Linklaters, Gibson Dunn, Clifford Chance: Business of Law

Competition lawyer Simon Pritchard joined Linklaters LLP in London as a partner. Pritchard is a former senior director of mergers at the U.K.’s Office of Fair Trading and a former partner at Allen & Overy LLP.

He has been involved in transactions involving DS Smith/SCA, Novartis/Alcon and Ticketmaster/Live Nation. He was also active in the EU Microsoft browser settlement and the Independent Commission on Banking and private motor insurance inquiries in the U.K., Linklaters said in a statement.

“Simon is a tremendously talented competition lawyer with a wealth of experience of the OFT, of other competition authorities, and of private practice,” Michael Cutting, Linklaters global head of competition, said in a statement.

Linklaters’ competition team has 134 lawyers, including 25 partners. The firm has lawyers at 28 offices worldwide.

Clifford Chance Abu Dhabi Finance Partner Joins Gibson Dunn

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP hired banking and finance lawyer Richard Ernest in the firm’s Dubai office as a partner. Ernest was previously a partner in the Abu Dhabi office of Clifford Chance LLP.

“Richard is one of the most talented young finance partners in the Gulf region,” said Ken Doran, Chairman and Managing Partner of Gibson Dunn. “His addition will help us continue to expand our global finance practice and to help our clients with their most important and complex financings.”

“Our Dubai office has market leading capabilities in M&A and corporate transactions, litigation and commercial arbitration, and fund formation and alternative investing ,” Paul Harter, partner in charge of the Dubai office said in a statement. “Richard’s addition rounds out the firm’s Middle East offering and adds more depth to our premier global finance practice.”

Ernest practices includes advising lenders and borrowers/investors on finance transactions such as the financing of domestic and cross-border acquisitions and general corporate lending. He is also experienced in leveraged and structured finance, project and ECA-backed finance, acquisition finance, real estate finance, and restructurings and workouts. Ernest moved to Clifford Chance’s Abu Dhabi office in January 2008 to help establish it, the firm said.

Gibson Dunn has more than 1,000 lawyers at 17 offices in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.


Barclays’s GC Harding, Finance Director Lucas Will Retire

Barclays Plc General Counsel Mark Harding will retire, the London-based company said Feb. 3 in a statement. Finance Director Chris Lucas, who is under investigation by the U.K.’s Financial Services Authority, will also retire as soon as a successor is named, the bank said.

Lucas and Harding will remain in their positions until successors are appointed, the bank said. Citing the seniority of the two roles, it said the process is likely to take “considerable time” to complete. Harding has been the bank’s general counsel since 2003.

Lucas, 52, has been Barclays’s finance director for almost six years. He was one of four past and present Barclays employees being investigated by the FSA about whether the bank adequately disclosed fees it agreed to pay to the Qatar Investment Authority when it sought to raise money from investors including the sovereign-wealth fund.

His departure follows that of the company’s three top executives, who stepped down last year after the bank was fined 290 million pounds ($455 million) for manipulating the Libor benchmark interest rate.

After the departures of Bob Diamond as chief executive officer, Marcus Agius as chairman and Jerry del Missier as chief operating officer, “this is a complete clearing of the stables, and it will be interesting to see who they hire,” said Christopher Wheeler, a London-based analyst at Mediobanca SpA who rates Barclays outperform. “Will it be someone squeaky clean, or someone punchy who will develop the business?”

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Moulton Picked to Lead Pennsylvania Probe Into Sandusky Case

H. Geoffrey Moulton Jr. was named to lead Pennsylvania’s internal probe into the case against Jerry Sandusky, the former Pennsylvania State University assistant football coach convicted last year of child sex abuse.

Moulton, a former federal prosecutor and associate professor of law at Widener Law, “will assist us in providing a comprehensive and independent examination of the facts surrounding the handling of the Sandusky investigation,”” state Attorney General Kathleen Kane said by e-mail. The findings of the investigation will be made public, Kane said.

Sandusky, 69, was convicted in June of 45 criminal counts and sentenced to at least 30 years in prison. The case led to the firings of Penn State President Graham Spanier and Joe Paterno, who headed the school’s football program for 46 years.

After winning her party’s nomination last year, Kane made reviewing the attorney general office’s handling of the Sandusky case a key issue. The former Lackawanna County prosecutor and mother of two children is the first woman and first Democrat elected to the state’s top law-enforcement office.


Oracle Agrees to Buy Acme Packet for $2.1 Billion in Cash

Weil Gotshall and Manges LLP and GTC Law Group advised Oracle Corp., the second-largest maker of business applications, on its agreement to acquire Acme Packet Inc. for $2.1 billion, gaining technology that helps corporations securely transmit information over the Internet. Bingham McCutchen advised Acme.

Weil Gotshal Silicon Valley mergers and acquisitions partner Keith Flaum led its team. Additional partners included New York tax partner Helyn Goldstein, New York executive compensation and employee benefits partner Amy Rubin, and New York executive compensation and employee benefits. Sean Belanga and Sayoko Blodgett-Ford of GTC Law were IP counsel to Oracle, a person familiar with the deal said.

The Bingham deal team for Acme was led by Boston corporate partners Julio Vega and John Utzschneider. Additional partners included Amy Mugherini and Laurie Cerveny, corporate; Jeanie Cogill, tax and employee benefits; Bill Berkowitz, antitrust and trade regulation; Jeff DuRocher, tax and employee benefits; Doug Schwarz, labor and employment practice; and Mark Robinson, white-collar investigations and enforcement practice, providing FCPA advice.

Oracle has spent more than $40 billion on more than 70 acquisitions since 2005 as Chief Executive Officer Larry Ellison works to augment its traditional business applications that run over companies’ own servers with cloud-computing products it can deliver over the Web. Acme’s tools help securely deliver voice, video and data over Internet protocol networks, pushing Oracle deeper into networking technology -- a market that’s benefiting from the boom in mobile devices.

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Firm News

Clifford Chance London Banking Litigator Moves to Hong Kong

Clifford Chance LLP announced that its London head of banking litigation, Matthew Newick, will relocate this summer to join the firm’s Hong Kong litigation and dispute-resolution team.

Newick, a Clifford Chance partner since 1999, specializes in commercial dispute resolution, the firm said.

“We have one of the strongest litigation teams in Asia Pacific with over 70 legal professionals, led by 13 partners, and we are fully committed to developing further our capabilities as part of our global strategy to support client needs in all key markets around the world,” Jeremy Sandelson, global head of litigation and dispute resolution, said in a statement.

The firm recently formed a formal law alliance with Cavenagh Law LLP which hired Singapore litigator Harpreet Singh, as a senior counsel and Paul Sandosham, a specialist in energy, infrastructure and construction-related disputes.

Clifford Chance has 3,400 lawyers at 35 offices in 25 countries worldwide. Carter Ledyard Names Trusts and Estates Department Co-Chairmen

Carter Ledyard & Milburn LLP named Jerome J. Caulfield and Michael I. Frankel co-chairmen of its trusts and estates department. The former chairman, Theodore R. Wagner, stepped down after leading the practice for 19 years.

Caulfield focuses his practice on tax, estate planning and tax-exempt organizations. Frankel’s practice includes estate planning and estate administration, the firm said.

Carter Ledyard, based on Wall Street, has a second Manhattan office with approximately 100 attorneys in the two locations.