Davis Polk, Arnold & Porter, Skadden: Business of LawElizabeth Amon
Davis Polk & Wardwell LLC hired Jonathan Leibowitz, the former chairman of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, as a partner in its Washington office.
Leibowitz, who served as an FTC commissioner from 2004 to 2009 and as chairman from 2009 to 2013, will join the firm’s antitrust team and provide counsel on privacy law, the firm said in a statement.
“With the addition of Jon, we strengthen our commitment to ensuring that our Washington office is a destination for solving complex antitrust and merger clearance issues,” Thomas J. Reid, the New York-based firms’s managing partner, said in the statement yesterday.
Leibowitz, on his 55th birthday, won a U.S. Supreme Court victory in his long-standing crusade against reverse settlement payments for generic drugs. The court ruled yesterday that consumers and regulators can sue brand-name pharmaceutical companies when they’ve paid generic drug makers to keep cheaper versions off the market.
The court stopped short of adopting the FTC’s proposal that such agreements should be presumed anticompetitive, saying the accords should be evaluated under a longstanding antitrust test known as the “rule of reason.”
At the FTC, Leibowitz oversaw a 20-month antitrust investigation of Google Inc. that left the search engine operator free to extend its dominance after the commission voted to end its review without taking enforcement action and allowing Google to make voluntary commitments.
Leibowitz said June 13 in a text message he was going on vacation in the Galapagos Islands before starting his new position because he needed to “leave civilization for a while.”
Davis Polk has more than 780 lawyers at 10 offices in the Americas, Europe and Asia.
For more, click here.
FTC Chairwoman Names Arnold & Porter Lawyer Bureau Head
Arnold & Porter LLP’s Deborah Feinstein was named director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition by FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez, who also named six other senior staff members with consumer protection and antitrust law experience.
“I am very pleased to have such a strong leadership team at the FTC,” Ramirez said in a statement. “Their knowledge and experience will help keep the FTC at the forefront in promoting competition and protecting American consumers.”
Feinstein is the head of Arnold & Porter’s U.S. antitrust practice group. She joined the FTC in 1989 and was an assistant to former Bureau of Competition Director Kevin Arquit and an attorney adviser to former Commissioner Dennis Yao.
Among her representative matters are advising General Electric and NBC Universal in connection with the Comcast-NBCU joint venture; Unilever in its acquisition of the Alberto Culver hair care business and Pepsi in the acquisitions of PepsiCo Bottling Group Inc. and PepsiAmericas Inc., according to her firm profile.
Additional FTC staff appointments include Jessica Rich to lead the Bureau of Consumer Protection. Rich had been associate director in charge of the division of financial practices since January 2012.
Jonathan E. Nuechterlein, a Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Door LLP partner who was chairman of his firm’s communications, privacy, and Internet law practice group, will be general counsel. He previously was deputy general counsel for the Federal Communications Commission from 2000 to 2001 and an assistant to the Solicitor General at the U.S. Justice Department from 1996 to 2000.
Andrew I. Gavil, a Howard University School of Law professor, will continue as director of policy planning. Randolph W. Tritell continues as director of the office of international affairs. He previously led the FTC’s International Antitrust Division and was a partner at Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP.
Jeanne Bumpus will remain director of the office of congressional relations. Heather Hippsley will be chief of staff to the chairwoman.
The Federal Trade Commission works to protect consumers from fraudulent, deceptive, and unfair business practices.
Obama Chooses Skadden’s Sloan as Guantanamo Closing Envoy
Clifford Sloan, a partner at Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher and Flom LLP, was named as the State Department’s special envoy to shut the U.S. military-run prison.
Sloan for several years has been an informal adviser to Secretary of State John Kerry, and has served in both Republican and Democratic administrations.
The Washington litigator has handled cases involving a range of industries, including intellectual property and media and entertainment issues. In February 2012, he argued before the U.S. Supreme Court in a case about the scope of double jeopardy and he’s handled cases for Rosetta Stone and the Bon Jovi band.
From 2000 to 2008, Sloan was the general counsel of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, The Washington Post Co.’s online subsidiary. From 2005 to 2008, he also was publisher of Slate Magazine, which was acquired by The Washington Post Co. in 2005.
He was associate counsel to President Bill Clinton from 1993 to 1995. From 1989 to 1991 he was assistant to the Solicitor General.
Weyerhaeuser to Buy Longview for $2.65 Billion to Add Timber
Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP represented Weyerhaeuser Co., a U.S. real-estate investment trust that owns timberland, which agreed to buy Longview Timber LLC for $2.65 billion including debt from affiliates of Brookfield Asset Management Inc. in the third-largest forestry acquisition in North America.
A Stoel Rives LLP legal team, led by Ronald G. Moffitt, Ronald J. Lone, Christopher J. Voss and Greg D. Corbin, assisted client Brookfield.
The Cravath team included partners Richard Hall and Erik R. Tavzel, mergers and acquisitions; James C. Vardell III, banking; Andrew W. Needham, tax; and Matthew Morreale, environmental.
The deal is expected to close in July and immediately add to Weyerhaeuser’s funds for distribution, the Federal Way, Washington-based company said in a statement. Weyerhaeuser plans to boost its quarterly cash dividend to 22 cents a share in September from 20 cents.
Weyerhaeuser, which also said that former Temple-Inland Inc. Chief Executive Officer Doyle Simons will take over as its chief executive officer in August, will get about 645,000 acres (261,000 hectares) of timberlands in Washington and Oregon from buying Longview. The deal will boost the U.S. acreage that it owns or controls to about 6.6 million.
Weyerhaeuser said it plans to finance the deal by raising about $2.45 billion through selling debt and equity and has a committed senior unsecured bridge loan facility with Morgan Stanley. It will offer 28 million common shares in a public offering, it said in a statement yesterday.
Weil Gotshal & Manges LLP is advising Morgan Stanley. Weil partners on the deal include Morgan Bale and Danek Freeman, banking; Jennifer Bensch, capital markets; Raymond Gietz, mergers and acquisitions; Larry Horton, tax; and Annemargaret Connolly, environmental.
The takeover is the largest forestry acquisition in North America after Resource Management Service LLC’s $5 billion purchase of International Paper Co. assets in 2006 and Plum Creek Timber Co.’s $3.34 billion acquisition of a timber business from Georgia-Pacific LLC in 2001, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
For more, click here.
Rockwood to Sell Germany’s CeramTec to Cinven for $2 Billion
Willkie Farr & Gallagher LLP partner Georg Linde led a team that provided legal advice to Rockwood Holdings Inc., the largest producer of lithium products, which agreed to sell German ceramics unit CeramTec to Cinven Ltd. for 1.49 billion euros ($2 billion) to focus on its metal business and return cash to shareholders. Clifford Chance LLP advised Cinven.
The Clifford Chance team was led by partner Christopher Kellett, who coordinated a team of lawyers drawn from the firm’s offices in Germany, China, Brazil, the Czech Republic, Japan, Italy, South Korea, Poland and Spain.
The U.S. financing team comprised partners Jason Young, banking and finance; Roderick McGillivray, finance; and Michael Dakin, capital markets. The deal team also included Cinven relationship partner Jonny Myers, as well as Brendan Moylan, corporate; partner George Kleinfeld, regulatory; and partner Greg Olsen, antitrust.
Cinven, a buyout firm dedicated to investing in Europe, expects to close the acquisition of CeramTec in the third quarter, subject to European Union competition clearance, Rockwood said in a statement.
CeramTec makes ceramic parts for replacement knees and hips as well as components for the electronic and auto industries. Rockwood Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Seifi Ghasemi is selling the business as he narrows the focus of the company. He said that Princeton, New Jersey-based Rockwood will use the proceeds to support its “balanced approach” to debt reduction, return of capital to shareholders and investment in other businesses.
Cinven, with offices in Guernsey, London, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Luxembourg and Hong Kong, won the bid for CeramTec over competitors, which included Permira Advisers LLP and Blackstone Group LP, according to three people familiar with the matter in April. The firm, which raised 5.3 billion euros this month, invests in companies with needs of more than 100 million euros in equity.
For more, click here.
Linklaters Hires Pan-Asia Antitrust Senior Partner
Linklaters LLP announced that antitrust lawyer Clara Ingen-Housz will join the firm in October as a partner in its pan-Asian antitrust practice, in Hong Kong. She is at Baker & McKenzie LLP.
Ingen-Housz has experience in the U.S, Europe and Asia, including China, in antitrust work. Her appointment will enable the firm to expand its focus on Chinese antitrust work and to develop a practice across Asia, including Hong Kong.
Linklaters has lawyers at 28 offices worldwide.
Ogletree Deakins Adds Wage and Hour Practitioner in New York
Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart PC added Eric Su as a shareholder in its New York City office. Su joins the firm from Tarter, Krinsky & Drogin LLP, where he was a partner in the firm’s labor and employment, litigation and construction practice groups.
Su focuses his practice primarily on labor and employment matters, as well as governmental affairs. His labor law practice focuses on investigations conducted by federal and state labor departments, collective bargaining negotiations, unfair labor practice charges, and other union-related issues.
Su is the 18th shareholder to join Ogletree Deakins in 2013 and the third shareholder to join the firm’s New York City office.
Ogletree Deakins has more than 650 lawyers located in 44 offices across the U.S. and in Europe.
Baker & Hostetler Hires Telecommunications Lawyer in Washington
Telecommunications lawyer Gary S. Lutzker and another lawyer joins Baker & Hostetler LLP as partner in Washington. The lawyers previously worked together at Dow Lohnes, PLLC.
Lutzker focuses his practice on communications and telecommunications law, regulation, transactions and policy. He counsels communications and media clients on transactions, operational issues and agreements, franchising, regulatory compliance and other matters.
Baker & Hostetler has more than 800 attorneys at 11 U.S. offices.
Drugmakers Opened to ‘Pay for Delay’ Suits by Supreme Court
Drugmakers can be sued for paying rivals to delay low-cost versions of popular medicines, the U.S. Supreme Court said in a decision that rewrites the rules governing the release of generic drugs.
The 5-3 ruling is largely a victory for the Federal Trade Commission and the Obama administration, reversing a lower-court ruling that had effectively insulated pharmaceutical companies from liability. The FTC says those “pay for delay” accords cost drug purchasers as much as $3.5 billion a year. The industry says the deals are legitimate patent settlements.
Deputy Solicitor General Malcolm Stewart argued for the government and Jeffrey Weinberger, of Munger, Tolles & Olson LLP, argued for the respondents.
The ruling may lead to lawsuits by wholesalers, retailers, insurers and antitrust enforcers. Bayer AG, Merck & Co. and Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. units already have faced claims. The FTC says 40 pay-for-delay accords, also known as reverse payments, were reached in fiscal 2012 alone.
“A reverse payment, where large and unjustified, can bring with it the risk of significant anticompetitive effects,” Justice Stephen Breyer said in the court’s majority opinion.
Breyer stopped short of adopting the FTC’s proposal that such agreements should be presumed anticompetitive. He said the accords should be evaluated under a longstanding antitrust test known as the “rule of reason.”
A federal appeals court had said pharmaceutical companies can’t be sued unless the patent litigation is a sham or a generic-drug maker agrees to delay introduction even after the patent has expired.
The high court case centered on Androgel, a treatment for low testosterone in men that is made by Solvay Pharmaceuticals Inc. The FTC sued Solvay and three generic-drug companies, including Actavis Inc.
The case is Federal Trade Commission v. Actavis, 12-416, U.S. Supreme Court (Washington).
For more, click here.
Sullivan & Cromwell’s Cohen Says Fed Preventing Bank Mergers
H. Rodgin Cohen, a lawyer who has represented big banks as senior chairman at Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, says Federal Reserve policy is “hindering” bank mergers.
Cohen talks with Bloomberg’s Tom Keene and Sara Eisen on Bloomberg Radio’s “Bloomberg Surveillance.”
This is a Bloomberg podcast. For more, click here.