Mayer-Brown

Mayer Brown’s global promotions hit seven-year high

Mayer Brown is to make up 34 lawyers to partner next year, its highest global round since 2012 when 39 promotions took effect.

Four City partners have been made up; employment lawyer Giles Bywater, banking and finance lawyer Merryn Craske and litigators James Morris and James Whitaker. Morris trained at Nabarro and Craske at Baker McKenzie, with the other two being Mayer Brown lifers.

Elsewhere, the firm promoted five lawyers in Hong Kong – the most since 2011 – and six in Washington, DC, a 12-year high.

Last year Mayer Brown also made up four partners in the City, halting a five-year run when no more than two UK lawyers were promoted at once.

mayer-brown-promotions-2019

Mayer Brown partner promotions 2019: in full

Europe

  • Giles Bywater, employment, London
  • Merryn Craske, banking & finance, London
  • James Morris, dispute resolution, London
  • James Whitaker, dispute resolution, London
  • Maud Bischoff, real estate, Paris
  • Régine Goury, employment, Paris

USA

  • Marina Aronchik, corporate, Chicago
  • Christopher Chubb, banking & finance, Chicago
  • Aaron Gavant, restructuring, Chicago
  • Jennifer Kratochvil, banking & finance, Chicago
  • Marjorie Margolies, tax controversy, Chicago
  • Richard Nowak, dispute resolution, Chicago
  • Claire Gibson Ragen, corporate, Chicago
  • Stephanie Vasconcellos, employment, Chicago
  • Michael Word, intellectual property, Chicago
  • Joaquin M. C de Baca, restructuring, New York
  • Colin Carley, corporate, New York
  • Geoffrey Collins, tax controversy, New York
  • Michael Rayfield, dispute resolution, New York
  • Michael Weiss, real estate, New York
  • Peter Wolf, corporate, Northern California
  • James “Tripp” Fussell III, intellectual property, Washington DC
  • Daniel Jones, dispute resolution, Washington DC
  • Justin Ilhwan Park, dispute resolution, Washington DC
  • Oral Pottinger, dispute resolution, Washington DC
  • Tori Shinohara, financial services regulatory & enforcement, Washington DC
  • Jad Taha, corporate, Washington DC

Asia

  • Pheona S.Y. Chow, real estate, Hong Kong
  • Cindy W.S. Kao, corporate, Hong Kong
  • Alvin L.Y. Yeung, real estate, Hong Kong
  • Vivien S.K. Yip, dispute resolution, Hong Kong
  • Dion K.Y. Yu, banking & finance, Hong Kong

South America

  • Thais Bandeira de Mello Rodrigues, tax, Rio de Janeiro
  • Débora H. Yanasse, corporate, Rio de Janeiro

Fellow US firm Pillsbury also announced its promotions this morning, with one London lawyer made up: data protection, IP and international trade specialist Steven Farmer. He joins 12 other colleagues, all US-based, who have joined Pillsbury’s partner ranks

Pillsbury partner promotions 2019: in full

  • Steven Farmer, global sourcing & technology transactions, London
  • Brian Nash, intellectual property, Austin
  • Gurpreet Bal, corporate, Silicon Valley
  • William Fork, Energy, Washington, DC
  • Alexander Ginsberg, government contracts & disputes, Northern Virginia
  • Matthew Jeweler, dispute resolution, Washington, DC
  • Breann Robowski, tax, Silicon Valley
  • Aryeh Kaplan, dispute resolution, Miami
  • Jessica Lutrin, executive compensation & benefits, New York
  • Melissa Jones-Prus, finance, New York
  • Ngai Zhang, intellectual property, Northern Virginia
  • Meighan O’Reardon, global sourcing & technology transactions, Washington DC
  • Craig Saperstein, public policy, Washington DC

Bangkok – A City Guide for Lawyers and Legal Professionals

Bangkok, the capital and commercial hub of Thailand is an enigmatic city. From ancient temples, palaces, a floating market, a unique cultural experience to huge shopping malls, skyscrapers and a bustling nightlife — this city of contrasts has something to offer everyone. It also is the world’s second most visited city, behind only Hong Kong.

While the people of Bangkok are extremely hospitable and helpful, the city for first time travellers can be a little overwhelming.  So we have created a quick guide here to help lawyers and legal professionals effectively navigate Bangkok during their visits.

Getting Around Bangkok

Bangkok is huge and can be pretty confusing for visitors.  It is also notorious for its gridlock traffic but thankfully it has an excellent public transportation system which makes getting around the city convenient and easy.

BRT and MRT: BRT, also known as the sky train — and MRT, the underground train network — are one of the quickest and most convenient ways of getting around Bangkok.

Taxis: Unless you are travelling during the peak traffic hours, taxis are the most convenient, inexpensive and fastest way of getting around the city. You may also download Grab app (formerly Uber) to book a car or taxi from the airport or to get around the city.

Motorcycle taxi: If you are travelling solo and need to get somewhere within a kilometer, a motorcycle taxi is a quick and easy option. You can easily spot motorcycle drivers in orange, green or purple vests around BRT/MRT stations, shopping malls and tourist attractions.

Boats and Ferries: Getting on a river boat or ferry is a fun way of avoiding the city’s gridlock traffic. Bangkok has an extensive canal network with different types of boats offering a variety of services.

Bus: While a bus may not be your favorite way of getting around a city, it is the cheapest and the best way of exploring the real Bangkok. Make sure you get a BMTA map from the bus terminal before you take the bus.

Tuk Tuk: Bangkok’s iconic three wheeled rickshaw continues to be a tourists favorite. It is not a very convenient mode of transportation but worth the experience for first timers.  It is ideal to settle the price before getting in.

Hotels, Restaurants, Shopping and Entertainment

Bangkok offers a wide range of accommodation options from luxury hotels to serviced apartments. You just have to know the neighborhood you prefer to stay in.

It also offers an unforgettable shopping experience ranging from world class shopping malls to traditional Thai Markets where you can find virtually everything. From vintage and designer clothes and accessories to antiques and much more, you name it and you’ll find it here.

While most tourists use Bangkok as a stopover before they move to the picturesque islands nearby, it is a city worth exploring. Here are some of the places you must visit before you decide to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Grand Palace and Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Arun

Floating Markets

Chatuchak Market

Sea Life Bangkok Ocean World: The Aquatic Wonderland

Thailand Legal Resources

Thailand’s legal system is based on a civil law system. It has its base in ancient Hindu Code of Manu but is largely influenced by the legal systems of European countries — mainly France and Germany. The Thai legal authorities also took input from Japanese, English and American legal scholars at the time of drafting the civil and commercial code.

The first Bar Association in Thailand was formed in 1914.

Foreign legal professionals are not allowed to practice law in Thailand but they can work as consultants.

Top Law Firms in Thailand

Listed below are few of the top law firms of Thailand.

Linklaters

Pisut and Partners Co., Ltd.

LawAlliance Limited

Dej-Udom & Associates Attorneys-At-Law

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Jaiyos Advisory Co., Ltd.

Legal Events in Bangkok

Follow Leaders in Law to get more news and updates on the latest and upcoming legal events in the Asia-Pacific legal markets.

Article by Mamta Rathore 

Brexit legal challenge: UK government appeals

The UK Supreme Court is considering whether to hear an appeal filed by the government over a Brexit legal challenge to be heard in Europe.

On November 27 an emergency hearing of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in Luxembourg will examine whether a majority vote against Brexit in the House of Commons will be able to arrest the UK’s minimal progress out of the EU. The Brexit legal challenge, submitted by a group of pro-Remain MPs and campaigners, was referred to the ECJ by the Edinburgh Court of Session, Scotland’s supreme civil court.

A cross-party group of Scottish MPs, MSPs and MEPs teamed with Good Law Project director Jolyon Maugham QC to bring the Brexit legal challenge, arguing that MPs should be able to vote to revoke Article 50 without the permission of the government or other Member States. They said Brexit was “not inevitable” and that allowing parliament to vote to stay in the EU could be essential to avoid a “no deal disaster”.

The Court of Session initially turned down the group’s bid to refer their Brexit legal challenge to the ECJ, but after the group successfully appealed the court’s decision the case was passed to the ECJ with a request for an expedited procedure due to the time sensitivity of the issue.

The UK government has asked the Supreme Court for permission to appeal against the Court of Session’s decision to refer the Brexit legal challenge to the ECJ, citing the terms of Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union. Lawyers for the Department for Exiting the European Union (Dexeu) say the issue of reversing Article 50, thereby stopping Brexit, is hypothetical as the government has declared it has no intention of doing so; and that remaining in the EU would undermine the sovereignty of parliament.

The Supreme Court has not set a date to hear the appeal. A statement from the court said: “The court is aware of the urgency of this matter.”

Trump endorses criminal justice reform legislation

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday announced his support for the FIRST STEP Act, which aims at reforming the prison system to better rehabilitate individuals upon re-entering society.

The Act “uses a targeted approach toward a specific population of Federal prisoners who will eventually be released,” and aims to “promote prisoner participation in vocational training, educational coursework, or faith-based programs, and in turn help them successfully reenter society.” The program would focus on job skills, drug treatment, and education.

FIRST STEP has been deemed “bipartisan” and showed overwhelming support in Congress with a 360–59 in May. Trump delivered remarks about the effect this bipartisan effort will have:

[W]e’re all better off when former inmates can receive and reenter society as law-abiding, productive citizens. And thanks to our booming economy, they now have a chance at more opportunities than they’ve ever had before. … Our pledge to hire American includes those leaving prison and looking for a very fresh start—new job, new life.

Trump also remarked on the wide-rage of support from law enforcement at every level, showing high expectations for the Act’s influence on inmate re-entry.

Linklaters and Slaughters fees near $110m for Shire mega-deal

Linklaters, Slaughter and May and Davis Polk & Wardwell are among the legal advisers set to rake in more than $110m in fees after working on the bidding war for Irish drug maker Shire. Shire was eventually sold to Japanese company Takeda, although two of its approaches were rebuffed by shareholders before the eventual proposal.

Pillsbury Adds China-Focused Litigation Partner in New York

As bilateral hostilities between the world’s two largest economies persists, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman has recruited a litigation partner in New York who focuses on China-related disputes.

Geoffrey Sant joins from Dorsey & Whitney, where he was a New York partner in the firm’s trial department. Sant mostly helps Chinese companies and executives defend securities class actions and other commercial and employment claims before U.S. courts.

Sant will be a partner in Pillsbury’s New York office and spend “a substantial amount of time in Asia.” Fluent in Mandarin Chinese, he will primarily work out of the firm’s Beijing office and also spend time in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Taipei.

He joined Dorsey & Whitney in 2012 after spending four years with Morrison & Foerster; he became a partner at Dorsey in 2016.

The hire comes at a time when the United States and China are in an escalating battle over trade issues. Multiple rounds of high-level negotiations have taken place, but little progress has been made. Meanwhile, the Trump administration is tightening scrutiny of Chinese companies and individuals on the cybersecurity and intellectual property fronts.

Last week, the Department of Justice indicted a group of Chinese government officials for alleged trade secret theft. Also last week, the Department of Commerce banned all exports to Chinese semiconductor maker Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. Ltd. amid intellectual property theft allegations.

Deborah Baum, Pillsbury’s Washington, D.C.-based litigation practice leader, said Sant’s ability to collaborate with Chinese clients and understand complex Chinese laws and documents will help serve the firm’s clients well.

In August, Pillsbury opened an intellectual property-focused Taipei office with trial lawyer Christopher Kao and patent specialist David Tsai. In 2016, it launched a Hong Kong office, led by former Clyde & Co global aviation finance head Paul Jebely, primarily focusing on commercial aircraft and private jets financing work. Sant said the financial services and aviation sectors—focuses for Pillsbury in Asia—are also rapidly expanding aspects of his practice.

The firm’s Beijing office, led by former Paul Hastings partner David Livdahl, was opened in 2014. The Shanghai office, led by IP litigation partner Jack Ko, was launched in 2006.

indian flag

APT Legal to open new offices across India

New Delhi-based APT Legal, will be opening new offices in Mumbai, Jaipur, Allahabad (Prayagraj) and Patna. Having started out as Chamber Practice, APT Legal has been representing clients both in the private sector and public sector, pan-India.

The firm handles litigations before the Supreme Court, high courts and appellate tribunals. The firm’s partners focus on practices including mining and metal, arbitration, civil, corporate, and commercial laws. It also advises on insolvency and bankruptcy, white collar crime, competition, energy, environment and forest laws and telecom regulations, among others.

APT Legal’s Delhi office has two partners supported by 10 Associates while the Mumbai, Jaipur, Allahabad and Patna offices will be led each by a partner along with three associates.

Telecoms

Pinsents and HSF’s US links pay off in $7.5bn telecoms deal

Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) and Pinsent Masons have teamed up with firms in the US on a complex $7.5bn deal between telecoms companies CommScope and Arris.

The transaction will see network equipment provider CommScope buy software maker Arris, a fellow US-headquartered that is listed on the NASDAQ.

Pinsents London partners Rob Hutchings and Roberta Markovina advised CommScope on UK M&A matters, while partner Eloise Walker supported on tax.

The firm worked alongside Alston & Bird partners Mark Kelly and William Snyder, who led on US elements of the transaction. Latham & Watkins and Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom also played key roles for CommScope and are understood to have advised on financing issues.

The target Arris was represented by a trio of partners from HSF’s corporate group in London; Gavin Davies, Alex Kay and Caroline Rae. The firm also led on tax advice for the company, with global head Isaac Zailer on call.

HSF was brought in by Troutman Sanders to work on UK aspects of the transaction, while the US firm led on matters overseas with Atlanta-based Brink Dickerson.

Hogan Lovells is understood to have advised on antitrust issues for Arris.

In connection with the acquisition, the Carlyle Group has also re-established an ownership position in CommScope through a $1bn minority equity investment. Cravath Swaine & Moore M&A partners Keith Hallam and Jenny Hochenberg advised CommScope on this specific part of the deal, while Simpson Thacher & Bartlett won the role for Carlyle.

CommScope’s CEO Eddie Edwards said: “CommScope and Arris will bring together a unique set of complementary assets and capabilities that enable end-to-end wired and wireless communications infrastructure solutions that neither company could otherwise achieve on its own. We will access new and growing markets, and have greater technology, solutions and employee talent that will provide additional value and benefit to our customers and partners.”

Macau firm plots regional Greater Bay Area coverage

MdME Lawyers has made history as the first Macau law firm established in Hong Kong following approval from Hong Kong’s Law Society to register as a foreign firm and practice Macau law in Hong Kong.

MdME, which made the announcement on the same day the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge was opened to the public, bills itself as bridging the gap between the two legal markets by focusing on opportunities that span both markets.

Founded in 2006, with over 25 fee-earners, the full-service firm has represented large corporations operating in Macau across sectors such as finance, gaming, real estate, energy, construction, infrastructure, pharma and telecom.

Gonçalo Mendes da Maia, founding and Managing Partner of MdME said the new Hong Kong office would help the firm achieve its goal to become “a truly regional firm in the Greater Bay Area”.

HMRC finds a new legal head from Defra

HM Revenue and Customs has appointed a new general counsel, taking on the legal director of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Alan Evans will take on the top legal role at HMRC on 1 January 2019, advising on all aspects of tax law and leading its litigation team. He will also be a member of the tax agency’s executive committee.

Evans has built up a legal career spanning 30 years, including his former role as legal director at Defra, as well as stints as legal adviser to the Cabinet Officer and the European Commission.

Evans’ appointment was formally ratified by the Prime Minister Theresa May, following an “extensive” internal and external search.

Evans succeeds Gill Aitken, who stepped down in June to become registrar at the University of Oxford. Mid-June, David Bunting, a former legal director at HMRC and part of the UK Government-wide Border Delivery Group. filled the role on an interim basis while HMRC carried out an open recruitment process for a permanent replacement.

Aitken joined HMRC in 2014 to lead the Solicitor’s Office and legal services, advising HMRC and HM Treasury on all aspects of tax law and leading a large litigation practice safeguarding tax revenues.

HMRC’s chief executive Jon Thompson said he was “delighted” to welcome Evans “at a critical time for the department”. It is currently carrying out wide-ranging preparations for Brexit, including work to ensure it is ready handle the extra customs demands that will be needed in the event of a no-deal departure from the EU.