DLA Piper, Weil on Vodafone Deal for Ono: Business of Law

DLA Piper LLP advised Vodafone Group Plc, the world’s second-largest wireless carrier, on its agreement to buy Spanish cable operator Grupo Corporativo Ono SA in a 7.2 billion-euro ($10 billion) transaction.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP advised Ono’s principal shareholders: Providence Equity Partners, CCMP Capital Advisors LLC, Quadrangle Capital Partners and Thomas H. Lee Partners.

The DLA Piper team included 32 lawyers led by Juan Picon, managing director of groups and sectors at DLA Piper and Spain senior partner. He was assisted by partners Jose Maria Jimenez Laiglesia, competition, and Tony Lopez, financial markets.

“A combined team from DLA Piper’s Madrid and London offices worked around the clock within a tight timeframe to assist Vodafone,” Picon said in a statement.

Weil’s deal team was led by London private-equity partner Marco Compagnoni. Weil partner Doug Nave, head of the European competition law practice, provided competition advice. Local Spanish advice was provided by Renata Mendana at Spanish firm Garrigues.

The purchase gives Vodafone 1.9 million customers in Spain, complementing its mobile service and helping it challenge Telefonica SA and Orange SA. The deal will generate savings of about 2 billion euros and potential revenue addition of 1 billion euros, Newbury, England-based Vodafone said.

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GM Plagued as Georgia’s Cooper Pushes Regulators Over Deaths

Six days after recalled almost 800,000 Chevrolet Cobalts and Pontiac G5s for a defect that could cause surprise engine shutdowns, lawyer Lance Cooper, a solo practitioner in Georgia, sent government regulators a letter: There are more faulty GM models out there.

Six days later, on Feb. 25, the automaker more than doubled its recall to include other mid-2000s GM models, including Saturn Ions and Pontiac Solstices, saying their ignition switches might unexpectedly turn off if jostled by a driver or weighed down by a heavy ring of keys, cutting power to the engine and air bags.

The recalls have clouded the reputation of the biggest U.S. automaker, spurred searches for deaths connected with the cars and raised a question that investigators in Washington, New York and inside GM are pursuing in parallel: Why didn’t GM recognize the potential dangers sooner?

To date, Cooper may have dug the deepest.

“He single-handedly set the stage for this recall,” said Sean Kane, an auto-safety analyst who credits Cooper with being the first to create a public record of what GM did with the ignition switch. Kane, the president of Rehoboth, Massachusetts-based Safety Research & Strategies Inc., has worked with plaintiffs’ lawyers on suits involving sport utility vehicle rollovers, tire recalls and claims of unintended acceleration in some Toyota Motor Corp. models. He consulted on Cooper’s suit against GM.

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K&L Gates Adds Finance Partner Hyde Based in Tokyo, Hong Kong

K&L Gates LLP added Philip Hyde, formerly of Hogan Lovells International LLP, as a partner in the finance practice. He will work out of K&L Gates’s Tokyo and Hong Kong offices.

Hyde has more than 20 years of experience advising financial institutions on debt-capital markets and finance-related transactions, including structured finance, restructuring, derivatives and securitizations, the firm said in a statement.

Holland & Knight Announces Indian Law and Policy Group Hire

James Meggesto, an American Indian law practitioner and litigator, joined Holland & Knight LLP as partner in Washington and deputy leader of the firm’s Indian law practice group. Meggesto was previously at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP.

His hiring follows this year’s addition of Robert Tompkins, who handles government contracts matters, particularly those involving Indian tribes. Tompkins was chairman of the government contracts group at Patton Boggs LLP.


Kerviel’s Lawyer Says His Walk Is to Denounce Injustice

David Koubbi, lawyer for former Societe Generale SA trader Jerome Kerviel, talks about his client’s 1,400-kilometer (870-mile) walk from Rome to Paris after meeting with Pope Francis on Feb. 19. He spoke March 14 with Bloomberg Television.

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