Kirkland, S&C, Covington on Exelon Deal: Business of Law

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is advising Exelon Corp., the largest U.S. nuclear operator, on its agreement to buy Pepco Holdings Inc. in an all-cash deal for $6.8 billion. Sullivan & Cromwell LLP and Covington & Burling LLP served as legal counsel to Pepco.

The Kirkland team was led by corporate partners George Stamas, Mark Director, William Sorabella and Andrew Herman; debt finance partners Ashley Gregory and Christian Nagler; and executive compensation partner Howard Klein.

Sullivan & Cromwell’s team was led by New York-based M&A partners Joseph B. Frumkin and Audra D. Cohen.

The Covington team consisted of Mike Lefever and Kerry Burke, corporate and securities; and Robert Newman, Mike Francese and Spencer Walters, employee benefits.

Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP acted as counsel to Goldman Sachs Group Inc., the financial adviser to Exelon, with a team led by corporate partner Philip Richter.

Baker Botts LLP’s partner Bill Lamb represented Barclays Plc, another financial adviser to Exelon.

Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP is also advising Barclays and Goldman Sachs with a team led by banking and finance partner Morgan Bale and capital markets partner Jennifer Bensch. Environmental partner Annemargaret Connolly and tax partner William Horton worked on the deal, as did M&A partner Michael Lubowitz.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP is advising both companies on the regulatory aspects of the transaction before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Department of Justice. The Skadden team includes energy litigation and regulation partner Clifford Naeve and antitrust and competition partners Steven Sunshine and John Lyons.


Latham & Watkins Adds DLA Commercial Litigator in Chicago

Latham & Watkins LLP said Samuel Isaacson joined the firm’s Chicago office as a partner in the litigation department from DLA Piper LLP.

Gibson Dunn Gets Corporate Partner Jonathan Earle in London

Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher LLP announced that Jonathan Earle, most recently at Ashurst LLP, is joining the firm as a partner in the London office, where he will continue his corporate practice, focusing on cross-border mergers and acquisitions.

Akin Gump Adds Ex-FDA Adviser to Health Industry Practice

Nathan A. Brown, a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration lawyer and Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee adviser, joined Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP as a health-care and life sciences partner in Washington.

Mintz Levin Expands IP Practice With Shieh-Newton

Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky & Popeo PC said Terri Shieh-Newton has joined the firm as a member based in San Francisco. She was most recently co-chairwoman of the stem cell and regenerative medicine practice at Morrison & Foerster LLP.


Patent-Suit Winners Can Get Legal Fees, U.S. High Court Says

Companies that successfully fight off “unreasonable” patent lawsuits can get their legal fees paid, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in a decision that may benefit Google Inc., Apple Inc. and other technology businesses.

The high court gave trial judges more power to impose fees if they determine a case “stands out from others” in the conduct of the losing party. In a related opinion, the court limited the ability of an appeals court to overturn a trial judge’s decision in such cases.

“A case presenting either subjective bad faith or exceptionally meritless claims may sufficiently set itself apart from mine-run cases to warrant a fee award,” Justice Sonia Sotomayor wrote for a unanimous court.

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Christie Bridge Prosecutors Face Hard Calls on Granting Immunity

U.S. prosecutors and New Jersey legislators face hard choices about whether to give immunity to former loyalists to Governor Chris Christie to get them to say what they know about the George Washington Bridge lane closings.

The lawmakers and New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman are investigating who ordered access lanes closed from Sept. 9 to Sept. 12 in Fort Lee, New Jersey, a scandal that hurt Christie’s popularity as he eyes a Republican run for the White House.

They have to decide whether shielding the loyalists from prosecution in exchange for their testimony is the best path to the truth about whether a crime was committed -- and by whom.

Christie commissioned a report by lawyers at Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP, which concluded he had no knowledge that others tied up traffic to punish the Democratic mayor of Fort Lee.

Fishman’s prosecutors have taken grand jury testimony, subpoenaed documents and reviewed material gathered by lawmakers. Former prosecutors say Fishman will be wary of granting immunity as he looks for criminal conduct.

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