Reuters, owed $2.4 million for legal research. Former Dewey partners, including those with an estimated $100 million of guarantees, may rank equal to, or below trade creditors under bankruptcy law.
Dewey unwound fast this year as at least 250 of its 304 partners quit to join rivals. Now it faces a long fight to collect money for secured lenders led by JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Dewey had more than 1,300 attorneys in 12 countries after the 2007 merger of Dewey Ballantine LLP and LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & McRae LLP, making it the biggest bankruptcy in its business. It now has 150 employees in the U.S. to wind it down and pay creditors.
The case is In re Dewey & LeBoeuf, 12-12321, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).
Pepper Hamilton Appoints Thomas Cole Managing Partner
Thomas J. Cole Jr. was appointed managing partner of Pepper Hamilton LLP effective Jan. 1. Cole will succeed Robert E. Heideck, who will have held the role for 10 years when he steps down to resume his practice.
Cole, a partner in the firm’s labor and employment group in Philadelphia, joined Pepper Hamilton in 1996 and was elected partner in 2000.
“Tom Cole is an outstanding choice as managing partner,” Nina Gussack, chairwoman of the firm’s executive committee, said in a statement. “He has served as a member of the executive committee for six years, held the post of vice chair of that committee, and has chaired Pepper’s associates committee. He has a deep knowledge of and familiarity with the firm.”
Cole will report to Pepper’s recently appointed chief executive officer, Scott Green. The firm appointed Green, a non- lawyer, as CEO in February.
Heideck will return to full-time practice in Pepper’s construction litigation practice. He has represented owners, contractors, sureties, subcontractors and others in all aspects of construction litigation.
Pepper Hamilton has more than 500 attorneys in 12 offices nationwide.
Guy Rutherfurd, Lawyer With Family Tie to FDR Affair, Dies at 96
Guy G. Rutherfurd, former managing partner of one of New York City’s oldest law firms whose lineage included a colonial governor of New York, a U.S. vice president and the mistress of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, has died. He was 96.
He died on May 27 at his home in Manhattan after suffering from respiratory ailments, according to his son, Alec Rutherfurd.
Rutherfurd worked more than 50 years at Morris & McVeigh LLP, a Manhattan-based firm founded in 1862 to represent some of New York’s founding families, from which he descended. Among them were the Morris family, owner of large parts of Morrisania (today’s South Bronx), and the Stuyvesants, whose holdings included what is now the 80-acre Stuyvesant Town-Peter Cooper Village, Manhattan’s biggest apartment complex.
Rutherfurd, who counted Peter Stuyvesant, the last Dutch governor of what became New York, and John Winthrop, the first governor of Massachusetts, among his ancestors, wasn’t one to brag about his family’s history and connections, said Macdonald Budd, who succeeded Rutherfurd as managing partner at Morris & McVeigh in the mid-1990s.
Like the firm, Rutherfurd specialized in trusts and estates. His work included establishing the New York City-based Achelis and Bodman Foundations, of which he was a former chairman. He also played a key role in deciding to relocate the firm in the 1960s from 60 Wall St. to midtown Manhattan.
Rutherfurd’s mother, the former Alice Morton, who died when he was 4, was a daughter of Levi P. Morton, who served from 1889 to 1893 as vice president under Benjamin Harrison and from 1895 to 1897 as governor of New York.
Rutherfurd’s father, Winthrop, remarried in 1920, and the former Lucy Page Mercer became Rutherfurd’s stepmother. She would become a historical figure herself, through her association with Eleanor Roosevelt and subsequent romantic affair with Franklin Roosevelt.
Rutherfurd graduated in 1938 from Princeton University and in 1942 from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was a member of the law review and, according to Persico’s book, a shooting partner of Franklin Roosevelt Jr.
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Two Senior SEC Investigators to Leave Agency for Private Firms
Two senior U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission investigators are stepping down this month to join private law firms, leaving vacancies atop two units formed in 2010 in an overhaul of the enforcement division.
Robert Kaplan, co-chief of a 75-person unit that investigates misconduct at hedge funds and private-equity firms, will join Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in Washington as a partner on June 5, the firm said in a statement May 31. Thomas Sporkin, who heads an SEC group responsible for vetting and handling tips, is moving to BuckleySandler LLP in the coming weeks, according to a statement by that firm.
SEC Enforcement Director Robert Khuzami enlisted Kaplan and Sporkin two years ago as part of an effort to develop specialized expertise and catch frauds earlier. Khuzami hasn’t publicly announced who will fill the vacant posts.
Kaplan, who holds degrees from New York University and Columbia University, joined the SEC in 1995 as a staff attorney and later became a litigator in the trial unit. At Debevoise, he will advise investment adviser clients on enforcement and compliance matters, the firm said.
Sporkin, a 20-year veteran of the SEC’s enforcement division, helped create the Office of Market Intelligence and the Whistleblower Office mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act. He will join BuckleySandler June 18, the firm said.
Edwards Wildman Adds New Litigation Partner in London
Edwards Wildman Palmer UK LLP announced that Mark Deem, a commercial litigation lawyer, has joined the firm as a partner in its London office. He was previously at Addleshaw Goddard LLP, the firm said.
Deem has experience in domestic and cross-border commercial litigation, as well as international arbitration and regulatory matters. He focuses his practice on disputes involving data, technology, telecommunications, and outsourcing, among other areas.
Deem is the third partner to join Edwards Wildman’s London office in 2012, following the addition of eight new partners in 2011.
The partnerships of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP and Wildman, Harrold, Allen & Dixon LLP merged last October. The new firm is known as Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP. The firm has 650 lawyers in 14 offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Corporate Partner Joins Bingham McCutchen in Boston
Bingham McCutchen LLP expanded its technology, life sciences and emerging growth company capabilities in Boston with the addition of former DLA Piper LLP’s Michael Barron as a partner in the corporate practice group.
Barron, who joins the Boston office, represents technology and life sciences companies and advises companies, entrepreneurs and investors in the areas of formation and governance, early- and later-stage debt and equity financings, mergers and acquisitions, and intellectual property matters.
Bingham has more than 1,000 lawyers in 14 offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Dewey Insurance Regulatory Lawyer Joins Manatt Phelps
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP, announced that Jay B. Martin has joined the firm’s Albany office as a partner in the insurance regulatory practice. Martin was previously at Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP.
Martin’s insurance regulatory practice involves strategic advice, product design and approval, regulatory compliance, market conduct and financial examination advice to reinsurance transactions, among other things.
Manatt, Phelps has eight offices in California, New York and Washington. Two Former Dewey Partners Join Kaye Scholer in New York
Two New York transactional attorneys, formerly with Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, joined Kaye Scholer LLP’s New York office.
Christopher P. Peterson joins the firm as a corporate partner today. George M. Williams Jr., joined as finance special counsel last week.
Peterson focuses primarily on corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions and other capital markets matters, with an emphasis on acquisition finance, high-yield debt, cross-border financing and other complex securities transactions, the firm said.
He recently represented Spartan Capital Holdings Sp. z.o.o., Eileme 1 AB and Eileme 2 AG in three Senior Notes and PIK Notes offerings to refinance loans incurred in the clients’ PLN 18.1B acquisition of Polkomtel, Poland’s second-largest mobile network operator, among other matters.
Williams advises clients with regard to banking, corporate and securities law questions, including matters relating to the regulation of U.S. and non-U.S. banks and other lending institutions, bank lending documentation, the law of secured transactions, the regulation of broker-dealers and investment companies, corporate governance and periodic reporting under the securities laws, the firm said.
These two lateral additions bring the number of former Dewey attorneys who have or plan to join Kaye Scholer to a total of eight.
Kaye Scholer has 450 lawyers in nine offices the U.S., Europe and Asia.
Antitrust Partner Hired by Paul Hastings in Washington
Paul Hastings LLP hired antitrust lawyer MJ Moltenbrey, formerly of Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, as a partner in the Washington office.
She joins the firm’s antitrust and competition practice. Her practice focuses on representing clients before the Justice Department and Federal Trade Commission, state attorneys general, and in federal courts in connection with mergers, civil and criminal conduct cases, and administrative proceedings.
Moltenbrey was formerly the director of civil non-merger enforcement in the department’s Antitrust Division. In that position, she was the division’s senior career official responsible for civil conduct investigations and litigation. During her 17-year Justice Department career, Moltenbrey also served as chief of the civil task force and as trial attorney in the transportation section, the firm said in a statement.
Paul Hastings has added three partners in Washington and San Francisco to the antitrust practice in a little more than a year, the firm said.
Paul Hastings has more than 1,000 lawyers in offices in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
Firms Announce Hires in Frankfurt, London, Saudi Arabia
The Frankfurt office of K&L Gates LLP hired Julia Karen Mueller as a partner in its finance practice. Mueller joins the firm from White & Case LLP, the firm said in a statement.
David Reed has joined Arnold & Porter (UK) LLP in the London office. Reed is an international arbitration lawyer and was previously a partner and head of the London international arbitration practice at Shearman & Sterling LLP, the firm said.
Locke Lord LLP has expanded its global insurance and reinsurance practice in London with the addition of two lawyers in the insurance and reinsurance industry. Partners Damian Cleary and Gavin Coull have experience in dispute and coverage- related aspects of non-marine and non-life property and casualty underwriting and claims. They joined from Steptoe & Johnson LLP, according to Locke Lord.
Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP announced that Sean D. Jordan, previously the principal deputy solicitor general in the Office of the Attorney General of Texas joined the firm as a partner in Sutherland’s office in Austin and will co-lead the firm’s appellate practice.
Cross-border mergers and acquisitions attorney David Gitlin has joined Greenberg Traurig LLP’s Philadelphia office in the corporate and securities practice as a shareholder. He was previously a partner at Blank Rome, LLP, and the head of its Israel Practice, the firm said.
Greenberg also announced that Alais L. M. Griffin has joined its Chicago office as a shareholder in the litigation, transportation and governmental affairs practices. Prior to joining the firm, Griffin served as a political appointee in the U.S. Department of Transportation for three years.
Winston & Strawn LLP hired Justin McClelland as a partner in its commercial litigation practice in London. McClelland joins the firm from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy LLP, according to Winston.
Eversheds LLP, in association with Mohammad Al Dhabaan, has appointed Muhammad Arif Saeed, as a partner in its Saudi Arabia office. Muhammad joins the firm from Al Tamimi & Company where he was a partner responsible for corporate and commercial practice for over four years, according to Eversheds.
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