LDN PHOTO

Working at Baker McKenzie

We are different from other law firms in the way we think, work and behave. Global in our outlook from the beginning, for six consecutive years we have been named as the world’s strongest law firm brand by Acritas, underlining our dedication to being the best. We know the value of our talent in sustaining this success and so we’re committed to offering the platform to nurture this talent.

Baker & Mckenzie

Baker McKenzie Advises Monomoy on Engineering Acquisition

Baker McKenzie advised private investment firm Monomoy Capital Partners in its acquisition of Kauffman Engineering Inc., an Indiana-based manufacturer of wire harnesses and cable assemblies for electrical systems.

Founded in 1973, Kauffman operates about 20 facilities across the United States and Mexico and serves clients across the HVAC, commercial equipment, specialty vehicle, lawn care, marine, medical and other industrial markets.

“We partner with our private equity clients to add value wherever we can and ensure a smooth process in negotiating and closing deals, so they are able to realize as much growth as possible. We are pleased to help Monomoy do just that in this acquisition,” said Michael Fieweger, Baker McKenzie’s lead M&A partner on the transaction.

Baker McKenzie has the world’s largest M&A practice, with nearly 1,400 lawyers executing more cross-border transactions than any other law firm.

The Baker McKenzie team included Michael Fieweger, Garry Jaunal and Emeka Chinwuba.

About Monomoy Capital Partners

Monomoy Capital Partners is a private equity firm with $1.5 billion in committed capital that invests in middle-market businesses in the manufacturing, industrial, distribution and consumer products sectors. The firm invests in the both the equity and debt of middle-market businesses that can benefit from operational and financial improvement. Monomoy designs and executes a customized value creation plan for each acquisition that seeks to generate significant cash flow and improve earnings within 12 to 18 months of an investment. Over the past 14 years, Monomoy has closed over 50 middle-market acquisitions. To learn more about Monomoy and its portfolio companies, please visit the firm’s website at www.mcpfunds.com.

 

Setting up a Company in the EU to become easier

EU company law is being updated to reflect the digital age. The Council today adopted a directive that facilitates and promotes the use of online tools in the contacts between companies and public authorities throughout their lifecycle.

The directive will provide improved online procedures, creating a modern and safe way for businesses to dismantle the obstacles involving setting up companies, registering their branches or filing documents, especially in cross border operations.

Ana Birchall, Minister of Justice, Vice Prime Minister for the implementation of Romania’s strategic partnerships, interim

The new rules ensure that:

  • companies are able to register limited liability companies, set up new branches and file documents in the business register fully online;
  • national model templates and information on national requirements are made available online and in a language broadly understood by the majority of cross-border users;
  • rules on fees for online formalities are transparent and applied in a non-discriminatory manner;
  • fees charged for the online registration of companies do not exceed the overall costs incurred by the member state concerned;
  • the ‘once-only’ principle applies, meaning that a company will only need to submit the same information to public authorities once;
  • documents submitted by companies are stored and exchanged by national registers in machine-readable and searchable formats;
  • more information about companies is made available to all interested parties free of charge in the business registers.

At the same time, the directive sets out the necessary safeguards against fraud and abuse in online procedures, including control of the identity and legal capacity of persons setting up the company and the possibility of requiring physical presence before a competent authority. It maintains the involvement of notaries or lawyers in company law procedures as long as these procedures can be completed fully online. It also foresees exchange of information between member states on disqualified directors in order to prevent fraudulent behaviour.

The directive does not harmonise substantive requirements for setting up companies or doing business across the EU.

Legal Aid

Legal aid ‘heroes’ honoured at special ceremony

Hundreds of legal aid lawyers gathered at a special ceremony in London last night to celebrate the unsung ‘heroes’ within their community.

The prestigious event, now in its 17th year, was founded by the Legal Aid Practitioners Group.

The evening began with special awards being presented to three people who the LAPG committee believe have made an exceptional contribution to legal aid and access to justice: Anselm Eldergill, a district judge in the Court of Protection, and barrister Rachel Francis and solicitor Oliver Carter, former co-chairs of the Young Legal Aid Lawyers group.

Eldergill told the ceremony that the justice budget had been cut by 40% since 2010, ‘not just decimated but decimated four times’.

He said: ‘It’s a depressing picture but would be even more depressing if it was not for your amazing efforts. I intend to return to practice next year and do my bit to rebuild the justice system that’s open to all citizens regardless of their means and social class.’

35238_joannececil_334923.jpg

Joanne Cecil with compère Anna Jones and presenter Helena Kennedy QC

Source: Robert Aberman

Garden Court Chambers’ Joanne Cecil, who won the legal aid barrister award, helped with crowdfunding efforts to provide every MP with a copy of legal blogger Secret Barrister’s book, Stories of the Law and How It’s Broken. Asked by host and Sky News presenter Anna Jones about whether the attitude in parliament has changed, Cecil said: ‘We have lots of nice words from the government but not a great deal of action yet – that’s really where the proof is.’

The social welfare law award went to solicitor William Ford of London firm Osbornes Law. Ford represented a vulnerable refugee and challenged a Hillingdon council housing policy, describing the three-year battle as one requiring endurance.

Solicitor Sally Thompson, who runs north London immigration practice Luqmani Thompson & Partners, praised her colleagues who she said ‘make me look good’ and talked about how proud she was of her team.

Duncan Lewis solicitor Raja Rajeswaran Uruthiravinayagan, who won the public law award, said he was surprised that he was shortlisted and joked: ‘I thought I got shortlisted because of my really long name.’ Ututhiravinayagan had to leave Sri Lanka due to the civil war when he was 13 and said that was the reason he specialised in human rights law.

35240_paulbowen_343265.jpg

Paul Bowen QC

Source: Richard Gray

This year’s ‘outstanding achievement’ award went to Paul Bowen QC, a human rights barrister at Brick Court Chambers, who acted in the right to die and assisted suicide cases brought by Debbie Purdy and Tony Nicklinson.

Bowen began his speech by applauding the audience, who he described as legal aid ‘heroes’. He concluded his speech with four tips for young legal aid lawyers: ‘Question everything; fear no one; prepare, prepare, prepare; shut up and sit down when you’re ahead.’

The full list of winners

Legal aid newcomer: Una Morris, Garden Court Chambers

Children’s rights: Edward Taylor, Osbornes Law

Legal aid barrister: Joanne Cecil, Garden Court Chambers

Family (including mediation): Philip Wilkins, Hudgell & Partners

Social welfare law: William Ford, Osbornes Law

Legal aid practice management: Sally Thompson, Luqmani Thompson & Partners

Legal aid firm/Not-for-profit agency: Child Poverty Action Group

Access to justice through IT: FormShare, GT Stewart

Criminal defence: Lydia Dagostino, Kellys Solicitors

Public Law: Raja Rajeswaran Uruthiravinayagan, Duncan Lewis

Outstanding achievement: Paul Bowen QC

LAPG special awards: Anselm Eldergill, district judge; Rachel Francis, One Pump Court and former co-chair of Young Legal Aid Lawyers; Oliver Carter, Irwin Mitchell and former co-chair of Young Legal Aid Lawyers

By 11 July 2019

Clyde & Co Revenue Tops £600M

Clyde & Co’s revenue has jumped 11% to exceed £600m for the first time.

Milbank, Latham, Skadden Advise on $8.6B Casino Mega-Merger

Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment Corp. are betting big that a merger between the two gaming giants will lead to a heater for shareholders. The new combined entity will retain the “Caesars” name and operate 60 gaming facilities across 16 U.S. states.

In a deal announced Monday morning, Eldorado will take control of all of Caesars’ outstanding shares at $12.75 per share, with a total purchase price of $8.58 billion in cash and stock and a total consideration of $17.3 billion, including debt. Eldorado shareholders will maintain 51% of the company’s outstanding shares, while Caesar’s investors will hold the remaining 49%.

Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy and Latham & Watkins are representing Eldorado on the deal. Milbank has represented both companies in the past, including handling an $18 billion debt restructuring for a Caesars subsidiary and advising Eldorado on a 2018 deal with William Hill PLC to act as the company’s exclusive sports betting operator.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom is advising Caesars in the Eldorado acquisition. The firm has a long history with Caesars, including when the gaming company sold four casino properties for $2.2 billion in 2014, as well as on its sale to Harrah’s for $9.4 billion in 2004.

Caesars, which emerged from bankruptcy in 2017, operates 34 properties in nine states and has $8.79 billion in long-term debt as of March 31. Eldorado, on the other hand, has a market value of about $4 billion and long-term debt of $3.06 billion as of the end of the first quarter. It operates 26 properties in 12 U.S. states.

Caesars has been a financial boon for several major law firms over the years. Its 2015 Chapter 11, from which the company emerged in 2017, helped generate fees of over $70 million for Kirkland & Ellis, $29 million for Proskauer Rose and $25 million for Jones Day.

Tom Reeg, CEO of Eldorado, said in a statement that “Eldorado’s combination with Caesars will create the largest owner and operator of U.S. gaming assets and is a strategically, financially and operationally compelling opportunity that brings immediate and long-term value to stakeholders of both companies.”

The deal team for Milbank was led by corporate M&A partner Deborah Conrad, tax partners Russell Kestenbaum and Max Goodman and executive compensation and employee benefits partner Mike Shah.

Latham fielded a team led by San Diego-based Sony Ben-Moshe. Moshe is a co-chair of the firm’s gaming and hospitality practice.

The Skadden team was led by M&A partners Andrew Garelick, Brian McCarthy and Richard Grossman, banking partner K. Kristine Dunn, capital markets partner Michelle Gasaway antitrust/competition partner Kenneth Schwartz, tax partner Kenneth Betts, labor and employment law partner Karen Corman, executive compensation and benefits partner Joseph Yaffe, intellectual property and technology partner Bruce Goldner, litigation partner Edward Micheletti and real estate partner Meryl Chae.

ALB marks 15th edition of Japan Law Awards in style

The 15th ALB Japan Law Awards, held at the Grand Hyatt Tokyo on June 13, was a resounding success, with the who’s-who of the Japanese legal industry, including in-house counsel, private practice lawyers and corporate executives, gracing the event.

The event saw Nishimura & Asahi, walk away with the biggest award of the night – the Japan Law Firm of the Year. The firm won in six categories, as did fellow Japanese Big Four firms Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu and Mori Hamada & Matsumoto.

Nishimura also claimed the titles of Young Lawyer of the Year (for Yuki Oi), Japan Deal Firm of the Year, and Restructuring and Insolvency Law Firm of the Year. Meanwhile, Nagashima Ohno won Dispute Resolution Lawyer of the Year (for Oki Mori), Healthcare and Life Sciences Law Firm of the Year, Real Estate Law Firm of the Year and Regulatory and Compliance Law Firm of the Year. Mori Hamada & Matsumoto’s haul included Banking and Financial Services Law Firm of the Year, Japan Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year and Tax and Trusts Law Firm of the Year.

Among international firms, Herbert Smith Freehills claimed two titles, including the International Arbitration Law Firm of the Year. Davis Polk & Wardwell won International Deal Firm of the Year, and was also recognised for its role in three award-winning deals, while Morrison & Foerster was declared the International Intellectual Property Law Firm of the Year.

In the individual categories, Clifford Chance’s Reiko Sakimura won the BMW Award Woman Lawyer of the Year. Hiroo Atsumi of Atsumi & Sakai walked away with Managing Partner of the Year award while the Dealmaker of the Year title was claimed by Akifusa Takada of Baker & McKenzie (Gaikokuho Joint Enterprise).

And in the in-house categories, the T&D Associates Award Innovative In-House Team of the Year award went to Softbank Group while the Baker McKenzie Award Japan In-House Team of the Year award was won by IBM Japan. IBM also won the title of In-House Lawyer of the Year for Anthony Luna.

White & Case Advises on Polish MoF €2 Billion Green Bonds Issuance

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised the Polish Ministry of Finance on the €2 billion issuance of ten- and 30-year euro-denominated ‘Green Bonds’, maturing respectively on March 7, 2029 and March 8, 2049.

The €1.5 billion issuance of the ten-year Green Bond yields 1.057% with an annual coupon of 1%. The €500 million issuance of the 30-year Green Bond yields 2.071% with an annual coupon of 2%.

The bonds were issued under the Republic of Poland’s €60 billion Euro Medium Term Note Programme, and the proceeds will finance environmental projects according to the Green Bond Framework developed by the Ministry of Finance in line with the ICMA Green Bond Principles.

The buyers of the ten-year and 30-year Green Bonds were well diversified with, respectively, 47 percent and 43 percent of the allocations going to designated green accounts.

The White & case team which advised on the transaction was led by local partner Andrzej Sutkowski (Warsaw), with support from counsel Doron Loewinger (London) and associates Katarzyna Grodziewicz, Damian Lubocki (both Warsaw) and Luiza Salata (London).

Skadden closes sole office in Sydney

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom has confirmed it is closing its Sydney office – the US firm’s only base in Australia. The six-staff office will shut down in the first half of this year with all staff understood to be departing from the firm aside from co-head of Skadden Arps corporate finance group Adrian Deitz who will remain based in Sydney and operate as part of the firm’s Singapore and Hong Kong team.

The rest of the corporate-focused team, which comprises one partner, one retired, two counsel and one associate are understood to be reviewing their options.

Skadden Arps first launched in Sydney in 1989 and since represented Australian and New Zealand clients on the US aspects of cross-border transactions, such as corporate finance and M&A deals.

Highlight deals for the office, listed on the firm’s website date back to 2014 and include representing the Commonwealth of Australia and Medibank Private on Medibank’s A$5.679bn initial public offering and listing on the Australian Stock Exchange; and advising Meridian Energy in its partial privatisation and $1.6bn initial public offering by the government of New Zealand, which was done in 2013.

The news follows two of the founders of Clifford Chance’s Australian arm, including the firm’s Sydney managing partner, confirming they are stepping down from their roles at the Magic Circle firm on Tuesday (9 February).

Elsewhere down under, Clyde & Co hired two partners from Norton Rose Fulbright in a bid to build up its occupational health and safety team in Sydney, with Michael Tooma and Alena Titterton joining along with eight other lawyers. This followed the firm’s appointment of a 30-lawyer team late last year, also in the Sydney office after it picked up five partners who joined the firm with another 25 lawyers, all from Lee & Lyons.

KPMG legal consultancy arm coming to UK

PMG is to set up a legal consultancy arm in the UK, the ‘Big Four’ professional services firm revealed, as it reported strong growth in its global legal services business.

The legal consultancy is expected to launch in the next few months, though the firm has not yet disclosed further details.

This is but the latest signal of intent from the ‘Big Four’ and follows last month’s news that rival firm Deloitte has hired a former magic circle partner to lead its UK legal arm.

KPMG’s UK consulting arm will be part of the Legal Operations & Transformation Services (LOTS) offering, which KPMG says helps in-house counsel identify ‘technologies, flexible resources and managed services that can support delivery of legal services’.

In a separate announcement this morningm, KPMG said ‘rising demands’ for legal services had resulted in revenue growth for its global legal services arm of more than 30%. The practice now has more than 2,300 legal professionals worldwide, including more than 20 new partners added during 2018, it added.

Jürg Birri, KPMG’s global head of legal services, said: ‘Our approach is different. We’re not a traditional law firm, and we’re not copying the approach of a traditional law firm. We focus on offering our clients integrated legal advice and technology-led solutions and methodologies, in combination with a range of alternative legal managed services.’

He added: ‘We expect continued growth in 2019 as we eagerly meet the evolving needs of clients across the globe. Increasingly, our clients are being asked to implement business transformation programmes that need an integrated approach that combines business and legal methodologies, not just pure legal advice. We understand this and are able to deliver.’

In January, the Gazette reported on the opening of a KPMG affiliated legal practice in Hong Kong. An associated Shanghai office is expected to follow later this year.