Linklaters, Shearman, S&C on Steel Deal: Business of Law

Linklaters LLP advised ThyssenKrupp AG, Germany’s largest steelmaker, on its agreement to sell its U.S. plant to ArcelorMittal and Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corp. as it seeks to offload operations that are the worst investments in its more than 200-year history.

Shearman & Sterling LLP counseled ArcelorMittal while Sullivan & Cromwell LLP represents Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal.

Linklaters’s team on the $1.55 billion deal is led by partners Ralph Wollburg and Scott Sonnenblick and includes partner Gordon Warnke.

The Shearman & Sterling team included partners Peter Lyons and George Karafotias on mergers and acquisitions. The team also included partners Doug McFadyen, tax, Doreen Lilienfeld, executive compensation and employee benefits, and Samuel Waxman, intellectual property transactions.

The New York-based S&C team includes corporate partner Robert G. DeLaMater as well as partners Steven L. Holley and Juan Rodriguez on antitrust, Nader A. Mousavi on IP, and Ronald E. Creamer Jr. on tax.

The transaction includes an Alabama facility and a six-year agreement to purchase 2 million metric tons of slab annually from ThyssenKrupp’s Brazil plant, Luxembourg-based ArcelorMittal said in a statement.

ThyssenKrupp, based in Essen, spent the past 18 months trying to dispose of plants in Alabama and Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro state after writing down their value by 6.4 billion euros ($8.7 billion). Steel Americas helped wipe 14 billion euros off its parent’s market value since 2008 and forced it to abandon dividends.

For more, click here.

Firm News

Cravath Associate Bonuses Remain Same as Last Year, WSJ Says

New York law firm Cravath Swaine & Moore LLP, which usually sets an industry standard, announced year-end bonuses for associates that are unchanged from last year, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The bonuses range from $10,000 for the newest associates to $60,000 for the most senior, according to a firm memo the Journal published yesterday.

Associates who joined the firm in the class of 2008 will receive $34,000 on Dec. 20, while members of the class of 2011 will receive $14,000.

Bonuses increased last year from the previous year, when the most senior associates at Cravath got $37,500, according to the New York Times.

The bonuses aren’t awarded according to billable hours or other criteria, according to the memo cited by the Journal, although “suitable performance at that attorney’s experience level,” is required.


New Rule Allows Out-of-State Lawyers to Do Pro-Bono Work

Lawyers who work in New York as in-house counsel but live elsewhere will now be able to provide pro-bono services in New York, due to a rule change authorized by New York Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman.

The new rule, announced yesterday, allows the courts to call thousands of new attorneys to provide free legal services to the poor and underserved in New York who face potentially life shattering choices but can’t afford a lawyer and aren’t guaranteed one, Lippman said in a telephone interview.

“There is a tremendous talent pool in corporate New York, in big corporations and in the in-house counsel who work there that we’ve been able to tap in the crisis for civil legal services in our state and our courts,” Lippmann said.

The new in-house pro-bono rule, §522.8, permits attorneys admitted to practice and in good standing in another state to appear before New York judges after filing a notice of pro-bono representation and registering with the New York courts, according to a court statement.

The registered in-house attorneys will follow the rules in their own jurisdiction as well as the New York Rules of Professional Conduct and attorney disciplinary oversight.

About 20 percent of the legal needs of the poor in New York are being met, and the non-profit Legal Aid Society turns away about eight or nine of every 10 low-income New Yorkers that come to it seeking help, Lippman said.

While defendants in criminal cases are guaranteed counsel, there is no such right on the civil side for court proceedings such as foreclosures, he said.

There are almost 2 million businesses incorporated in the state, and estimates of the number of in-house counsel range from 5000 to more than 10,000, Lippman said.


Beatles’ Lawyer Paul LiCalsi Joins Robins in New York

Entertainment lawyer Paul V. LiCalsi joined Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP as a partner in the business litigation and entertainment and media litigation practices in the firm’s New York office. He previously was a partner with Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp LLP.

LiCalsi, a long-standing attorney for the Beatles in the U.S., handles commercial litigation cases with an emphasis on work in the entertainment and media industries, including intellectual property, Internet rights, unfair competition, publicity rights, and contract and commercial disputes.

“Paul has an extraordinary history in the entertainment industry and his addition is part of our strategic focus on growing our national entertainment and media litigation practice on both coasts,” Ronald J. Schutz, regional managing partner, New York, and chairman of the firm’s national IP litigation group said in a statement.

LiCalsi represents Apple Corps Ltd. in contentious and non-contentious matters involving copyright, trademark, intellectual property policing and licensing, and litigation. Other high-profile clients have included Taylor Swift, Elton John, Billy Joel, Dominick Dunne, Scholastic Inc., and American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers, the firm said.

“This opportunity opens many doors that I was previously conflicted from, and I look forward to helping expand the firm’s entertainment practice with many interesting matters,” LiCalsi said in a statement.

Robins, Kaplan has more than 230 lawyers at offices in Atlanta, Boston, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York and Naples, Florida.

Antitrust Partner Joins A&O to Head Australia Practice.

Allen & Overy LLP announced that Peter McDonald, formerly of Herbert Smith Freehills, has joined the firm as a partner and will head the antitrust and competition practice in Australia.

McDonald has experience as a competition partner specializing in merger clearances, regulatory matters and defending clients in investigations and legal actions by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, the firm said.

“Peter is without question one of the most highly regarded competition and regulatory practitioners in Australia,” Grant Fuzi, senior partner of Allen & Overy’s Australian offices, said in a statement. “We are delighted to appoint him as lead partner in the Australian jurisdiction.”

Allen & Overy’s antitrust and competition team has more than 100 members in the Asia Pacific, Europe and U.S. The firm has lawyers at 42 offices in 29 countries worldwide.

Norton Rose’s Hobley Resigns to Join Carbon Tracker Initiative

Anthony Hobley, global head of sustainability and climate change at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP in London, will leave the law firm to join the Carbon Tracker Initiative as its first chief executive officer on Feb. 1.

Hobley will leave Norton Rose at the end of January and will remain an adviser to the firm through climate negotiations in Paris near the end of 2015, he said today by phone. Hobley is also president of the Climate Markets and Investment Association, a lobby group favoring carbon markets.

Carbon Tracker, a non-profit organization that links capital markets to climate issues, in October partnered with Ceres, a shareholder activist group, and sent letters to 45 fossil-fuel companies requesting increased disclosure of risks attached to their assets. In September, scientists overseen by the United Nations said humankind had already used about half the space available in the atmosphere for heat-trapping emissions if it wants to avoid 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) of warming since industrialization.

“The Carbon Tracker Initiative is not about destroying value or closing down companies,” Hobley said. “It’s about avoiding financial instability. We don’t want to see the ‘fall of Saigon’ scenario where investors are scrambling to get into the last helicopter.”

Hobley will help investors to scrutinize plans by companies to spend billions of dollars exploring for fossil fuels that they will never burn because of greenhouse gas emission limits applied by governments over the next few years, he said.

Former Surface Transportation General Counsel Joins Sidley

Sidley Austin LLP announced that Raymond A. Atkins has joined the firm in Washington as a partner and member of the transportation practice. Atkins was previously the General Counsel of the Surface Transportation Board.

At the Transportation Board, Atkins represented the agency in all legal matters and successfully defended the agency in numerous high-stakes appeals. He also counseled the members of the STB on all transportation regulatory matters, as well as issues involving federal preemption, antitrust, and administrative law, the firm said.

Prior to his role as general counsel with the STB, Atkins was chief of staff to its chairman, during which he launched and directed more than 30 policy initiatives to improve the transparency, openness, efficiency and accessibility of the agency, the firm said.

“Ray has a wealth of expertise on the competitive and regulatory issues that are critical to the railroad industry,” Mark Hopson, the managing partner of Sidley’s Washington office said in a statement.

Sidley has more than 1,800 lawyers in 19 offices worldwide.

Fisch Hoffman Hires Two New Partners in Washington

Intellectual property boutique Fisch Hoffman Sigler LLP is adding two new partners in Washington, John Battaglia who was previously at Finnegan Henderson Farabow Garrett & Dunner LLP, and Nicholas Oldham from the Justice Department.

“Client demand fuels our expansion,” managing partner Alan Fisch said in an e-mailed statement. “Clients recognize that we have created something special -- a law firm of IP trial lawyers, not just litigators.”

Battaglia has experience representing clients in patent litigation matters, including claim construction, summary judgment, trial, and before the Federal Circuit, according to the firm.

Oldham was previously special assistant U.S. attorney in the Economic Crimes Section. His trial experience also includes computer-related cases.

Fisch Hoffman has 14 lawyers who focus on intellectual property disputes in New York and Washington.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.