White & Case Adds to Johannesburg Office: Business of Law

White & Case LLP hired three partners in its Johannesburg office as it relocated two others to its London office to enhance the firm’s project finance and bank-finance activity in sub-Saharan Africa.

Joz Coetzer, Johan de Lange, and Craig Whitley, will join White & Case as new partners in its banking and project finance groups in early 2014. De Lange joins from Webber Wentzel, where he was head of the banking and finance department. Coetzer and Whitley join from Bowman Gilfillan, where they practice banking and finance law and project finance and bank finance respectively.

“A strong Johannesburg office is fundamental to our strategy in Africa,” White & Case Chairman Hugh Verrier said in a statement. “The addition of these senior partners in Johannesburg underscores our commitment to our clients in South Africa, as well as the increasing number of multinationals and financial institutions doing business in the region.”

Project finance partner Christopher Utting, a member of the firm’s global partnership committee, will relocate to the Johannesburg office from London in January 2014 and will head the office. London-based project finance partner Mukund Dhar will join him. Dhar advises sponsors, developers, utilities and lenders on international projects, project financings and acquisitions.

The firm’s Johannesburg office was launched in 1995.

“South Africa is a natural target for expansion, given marketplace growth and the attractiveness of Johannesburg to both local and international financial institutions,” Lee Cullinane, head of White & Case’s EMEA bank finance group, said in a statement. “The redeployment of Chris and Mukund from London will be invaluable in strengthening ties throughout the firm.”

White & Case’s recent sub-Saharan African transactions include advising the lenders on the $1.2 billion financing of Indorama’s nitrogenous fertilizer complex in Rivers State, Nigeria, the largest fertilizer plant in Africa, the firm said. White & Case has also represented PanAfrican Energy Tanzania Ltd.

White & Case has lawyers in 40 offices in 27 countries.

Greenberg Traurig Creates Alternate Associate Job Position

Greenberg Traurig LLP created two new job categories and is hiring associates who would be out of work if not for the nonpartner-track positions, the American Lawyer reported.

The positions, one called “residency” and the other “practice attorney” will last for a one-year trial period. These attorneys, who will be paid lower salaries and have lower billing rates, are allowed to spend a third of their hours training, the magazine said.

The setup allows the firm to bill less for the lawyer’s work than for regular associates, TAL said. The new positions are similar to those created at law firms Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, according to the magazine.


Kennedy joins Mayer Brown to lead Asia IP, TMT Activities

Mayer Brown JSM announced that Gabriela Kennedy has joined the firm and will lead the intellectual property practice and technology, media and telecommunications capabilities in Asia. Kennedy, previously a partner at Hogan Lovells LLP, will be based in Hong Kong.

Kennedy has experience on IP matters and transactions, broadcasting regulation and media transactions, information technology outsourcing, data protection and privacy, domain names and telecoms matters, the firm said. She has also handled lobbying work on behalf of a number of industry associations in relation to IP legislation in Hong Kong.

“The depth of Gabriela’s knowledge of and experience in IP, media and technology will further bolster our already strong practice, we are very pleased to have her lead the team,” Elaine Lo, Asia chairwoman and senior partner at Mayer Brown JSM, said in a statement.

Mayer Brown JSM is part of Mayer Brown LLP, which has lawyers at offices in the Americas, Asia and Europe.

Chaudhri Rejoins Jones Day as Partner in Washington Office

Jones Day announced that Javade Chaudhri has rejoined the Washington office as a partner in the global disputes practice. Formerly a corporate and legal executive at Sempra Energy and Gateway Inc., he will advise on disputes, transactions, and governance issues, the firm said.

“Javade’s decades of experience as a general counsel and senior executive of two large global companies, combined with his many years of dealing with international transactions and problems, add a unique dimension to our office and global disputes practice,” Greg Shumaker, partner-in-charge of Jones Day’s Washington office, said in a statement.

Chaudhri was executive vice president, general counsel and chief compliance officer for Sempra Energy, since 2003. Previously he was general counsel and corporate secretary of Gateway, a computer and related technology businesses.

Jones Day has 40 offices worldwide.

Epstein Becker and EBG Advisors Hire Three Ex-CMS Executives

Three former executives from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services who most recently worked at Dentons LLP are joining Epstein Becker Green PC in Washington.

Larry Kocot, former senior adviser to the administrator of the center, joins as a member in the health-care and life-sciences practice and as an adviser with EBG Advisors in the firm’s Washington office.

Mark Hamelburg, former Director of the Medicare Part C and Part D Analysis Group at CMS, joins as a member of the health-care and life-sciences practice and as an adviser with EBG Advisors, also in Washington.

Thomas E. Hutchinson, former director of the Medicare Plan Payment Group at CMS, joins as a strategic adviser with EBG Advisors in its new Baltimore office.

The three will assist clients in relating to CMS’ traditional payment programs as well as its accountable care and other payment reform initiatives.

“Having Larry, Mark, and Tom on board, all of whom have deep-rooted experience and knowledge of these programs, significantly strengthens and enhances our ability to provide clients with a deep understanding of CMS payment systems and the numerous payment, reimbursement, and delivery reform changes contained in the ACA,” Mark Lutes, board chairman-elect of Epstein Becker Green, said in a statement.

EBG Advisors Inc., is the Washington-based consultancy arm of law firm Epstein Becker. The firm has about 275 attorneys practicing in 10 U.S. offices.

Kilpatrick Townsend Adds Global Sourcing and Tech Partner

Sonia Baldia, who was an associate law professor at Widener University School of Law, joined Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP’s global sourcing and technology team as a partner in the Washington office. She was previously a partner at Mayer Brown LLP and a co-leader of that firm’s global India practice

Baldia’s practice will include counseling U.S. and international clients on structuring and negotiating outsourcing transactions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, ERP licensing and systems integration transactions, and the commercialization and utilization of technology, the firm said.

“Sonia will also leverage her years of experience working with some of the world’s leading corporate entities conducting business in India to expand the GST Team’s U.S.-India practice,” Jim Steinberg, Kilpatrick Townsend global sourcing and technology team chairman, said in a statement.

Kilpatrick Townsend has lawyers in 17 offices in the U.S., Sweden, Japan and Shanghai.


Wall Street Profit Seen Down 37% Bitten by Legal Costs, Congress

Wall Street’s profit may fall 37 percent this year, hurt during the second half by rising interest rates, legal costs and budget turmoil in Washington, New York state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli said.

DiNapoli, in a report released yesterday, forecast securities industry earnings at $15 billion in 2013 compared with $23.9 billion the year before, while employment has fallen near a post-recession low. A drop in profit may crimp bonuses, which reached an estimated $20 billion for 2012, he said.

The partial shutdown of U.S. government operations this month rocked equities and pushed prices higher in the $4.1 trillion market for federal debt. That may lower earnings in the securities industry, which helps drive the city’s economy, DiNapoli said.

Also an issue this year are legal expenses such as a proposed $13 billion settlement from New York-based JPMorgan Chase & Co. to end federal probes of its mortgage-bond sales. On Oct. 11, the biggest U.S. bank reported a loss, its first under Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, after a $7.2 billion charge to cover rising costs tied to litigation and regulatory probes.

Citigroup Inc., the third-biggest U.S. bank and also based in New York, reported third-quarter profit that missed analysts’ estimates as bond trading slumped and U.S. mortgage revenue fell as interest rates rose during the three months ending Sept. 30.

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