Simpson Thacher, Ropes & Gray: Business of Law

Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP is advising Hellman & Friedman LLC, the buyout firm co-founded by Warren Hellman, which agreed to buy Hub International Inc. in a transaction that values the insurance broker at about $4.4 billion. Kirkland & Ellis LLP represents Apax Partners and Hub in the sale.

The Simpson Thacher team includes Andrew Smith and Richard Capelouto, mergers and acquisitions; Chad Skinner, equity co-investment; Brian Steinhardt, credit; Rise Norman and Daniel Webb, capital markets; Tristan Brown, executive compensation and employee benefits; Tom Wuchenich, funds; and Katharine Moir, tax.

The Kirkland team includes corporate partners Srinivas Kaushik and Leo Greenberg.

The deal is the largest takeover of a U.S. insurance broker on record, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Funds managed by Hellman & Friedman will own a majority stake, while management of Chicago-based Hub will maintain a “significant equity position,” the broker said in a statement today.

Private-equity firms including KKR & Co. and CVC Capital Partners Ltd. have been striking deals in insurance services to benefit from steady cash flow and low capital expenditure. Hub has more than 6,500 employees in the U.S., Canada and Brazil, the company said. It’s projecting revenue this year of about $1.2 billion.

Hub was taken private in 2007 by London-based private-equity firm Apax Partners LLP and Morgan Stanley’s private investment unit in a $2 billion transaction. The owners built the company into the largest insurance brokerage in the Canadian market and expanded its business to Brazil, Apax said in an e-mail yesterday.

Hellman & Friedman, based in San Francisco, was started in 1984 and is led by Philip Hammarskjold. The firm was founded by Hellman, who died in 2011, and Tully Friedman, who runs Friedman Fleischer & Lowe LLC, a San Francisco-based firm that invests $50 million to $500 million in companies.

Boston Globe to Be Sold to Red Sox’s Henry for $70 Million

Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP advised the New York Times Co., which put its Boston Globe newspaper up for sale this year, and agreed to sell the publication to John Henry, owner of the Boston Red Sox baseball team, for $70 million in cash. Shearman & Sterling LLP is representing John W. Henry.

Morgan Lewis’ deal team was led by business and finance partners Robert Dickey and Howard Kenny and included partners Richard Zarin, tax; Ron Dreben, intellectual property; Judith Walkoff, business and finance; Gary Rothstein, employee benefits and executive compensation; and Harry Robins, antitrust.

The Shearman & Sterling team includes partners David Connolly and Creighton Condon, mergers and acquisitions; John Cannon, executive compensation and employee benefits; and Michael Shulman, tax.

The deal is $40 million short of the $110 million in pension liabilities said to be owed by the Globe properties collectively known as the New England Media Group, and is expected to close in 30 to 60 days. The sale also includes the Globe website, the site, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, a 49 percent stake in Metro Boston, and the direct-mail marketing company GlobeDirect, the New York Times said in a statement yesterday.

Times Co. put the Globe up for sale in February and hired Evercore Partners Inc. to manage the process, part of an effort to focus on its flagship New York Times media brand. New York Times, which bought the Globe for $1.1 billion 20 years ago, mostly in stock, is coping with an industrywide decline in advertising that has caused a drop in sales and stock prices. Bids for the Globe were expected to be in the range of $100 million, people familiar with the matter said this year.

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Firm News

Hunton & Williams Names Co-Heads of Real Estate Practice Group

Howard E. Schreiber and Carl F. Schwartz were named head of Hunton & Williams LLP’s global real estate practice group. Schreiber, who has led the practice in Dallas, and Schwartz, who has led the practice in New York, succeed William A. Walsh, Jr., who will continue focusing on his real estate planning, urban investment and redevelopment, private-public ventures and commercial leasing practice, the firm said in a statement.

“We are taking the reins of a prominent practice comprised of 55 lawyers and 16 paralegals with a presence across the U.S. and in Europe,” Schwartz said in a statement. “We expect to expand in new markets and replicate our New York model, where we grew from zero to more than 20 real estate lawyers in about a year.”

Schreiber, who joined the firm in 2007 from Jenkins & Gilchrist, where he headed the national real estate department for seven years, led Hunton & Williams’ legal team in the acquisition and related credit tenant lease financing of 111 drill sites in the Barnett Shale, the firm said.

Schwartz joined the firm from Herrick, Feinstein LLP in 2012, where he headed the real estate department for 10 years. He led a legal team that advised EBNB 70 Pine Owner LLC in connection with a $300 million construction loan with respect to Manhattan’s 70 Pine Street, the former headquarters of AIG, the firm said.

Hunton & Williams has more than 800 lawyers at 19 offices in the U.S., Europe and Asia.


Funds Partner and Corporate Partner Joins Ropes & Gray

Ropes & Gray LLP announced that Michelle Moran has joined the London office as a partner in the investment management practice. She was previously a financial services and investment management partner in the London and Dublin offices of Decherd LLP.

Jaewoo Lee has also joined the firm as a partner in its corporate department. Lee, who was previously with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP, will initially be based in New York and Hong Kong and will relocate to Seoul after his Korean law license is approved, the firm said.

Moran’s practice focuses on the management and regulation of retail and institutional funds, including investment trusts, hedge funds and real estate funds, the firm said.

Lee has experience representing clients, including Korean companies and financial institutions, in cross-border corporate transactions, particularly private and public M&A transactions as well as global offerings of equity and debt securities.

Ropes & Gray has more than 1,100 lawyers and professionals, in 11 offices in the U.S., London and Asia.

Private Equity Partner Joins White & Case in London

White & Case LLP has added to its U.K. and European private equity practice with the hire of partner Ross Allardice in the London office.  He joins from Kirkland & Ellis LLP.

Allardice has 11 years of experience working with private equity funds on their transactions across Europe and the U.K.

“White & Case has strong private equity practices in France, Central and Eastern Europe and in Stockholm and Helsinki, and is growing quickly in Germany,” White & Case partner and head of the M&A practice in EMEA Jan Matejcek said in a statement. “Our London office has also been involved in a number of high profile private equity transactions, including recently the acquisition of Allflex by BC Partners. The firm already has sizable acquisition finance, high yield and employee & management incentives practices in London. We are now going to concentrate on growing out our London-based private equity practice.”

During the first six months of 2013, White & Case’s global M&A team advised on 102 deals with an aggregate value of $95 billion, ranking fifth among all law firms, according to a firm statement.

White & Case has lawyers in 39 offices in 27 countries.

Three Lawyers Join K&L Gates Employment, Corporate Practices

K&L Gates LLP added three partners in its Australian offices in Melbourne and Sydney. Nick Ruskin, previously at DLA Piper LLP, joins the labor, employment and workplace safety practice in Melbourne. Edward Nixey and Glenn Hughes join the firm’s Sydney office as partners in the corporate and transactional practice. Nixey was at Ashurst LLP, while Hughes joins from Henry Davis York.

Ruskin is a labor and employment lawyer with public speaking experience on workplace relations. Nixey advises domestic and international clients on public/private mergers and acquisitions, equity capital markets, and securities regulation. Hughes concentrates his practice on mergers and acquisitions with a particular focus on private equity, the firm said.

“With the addition of these three outstanding lawyers, we are pleased to build on our labor, employment and workplace capabilities along with our significant corporate and transactional offering in the growing Asia Pacific market,” Nick Nichola, K&L Gates’s managing partner, Australia, said in a statement.

K&L Gates has 48 offices in the U.S., Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and South America.

Jackson Lewis Hires in Washington and California

Jackson Lewis LLP announced that Jewell Lim Esposito and an associate, both formerly with Constangy Brooks & Smith LLP, have joined the firm’s Washington office. Esposito, a partner at Jackson Lewis, was co-chairwoman of Constangy’s Erisa practice.

Michael A. Hood, previously of Paul Hastings LLP, has also joined the firm as a partner in the Orange County office.

Esposito has more than 20 years of employee benefits and tax law experience, including fiduciary compliance, tax qualification of retirement plans, executive compensation and payroll taxes for public, tax-exempt and government contractor clients, the firm said.

Hood counsels and represents employers in wage and hour class actions, wrongful termination cases, employment discrimination charges and lawsuits, labor relations, employee benefits counseling and litigation, trade secret disputes and other matters.

Jackson Lewis has 750 attorneys at 54 locations nationwide.

Michelman & Robinson Expands Commercial & Business Practice

Michelman & Robinson LLP announced that partners William E. Adams and David C. Lee have joined M&R’s San Francisco office in the commercial and business litigation department. Adams was previously at Hanson Bridgett LLP and Lee at Fitzgerald Abbott & Beardsley LLP, where he was the co-chairman of its litigation department.

Adams has more than 23 years of experience representing individuals and corporations in business and real estate litigation matters including claims of commercial fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair business practices, breach of contract and other matters.

Lee has over 16 years of experience handling complex business and corporate litigation matters. He has a particular focus on intellectual property and contractual disputes.

Michelman & Robinson has offices in California and New York.

Wilson Elser Adds Litigation Partner in West Palm Beach Office

Richard A. Jarolem has joined Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP as a partner in the West Palm Beach office. He was previously a partner at Ciklin Lubitz Martens & O’Connell.

Jarolem has more than 15 years of experience and focuses his practice on commercial litigation including business and real estate disputes; land-use issues; governmental issues including zoning, land use and election issues, among other matters.

Wilson Elser has almost 800 attorneys in 24 offices in the U.S. and one in London.


Bulger Being Blamed for Others’ Crimes, Lawyer Tells Boston Jury

James ‘Whitey’ Bulger, the former Boston crime boss on trial for 19 murders, is being blamed for killings carried out by the government’s star witnesses, his lawyer told the jury that will begin deciding his fate.

The testimony of the 83-year-old’s one-time associates, including a former gunman who admitted to killing 20 people, can’t be trusted because they cut deals with prosecutors to avoid lengthy prison terms or death sentences, J.W. Carney, Bulger’s lawyer, said yesterday in federal court in Boston.

“The government is buying their testimony; the witnesses are selling their testimony; the currency that’s used here is how much freedom is the person going to get,” Carney told the jury in his closing statement.

Bulger, who’s also accused of running a widespread racketeering scheme, was captured in 2011 in Santa Monica, California, after hiding from authorities for 16 years. The jury must decide whether he’ll spend the rest of his life behind bars for crimes committed while he ran an Irish-American criminal gang in South Boston from the 1970s to the early 1990s.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Fred Wyshak told the jury yesterday that the evidence showed Bulger” is one of the most vicious, violent, calculating criminals to ever walk the streets of Boston.”

The jury began deliberations today after U.S. District Judge Denise Casper gave additional instructions.

The case is U.S. v. Weeks, 99-cr-10371, U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts (Boston).

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