Patton Creates Public Finance Practice: Business of Law

Patton Boggs LLP started a public finance practice by hiring four Edwards Wildman Palmer LLP attorneys.

The additions, who include a partner based in New York and another in Washington, also have experience in project finance, private fund investment and infrastructure transactions.

Alphonso E. Tindall Jr. joins the firm in New York as a partner along with two additional lawyers. Alethia N. Nancoo is the new Washington partner.

“They are talented, nationally recognized attorneys who bring highly focused skills and knowledge of the public finance world,” Edward J. Newberry, managing partner of Patton Boggs, said in a statement. “Their arrival at Patton Boggs opens up a new realm of opportunities for our clients needing assistance with the full spectrum of public finance transactions and private fund investments.”

Tindall has worked on public finance matters for more than 30 years. His clients have included the states of California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey and New York City.

Nancoo focuses her practice on public and project debt financings, with an emphasis on infrastructure, airport, surface transportation, mixed-use multifamily housing and water and sewer utility sectors, the firm said. Nancoo has also advised investment banks on public and project finance transactions in the U.S. and the Caribbean.

Patton Boggs has more than 450 lawyers and professionals at offices in Washington, New York, New Jersey, Dallas, Denver and Anchorage, and internationally in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Dubai and an affiliate office in Riyadh.

Brown Rudnick Opens Latin American Practice With Hire

Alejandro Fiuza, a former K&L Gates LLP partner who helped to coordinate the firm’s Latin American practice, is joining Brown Rudnick LLP to become chairman of a new Latin American practice group.

Fiuza, who will be a partner in the corporate practice, will be based in both the Boston and New York offices. His practice focuses on cross-border transactional work, including corporate, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and venture-capital transactions, corporate finance, and international sale, distribution, agency and franchising agreements.

Brown Rudnick’s new Latin American practice group will advise U.S. businesses and other global clients in cross-border transactions in Latin America. Lawyers in the practice will also represent Latin American companies with cross-border business opportunities and litigation in the U.S. and elsewhere.

Fiuza was previously a partner at Marval O’Farrell & Mairal, the largest law firm in Argentina, where he was co-chairman of the private equity and venture capital and international trade practice groups.

“With over 24 years of experience assisting clients in cross-border transactional work, with a particular focus on Latin America, Alejandro is the ideal lawyer to help launch our Latin American practice,” Joseph F. Ryan, chairman and chief executive officer of Brown Rudnick, said in a statement.

Brown Rudnick has offices in the U.S. and Europe.


State Department Official Fernandez Joins Gibson Dunn

Jose W.  Fernandez, former assistant secretary of state for economic, energy and business affairs, joined Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP as a partner in the New York office.

Fernandez will focus his practice on mergers and acquisitions and finance in emerging markets in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Fernandez was nominated by President Obama, confirmed by the Senate and sworn in to his former position in 2009. During his tenure, he led the bureau responsible for overseeing work on international trade and investment policy; international finance, development and debt policy; economic sanctions and combating terrorist financing; international energy security policy; international telecommunications and transportation policies; and support for U.S. businesses and the private sector overseas, the firm said.

“Jose will not only be an asset in our transactional and regulatory practices, but also in our international arbitration and disputes practices with his experience with bilateral investment treaties,” Steve Shoemate, co-partner in charge of the New York office, said in a statement.

Before joining the State Department, Fernandez was a partner in the New York office of Latham & Watkins LLP from 2006 to 2009, serving as global chairman of the Latin America practice.

Gibson, Dunn has more than 1,100 lawyers and 18 offices in Asia, Europe, the Americas and the Middle East.

Baker & McKenzie Antitrust Partner Joins Winston & Strawn

Winston & Strawn LLP said H. Stephen Harris Jr. will join the firm’s Washington office as a partner in the antitrust/ competition practice. Harris was formerly a partner and chairman of the North America antitrust and competition group at Baker & McKenzie LLP.

He focuses his practice on cartel defense, merger control filings, and administrative proceedings before U.S. and international courts and agencies.

“Steve will make an excellent addition to our global antitrust team,” Jeffrey Kessler, chairman of Winston’s antitrust/competition practice, said in a statement. “He has unparalleled experience in representing multinational companies with complex antitrust problems, not just in the United States but throughout China, Japan, Korea and the rest of Asia.”

Winston & Strawn LLP has lawyers at 17 offices throughout North America, Asia and Europe.

Simpson Thacher Hires Antitrust Lawyer From FTC

Federal Trade Commission official Sara Y. Razi will join Simpson Thacher & Bartlett LLP’s antitrust practice as counsel in Washington. Since 2010, she has been the deputy assistant director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition, Mergers IV Division.

At the FTC, she managed litigation and investigation proceedings for the division, including those involving hospitals, food products, retail and consumer goods, the firm said in a statement. She also has experience litigating merger challenges in federal court and in administrative proceedings.

“Sara is a seasoned antitrust and merger litigator and her experience at the Federal Trade Commission will be an asset to our clients facing antitrust challenges,” Kevin Arquit, head of Simpson Thacher’s antitrust practice, said in a statement.

Simpson Thacher has more than 850 lawyers at offices in Beijing, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Tokyo and Washington.


Skadden, Dorsey on Mosaic Deal for CF Phosphate Unit

Mosaic Co., the world’s largest phosphate-fertilizer producer, agreed to acquire a mine and other assets from CF Industries Inc. for $1.2 billion to boost its output of the crop nutrient in Florida.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP represented CF. Dorsey & Whitney LLP provided legal advice to Mosaic, with Mayer Brown LLP and Arnold & Porter LLP advising in specialist capacities, Mosaic said in a statement.

The Skadden team includes partners Brian Duwe and Richard C. Witzel Jr., mergers and acquisitions; Joseph Yaffe, executive compensation and benefits; Matthew Zisk, intellectual property and technology; John Furfaro, labor and employment; Maxwell Miller, tax; and William Conway, energy regulation and litigation.

Mayer Brown’s partners included Washington-based antitrust and competition partners Richard Favretto, John Roberti and Adrian Steel.

The Arnold & Porter partners handling this deal were Lester Sotsky, head of the firm’s environmental practice, and Joel Gross and Peggy Otum.

Dorsey & Whitney declined to provide the names of partners who worked on the case.

Mosaic will also pay $200 million to fund CF’s asset retirement obligation escrow, Plymouth, Minnesota-based Mosaic said in a statement. Mosaic said the transaction will add about 30 cents a share to 2015 earnings, excluding any debt financing costs and increase in the number of the company’s shares.

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Brooks, Coulson Face Trial Over Hacking at News Corp. Paper

Rebekah Brooks, the former chief executive officer of News Corp.’s U.K. unit, will face charges she intercepted voice-mails, paid bribes and hid evidence at a London trial that may last as long as six months.

Brooks and Andy Coulson, both 45-year-old former editors of News Corp.’s now-defunct News of the World tabloid, will stand trial over the reporting practices at the paper. A jury of nine women and three men was selected yesterday and opening arguments will start today at London’s Central Criminal Court.

More than 100 journalists and public officials have been arrested in investigations of News Corp. newspapers starting in 2011 that have uncovered allegations of phone hacking and bribery. Rupert Murdoch, the company’s chairman, shut down the News of the World in July 2011 in a bid to defuse the scandal.

The case will look at seven separate charges of conspiracy to intercept communications, conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice.

Andrew Edis is the lawyer who will lead the prosecution team. Edis successfully tried former U.K. Energy Secretary Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce in March for lying about who was driving Huhne’s car when it was caught speeding.

Brooks is represented by Jonathan Laidlaw, while Coulson’s lawyer is Timothy Langdale, who specializes in fraud and criminal trials.

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