By Stephen Wood
Law Firm News
Hogan Lovells adds pair of counsel to D.C. office
Hogan Lovells added Laura Ponto as counsel in its government regulatory practice group in D.C. Ponto was previously head of public policy and regulatory affairs at Google X’s Project Wing. She will focus on aviation, unmanned aviation systems and other forms of emerging technology in the transportation sector. She has experience with administrative law, regulatory compliance and enforcement, litigation and policy. The D.C. office also added Greg Ferenbach as counsel in its national and international education practice. Ferenbach joins the firm from Cooley, where he served as a special counsel. He has experience in online learning, particularly state licensing matters, and the regulatory challenges facing “ed tech” companies. He also assists clients with transactions and in developing new ventures in the education field.
Tricia DeLeon joins Holland & Knight as a partner in Dallas office
Holland & Knight added trial attorney Tricia DeLeon as a litigation partner in its Dallas office. He joins the firm from Gruber Hail Johansen Shank and Bracewell, where she was a partner. DeLeon has more than 18 years of experience in business litigation across numerous industries, representing community banks, nontraditional lenders, investors and borrowers in litigation and in pre-suit, workout negotiations. She has also represented bankruptcy trustees and receivers in pursuing fraudulent transfers and preference claims pursuant to the Bankruptcy Code and the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.
Cozen O’Connor grows commercial litigation practice with Drinker Biddle group
Cozen O’Connor added a group of 14 attorneys from Drinker Biddle to its commercial litigation practice. The new hires include a trio of nationally recognized commercial litigators – Michael Miller, Gregory Star, and Stephen Harris – who will become partners based in the firm’s Philadelphia office. In addition, Miller will serve as chair of the firm’s life insurance and annuities practices group, while Star will serve as vice-chair. Miller and Star will also co-chair the newly formed software industry team. Also joining the life insurance and annuities practices group are partners Joseph Kelleher, Jennifer Smith and Susan Stauss, counsel Nicole Calabro, Jessica Goebeler and Lisa Stern, and associates Alex Hayden, Sarah Kalman, Daniel Thiel, and Laura Zulick. Charles Vinicombe, who retired from Drinker Biddle at the end of January 2018, will join the firm as counsel.
Dentons promotes six attorneys in European tax practice
Dentons promoted Thomas Voss to partner in its Europe tax practice, based out of the firm’s Frankfurt office. Voss specializes in international tax law, focusing on advising multinational companies and investors, as well as open and closed-ended funds on international transactions. In addition, the firm promoted Jean-Dominique Morelli and Christine Ntumba to managing counsel, as well as Luca Guidotti, Valentin Larin and Ngoc-My Nguyen to counsel also in the European tax practice.
Shearman Sterling names Meredith Williams-Range as chief knowledge and client value officer
Meredith Williams-Range was appointed chief knowledge and client value officer for Shearman & Sterling. Williams-Range was previously with Baker Donelson, where she served as chief knowledge management officer and as a knowledge management attorney. In her new role, she will lead the firm’s knowledge management, legal project management and other teams focused on increasing efficiency and client value.
Hayley Ichilcik joins King & Spalding’s government matters practice
Hayley Ichilcik joins King & Spalding as counsel in its white-collar crime team in the firm’s government matters practice. Ichilcik was previously counsel at O’Melveny & Myers, where she advised clients on matters involving bribery and corruption, proceeds of crime, money laundering, economic sanctions and export control regulations. She was also seconded to the Serious Fraud Office and was part of the team that secured the SFO’s first deferred prosecution agreement against Standard Bank and was awarded Prosecution Team of the Year by the Attorney General.
Christopher Carolan joins BakerHostetler as finance partner in New York office
BakerHostetler added Christopher Carolan as a partner in its debt finance, private equity and venture capital practices. Carolan comes to the frim from Seyfarth Shaw, where he worked with clients on a variety of financing transactions including asset-based loans, leveraged buy-outs, dividend re-caps, real estate loans, convertible note offerings and bridge loans and counseled clients on intercreditor relationships.
Counsel David McNeill joins Faegre Baker Daniels’ insurance practice
Faegre Baker Daniels added David McNeill as counsel in its insurance practice based out of Des Moines. McNeill joins from FBL Financial Group, where he was general counsel. In his new role, McNeill will provide strategic legal counsel to insurance companies and other persons and entities in the financial services sector.
Cozen O’Connor adds Johnathan Ballan as partner, co-chair of public & project finance practice group
Johnathan Ballan joined Cozen O’Connor as a partner and co-chair of the firm’s public and project finance practice group. Ballan is a well-known public finance attorney who structured the funding for some of New York City’s largest infrastructure, economic and stadium projects. He joins the firm from Dentons, where he was head of the New York public finance group. Ballan is also the director of the State of New York Mortgage Agency and has served as a board member of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority of New York, chairman of the Municipal Assistance Corporation for the City of New York and chairman of the New York State Public Asset Fund.
Stephen Howe joins Butler Snow in Ridgeland office
Stephen Howe joins Butler Snow in the firm’s pharmaceutical, medical device and healthcare litigation group in Ridgeland, Miss. Howe was previously an assistant VP and legal officer for a regional bank. Prior to that, he practiced with a Jackson, Miss., law firm, handling handled product liability, personal injury, construction and commercial litigation matters. He also currently serves as an assistant staff judge advocate for the U.S. Air Force Reserves at Hurlburt Field, Florida.
Patrick Colegrave named director in Norton Rose Fulbright’s SA office
Norton Rose Fulbright named Patrick Colegrave as director in its Johannesburg office. He joins the banking and finance team, bringing international and local experience spanning in-house counsel and private practice. He has experience advising clients in Africa on inbound investments through a variety of investment structures and vehicles ranging from private equity to permanent capital vehicles to more liquid open-ended hedge fund arrangements.
O’Melveny adds Jeffrey Fisher to appellate practice
Leading Supreme Court practitioner Jeffrey Fisher joined O’Melveny as special counsel in its appellate division. He will represent clients in high-stakes litigation while maintaining his position as Professor of Law at Stanford Law School and Co-Director of its Supreme Court Litigation Clinic. Fisher has argued 35 cases in the Court since 2004, encompassing a broad range of issues including criminal procedure, maritime law, telecommunications law, and civil and human rights.
Hogan Lovells adds trio of partners to business restructuring and insolvency practice
Hogan Lovells added bankruptcy lawyers Richard Wynne, Bennett Spiegel, and Erin Brady as partners in its business restructuring and insolvency practice in Los Angeles. Wynne has been nationally recognized for successful results in several complex Chapter 11 cases and out-of-court workouts. He currently represents Mattel as the largest creditor in the Toys R Us Chapter 11 case. Spiegel has represented debtors, creditors, creditors’ committees, trustees, and buyers in corporate restructurings and bankruptcies for more than 30 years. Brady focuses her practice on representing debtors, creditors’ committees, trustees, individual creditors, and others in high-stakes bankruptcy litigation and corporate restructurings.
Gibson Dunn adds former federal prosecutor to D.C. office
Former Acting Deputy Assistant Attorney General M. Kendall Day joins Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in its D.C. office. During his year as Acting Deputy Attorney General, Day supervised more than 200 Criminal Division prosecutors and professionals tasked with investigating and prosecuting the country’s most significant and high-profile cases involving corporate and financial misconduct. Prior to that, he was Chief of the Money Laundering and Asset Recovery Section of the DOJ’s Criminal Division from 2014 to 2017.
Akerman adds William Bernfeld as partner in Los Angeles real estate practice
William Bernfeld joins Akerman as a partner in the firm’s national real estate practice in Los Angeles. Bernfeld focuses his practice on real estate and commercial law, assisting clients in complex financing transactions and acquisitions, dispositions and leasing of real estate projects in a variety of sectors and asset classes, including office, retail, restaurant, hospitality and industrial. He also counsels and leads teams for lenders to provide permanent, construction and distressed project financing, as well as handling asset-based and commercial lending transactions on behalf of institutional clients.
Nigel Stamp joins K&L Gates as partner in Hong Kong office
K&L Gates added Nigel Stamp as a partner in its global commercial technology and sourcing practice in Hong Kong. Stamp joins the firm from Eversheds Sutherland, where he headed both the Asia commercial practice and regional technology, media and telecommunications practice. He advises on significant IT and other outsourcing projects including public and private cloud transactions and high-value global and/or strategic cross-border IT procurement projects for some of the world’s leading financial and other institutions.
Legal Technology News
eSentire names James Yersh as CAO
Managed detection and response provider eSentire appointed James Yersh as chief administrative officer. Yersh was previously CFO and executive VP of corporate development for KORE Wireless. Prior to KORE, he was CFO of Blackberry, where he guided the company through a strategic transformation and created the financial models and structures to enable the pivot. In his new role, Yersh will be responsible for the finance functions of the business, as well as human resources, and risk/compliance.
DAC Beachcroft to use iManage Work in Latin America offices
International law firm DAC Beachcroft selected iManage Cloud to deploy iManage Work to its Latin America offices. The firm selected iManage due to the speed and agility the platform offered, as well as its reliability and security. The platform will be rolled out to the firm’s Latin America office including Chile, Colombia and Mexico. iManage partner Phoenix Business Solutions will assist with the move to iManage Cloud.
NICE to acquire Mattersight through share purchase
NICE entered into a definitive agreement to acquire cloud-based analytics provider Mattersight, allowing NICE to further expand its offerings and customer base. Using interaction analytics, Mattersight gains a deep understanding of both customers and agents, and acts on these insights in real time to connect consumers with the organization in a personalized manner. The agreement will see NICE launch a tender offer to purchase Mattersight’s outstanding share capital at an offer price of $2.70. The acquisition is expected to close in the second half of the year.
Navigant agrees to Exterro partnership to help customers optimize eDiscovery process
Navigant is partnering with Exterro to utilize their Orchestrated eDiscovery platform to help clients manage their eDiscovery process. The agreement allows Navigant to provide clients with a complete solution combining Exterro’s customized advisory services with its software solutions to optimize their data analysis efforts.
Blushift IP selects Anaqua to automate workflow
U.S. law firm Blueshift IP selected intellectual property management platform Anaqua to streamline its operations. The firm, which specializes in obtaining software patents for its clients worldwide, will use the platform for paperless management of IP documents and to enhance client collaboration. Use of the platform will bring all of the firm’s client patent portfolios onto a single platform.