Shearman Kuwait Deal, Baker & McKenzie: Business of Law

Dow Chemical Co., the largest U.S. chemical maker by sales, said it received $2.19 billion in cash from Petrochemical Industries Co. of Kuwait as compensation for the cancellation of a joint venture more than four years ago.

Shearman & Sterling LLP represented Dow on the mergers and acquisitions transaction and the arbitration. The Shearman deal team was led by George Casey and the arbitration team by Henry Weisburg. Anthony Grabiner of One Essex Court and Edward Sparrow of Ashurst LLP are advising Petrochemical Industries.

The payment reflects the full damages awarded by the International Chamber of Commerce as well as recovery of Dow’s costs, the Midland, Michigan-based company said yesterday in regulatory filing. Dow plans to use the money to pay down debt and remunerate shareholders, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Andrew Liveris said yesterday in a statement.

“This was earlier and larger than we expected, and gives management more flexibility for evaluating the structure of Dow’s portfolio,” Laurence Alexander, a New York-based analyst at Jefferies & Co., said in a report yesterday.

PIC, a unit of state-owned Kuwait Petroleum Corp., canceled a contract forming K-Dow, a 50-50 venture with Dow’s plastics unit, in December 2008. The failure of the venture deprived Dow of a $9 billion payment during the financial crisis, almost derailed its 2009 purchase of Rohm & Haas Co. and prompted the company’s first dividend cut.

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Baker Botts’s IP Palo Alto Head Kennerly to Join Paul Hastings

Paul Hastings LLP added Chris Kennerly, former chairman of Baker Botts LLP’s Palo Alto, California, intellectual property department, as a partner in the intellectual property practice in Palo Alto.

“We remain focused on our long-term strategy of building a market-leading, global IP practice with expertise across the pharmaceutical, high-tech, software, life science, mobile telephone and payments system industries,” William Sullivan, global chairman of the litigation practice, said in a statement. “Chris’s significant experience with technology and telecom companies will be a boon to our expanding IP practice and another important step in executing our strategy.”

Kennerly leads teams in high-profile patent and trade-secret cases, the firm said. While his practice focuses on complex IP litigation, Kennerly is also experienced in patent portfolio development and management, patent and trademark licensing, and comprehensive IP counseling, among other matters.

Paul Hastings has lawyers at 20 offices in Asia, Europe and the U.S.

Mintz Levin Adds New York Corporate Practice Member

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo PC has expanded its New York corporate and securities section with the addition of Andrew Nagel, who joins as a member. He was formerly a partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP.

Nagel has experience in mergers and acquisitions, private equity transactions, restructurings, activist shareholder matters, capital markets and corporate governance.

Mintz Levin has 500 lawyers in eight offices in the U.S. and London.

Energy and Project Partner Andrea N. Satty Joins Stroock,

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan LLP announced the addition of Andrea Satty as a partner in the firm’s energy and project finance practice group. Satty was previously a partner at the New York office of Chadbourne & Parke LLP.

Satty’s corporate and project finance practice covers mergers and acquisitions, capital market transactions and greenfield development. Her recent work includes representing lenders on the $1.5 billion financing of the $3 billion Ruby natural gas pipeline and representing GDF Suez North America Inc. on its investment in and on the $1.5 billion construction club financing of a natural gas-fired power station in Queens, New York, the firm said.

Stroock & Stroock has lawyers at four offices in New York, Los Angeles and Miami.

Jackson Lewis Hires Tracey Merwise in San Francisco

Jackson Lewis LLP announced that Tracey K. Merwise joined the firm’s San Francisco office as partner.  She was previously co-chairwoman of Severson & Werson PC’s labor and employment practice group.

She specializes in helping employers de-escalate workplace conflicts to minimize litigation risk and has provided legal advice on all aspects of workforce management, including employee leave, performance management, reasonable accommodations, workplace violence prevention and wage and hour compliance, the firm said. She also has experience defending employers in individual plaintiff and class-action lawsuits.

Jackson Lewis has 750 attorneys in 52 offices nationwide.

Dentons Adds Corporate Partner Stephen Fields in New York

Corporate lawyer Stephen M. Fields joined Dentons as a partner in the firm’s corporate practice group in New York. He was previously at McCarter & English LLP.

Fields focuses his practice on investment transactions on behalf of fund managers in leveraged buyouts, mezzanine investing and advising small business investment companies on their formation, licensing and investment transactions.

Fields has formed more than 50 private equity, mezzanine and venture capital funds in his career and has negotiated investments by numerous institutional investors, including business development companies, pension funds, insurance companies, banks, unions, endowments and family investment offices, the firm said.

Dentons has more than 2,500 lawyers and professionals in 79 locations in 52 countries across Africa, Asia Pacific, Asia, Europe the Middle East and the Americas.

McKenna Long Adds Former New York State Senator Johnson

Craig M. Johnson, a former New York state senator, will join McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP’s national government affairs practice as managing director in New York City and Albany, New York, offices. He was most recently at Bloomberg Law, a division of Bloomberg LP.

At Bloomberg, he was responsible for the development of integrated market strategies for the American legal market. At MLA, he will work on national, federal, state and local public policy and government relations matters, the firm said.

He was a member of the New York Senate from 2007 through 2010, representing the 7th Senate District (Northwest Nassau County). He was elected to the Senate in a February 2007 special election.

McKenna Long has more than 575 attorneys at 16 offices in the U.S., Brussels and Seoul.

Baker & McKenzie to Open Seoul Office, 73rd Worldwide

Baker & McKenzie LLP will open a Seoul office on May 21, the firm’s 73rd office globally and 15th in Asia Pacific.

Nam Hung Paik, a Baker & McKenzie lawyer with 25 years of experience, will be the firm’s representative in the Seoul office, which will be initially staffed by three lawyers.

“We are delighted to be able to extend our assistance to our Korean clients through our new office in Seoul,” Eduardo Leite, chairman of Baker & McKenzie’s executive committee said in a statement. “We have worked with Korean clients for many years as they have looked for new opportunities and expanded across the globe.”

During the past two years, Baker & McKenzie has also opened offices in Peru, Morocco, South Africa, Turkey and Qatar. It announced a merger with United Arab Emirates firm Habib Al Mulla in July.


Yahoo’s $30 Million May Be ‘Underpay’ for Summly’s D’Aloisio

Gregory Gale, partner at Squire Sanders LLP, talks with Bloomberg Law’s Spencer Mazyck about his representation of 17-year-old British programmer Nick D’Aloisio in the recent sale of his mobile startup Summly to Yahoo! Inc. for a reported $30 million.

Gale, in this “Rainmakers” episode, also explains why the biggest U.S. Web portal’s purchase price may be an “underpay” for the teenage entrepreneur and discusses the reasons for increased overseas M&A activity by Silicon Valley companies.

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Dotcom Accused of Crimes Nonexistent Under U.S. Law, Lawyers Say

The U.S. is accusing Kim Dotcom, the founder of the cloud-storage service Megaupload.com, of crimes that don’t exist under U.S. law, his lawyers said.

Dotcom, 39, was indicted in January last year in Virginia on charges of racketeering, money laundering, copyright infringement and wire fraud through the website. The Internet entrepreneur is scheduled in August to face an extradition hearing to the U.S. from New Zealand, where he is a resident.

“The U.S. has charged Kim Dotcom with criminal liability for the acts of his Megaupload cloud storage users, a form of secondary copyright infringement,” according to a statement from Dotcom’s attorneys. “But no criminal statute for secondary copyright infringement exists.”

The statement and a white paper from Dotcom’s lawyers Robert Amsterdam and Ira Rothken, were released to coincide with a meeting yesterday in Auckland of attorneys general from the U.S., Canada, Australia, England and New Zealand.

Eric Holder, the U.S. attorney general, and his foreign counterparts are also scheduled to meet with the Strategic Alliance Group. The group comprises the five countries’ federal policing agencies: the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation, Australian Federal Police, the U.K. Serious Organised Crime Agency, New Zealand Police and Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

The attorneys general and agencies will discuss the Megaupload case, according to Michael Gillies Smith, a spokesman for Dotcom.

The U.S. is accusing Dotcom of running the website to profit from piracy and is fighting Megaupload’s attempt to have the case thrown out in Virginia.

A dismissal “would harm (perhaps fatally) the government’s ability to fully prosecute serious criminal conduct of the corporate defendant Megaupload, the ability of victims to obtain justice, and the public’s interest in resolving the case efficiently,” U.S. Attorney Neil H. MacBride said in a filing May 2.

Dotcom and Megaupload were indicted in Virginia because they leased servers in the state. MacBride has said that was enough to go ahead with a seizure of Megaupload’s servers and Dotcom’s assets.

The New Zealand case is between Kim Dotcom and Attorney General. CIV2012-404-001928. High Court of New Zealand (Auckland). The U.S. case is USA v. Dotcom. 12-cr-00003. U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).

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