Fried Frank, Weil on Media General Deal: Business of Law

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP represented Media General Inc. in its $1.6 billion acquisition of LIN Media LLC. Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP represented LIN in the deal.

Fried Frank’s team is led by corporate partners Abigail Bomba and Philip Richter and includes partners Barry Nigro, antitrust and competition; Donald Carleen, executive compensation and benefits; and Michael Alter, tax. Fried Frank also represented Media General in last year’s merger with New Young Broadcasting Holding Co.

The Weil team was led by corporate/mergers and acquisitions partners Glenn West and James Griffin. The team also included partners Kenneth Heitner, tax; Paul Wessel, benefits; Karen Ballack, technology and intellectual property transactions; Matthew Bloch, capital markets; Courtney Marcus, banking and finance; Greg Danilow, litigation; and P.J. Himelfarb, public company advisory group.

The transaction adds to more than $10 billion in U.S. TV acquisitions in the past year by companies such as Tribune Co. and Gannett Co. LIN owns a collection of local-TV stations which are in demand because of climbing fees from cable providers.

For more on the deal, click here.

Law Firm News

Skadden Settles Fletcher Claims for $4.25 Million

Richard J. Davis, the trustee for Fletcher International Ltd., a bankrupt hedge fund managed by the investment firm of Alphonse Fletcher, negotiated a settlement where Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP will pay $4.25 million.

Skadden has contended there was no basis for liability, saying its representation was limited to certain proceedings in Delaware state court.

Assuming there are no objections, the Skadden settlement is scheduled for approval on April 14 by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in New York. If there is an objection, a hearing will be scheduled.

Fletcher International Ltd. filed for Chapter 11 protection in June 2012 in New York. It showed in a court filing that assets were $52.5 million, with liabilities totaling $23.8 million.

The settlement was first reported by the New York Times.

The Chapter 11 case is In re Fletcher International Ltd., 12-bk-12796, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Lawyer Fired After Fraud Report Fights for Whistle-Blower Rights

A lawyer fired after raising concerns about corruption is seeking whistle-blower status in a U.K. lawsuit that could expand the protection to tens of thousands of professionals.

Krista Bates Van Winkelhof was a partner at Clyde & Co. in Tanzania when she reported in 2010 that an African lawyer working in association with the U.K. law firm was involved in bribery and money laundering. She sued after being suspended and expelled from the partnership in 2011 and her case reaches the U.K. Supreme Court for a hearing today.

The U.K. has been cracking down on corruption by British companies overseas, giving prosecutors more power to file bribery charges. A victory for Van Winkelhof would expand whistle-blower rules, which normally protect salaried workers, to highly paid members of professional partnerships.

“This case isn’t just about lawyers,” said Joanna Blackburn, Van Winkelhof’s attorney. “It’s about accountants, hedge funds and a host of other professionals in jobs where whistle-blowing is absolutely vital.”

Clyde & Co., a London-based law firm with 35 offices around the globe, said the case threatens the viability of many limited liability partnerships, exposing them to lawsuits over incidents that occurred as far back as 1998.

For more, click here.

Moves at Manatt, Troutman, Akin, Baker, Donelson and McDermott

The financial institutions group of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz PC hired three bankruptcy attorneys for its Washington office.

John McJunkin and David Folds will be shareholders and Dan Carrigan will be of counsel. All three attorneys previously worked at McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP.

Manatt, Phelps & Phillips LLP hired Mandana Massoumi as a litigation partner in its employment and labor practice in the firm’s Orange County, California, office. She was previously a partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP.

Troutman Sanders LLP hired two new partners. John Hamilton joined the firm’s corporate practice as a partner in Orange County. He previously worked at Bracke Manufacturing LLC, an electronic-component manufacturer, which he co-founded. Before owning his own business, Hamilton was a partner with Rutan & Tucker in Orange County.

Debbie Reperowitz joined Troutman Sanders as a partner in the firm’s financial services litigation practice in New York. Previously, she was a partner at Reed Smith LLP.  

Two partners are joining Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP’s finance practice in its Tokyo office. Anthony Raven and Simon Barrett previously worked together at Hogan Lovells LLP. Barrett most recently headed the energy and infrastructure practice at Simmons & Simmons in Tokyo, while Raven headed the energy and infrastructure practice in Tokyo for Hogan Lovells.

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP said Christopher D. Bright joined as a partner in its intellectual property practice in Irvine, California. Bright, a patent litigator, previously was a partner at McDermott Will & Emery LLP.

McDermott Will hired Michael V. O’Shaughnessy, an intellectual property litigator, as a partner in the firm’s Washington office. The patent litigator was previously a partner at Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner LLP.

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