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ParrisWhittaker finalists at 2019 Lloyd’s List Americas Awards

The 2019 Lloyd’s List Americas Awards are part of the Lloyd’s List Excellence in Shipping Awards – the industry’s flagship awards program that recognises and rewards excellence across the entire maritime sector.

Given the incredible list of companies nominated, It is with great pride and humility that ParrisWhittaker announces that their firm has been named a finalist for excellence.

“2019 has been a real whirlwind of a year for us. We’ve been incredibly busy working for our clients. But, moments like this give us the opportunity to pause and take this as a sign that we are doing good work,” said Kenra Parris-Whittaker, partner of ParrisWhittaker.

Lloyd’s List Awards promote and celebrate excellence in shipping. Their award judges volunteer their time and experience to consider hundreds of annual entries. They come from all core sectors of the maritime industry to engage in lengthy face to face deliberation to debate and, ultimately, decide on winners.

Other awards Lloyd’s List Americas Awards include:

  • Excellence in Future Fuels Solutions
  • Deal of the Year
  • Excellence in Data and Technology Innovation
  • Excellence in Decarbonisation towards 2050
  • Excellence in Environmental Management
  • Excellence in Port Management and Infrastructure
  • Excellence in Safety & Training

“We consider it an award any time a client recommends us to a colleague or friend. However, winning this award would truly be something special and we would like to congratulate all of the other nominees. We’re all in the business of fighting for people in the maritime sector and we should all take a moment to be proud,” added Parris-Whittaker.

How A Criminal Defense Lawyer Can Help You

If you have been charged with a crime, whether a misdemeanor or a felony, it is very important that you work with a criminal defense attorney throughout the entire process.

Whether or not you think that the situation is serious, there may be a lot more at risk than is immediately apparent, and you could find yourself looking back on this case years from now wishing that you had taken some different steps. Criminal law is complicated, which is why it is so important that you take this process seriously and work with an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Fort Worth.

Many criminal defense attorneys offer free initial consultations with potential clients so that they can ask a variety of questions about their situation and learn about the most appropriate steps that they should be taking to move forward with as much success as possible.

HELP NAVIGATING THE CRIMINAL LAW SYSTEM

The criminal law system in the United States is complicated and confusing, especially for individuals who do not have a comprehensive understanding of the situation that they are involved in, and the possible consequences of a guilty finding or plea agreement. If you are at a court hearing working with a prosecutor, they will make an initial offer for the individual to accept a guilty finding, or may make an initial offer for a plea deal. While this may seem like the proper decision given the circumstances and the individual may want to get the process finished with, it could come back to cause a major issue.

NEGOTIATING ACCEPTABLE OUTCOMES

You may have noticed that there is a theme here, and it all comes down to working towards the most acceptable outcome for your situation. Every step that your attorney takes will be with the intention to get you the lightest possible sentence, the most minimum penalties available for your charges, and how you can mitigate the impact that these charges have on your life. When you are working on your own and attempting to represent yourself, courts and prosecutors will take advantage of your inexperience and you will find yourself walking away with steep penalties without much clarity on how it even happened.

PROFESSIONAL ADVICE FOR YOUR SPECIFIC CASE

When you hire an attorney to represent your case, they are working directly on your behalf in order to help you with your case. This means that any action you think about taking outside of the case that you are unsure of how it will impact your proceedings, then you will be able to consult with them. If you are wondering how your case will impact your ability to apply for jobs, renew a drivers license, apply for housing, or anything else that is unclear at the time, you will be able to contact your attorney and get a specific answer about the exact situation that you are in. While this may not seem like a big deal right off the bat, you will find that their advice and counsel throughout your case is absolutely irreplaceable because of how simple it will make each of these otherwise complicated questions seem.

CONFIDENCE IN YOUR CASE

The most important thing that you will get from working with a criminal defense attorney is confidence. You will be able to get straight answers from them about your entire situation and will be able to plan accordingly for your future given their history of experience and their understanding of how they expect your case to go. 

No deal Brexit disastrous for aspiring lawyers, Law Society warn

Disruptive departure could damage UK’s ability to attract and retain world’s top legal talent

A no deal Brexit will be disastrous for those seeking to enter the legal profession, a new report produced by the Law Society has warned.

The professional body, which represents 140,000 practising solicitors in England and Wales, has raised fresh concerns over the impact “Brexit disruption” will have on law graduates and junior lawyers’ moving around Europe.

According to the Law Society’s UK-EU future partnership and legal services report, published this morning, a no deal Brexit could also damage the UK’s ability to attract and retain the world’s top legal talent. It said:

“This has an impact on the attractiveness of qualifying in England and Wales. Their rights to provide services under their home title, to establish and practise in Europe and to requalify in host state law will all become more complex under an FTA [free trade agreement] or in case of a no-deal Brexit.”

The report added: “The prospective candidates from the EU may no longer be attracted to studying in the UK and getting an English and Welsh qualification since they cannot use it in their home country to the same degree as under the current regime.”

Aspiring lawyers wouldn’t be the only ones left worse off from a no deal departure. According to the Law Society’s president, Simon Davis, a crash-out Brexit could cost Britain’s legal services sector an eyewatering £3.5 billion, nearly 10% higher than under an “orderly Brexit”.

The 2019 Legal Cheek Firms Most List

The UK stands as the EU’s largest exporter of legal services. According to Davis, the sector contributed £27 billion to the UK economy in 2018 and produced a trade surplus of £4.4 billion in 2017 — this largely the result of the UK’s access to European markets through directives. Davis continued:

“That is why we are urging the UK government to negotiate a future agreement that enables broader access for legal services so that English and Welsh solicitors can maintain their right to practise in the EU.”

Newly-installed Prime Minister Boris Johnson has pledged to negotiate a better exit agreement with the EU, but maintains the UK will leave on 31 October with or without a deal.

This isn’t the first time the Law Society has shared its bleak Brexit fears. Last year, Chancery Lane’s number crunchers predicted that a no deal scenario could cost the legal market up to £3 billion by 2025, with growth slumping to 1.1%.

Boris Johnson

Suspected Terrorists and illegal immigrants Deported

Taxpayers paid £57m to lawyers who successfully fought Government attempts to deport suspected terrorists and illegal immigrants

Two former justice ministers today urge Boris Johnson and the Government to rethink the practice to end such big pay-outs CREDIT: WPA POOL/GETTY IMAGES EUROPE

Taxpayers have had to foot a £57.5 million bill to pay off lawyers who successfully fought Home Office attempts to deport suspected terrorists, foreign criminals and illegal immigrants.

They have had to pay or settle the legal costs of lawyers who have often used European human rights laws to outflank the Home Office and win cases for their clients.

The 6,098 cases covering four years from 2014/15 to 2017/18 have involved foreign criminals, illegal immigrants and asylum seekers whom the Government unsuccessfully attempted to send back to their homelands, according to figures obtained under Freedom of Information laws.

It includes lawyers for hate preacher Abu Qatada who got £57,000 from the Home Office after they initially defeated its bid to send him back to Jordan to face terrorism charges. The Home Office paid their charges at a rate of £330 an hour.

Radical al-Aaida linked preacher, Abu Qatada

Radical al-Aaida linked preacher, Abu Qatada CREDIT: MOHAMMAD HANNON/AP

Two former justice ministers today urge Boris Johnson and the Government to rethink the practice to end such big pay-outs.

Mike Penning, a former policing and justice minister, said: “The Prime Minister needs to add this to his list of legislation that needs to be changed.

“If these people have been convicted and are not conducive to the public good, people won’t understand why we are paying out this money to lawyers abusing the legal system rather than spending it on the NHS.”

Oliver Heald, who was also a former Government law officer as solicitor general, said the Home Office should pay out where there was a serious mistake, but any awards should be “taxed on a reasonable basis so that it’s not possible to make a fortune out of these cases.

“They should be decided on a moderate basis rather than an expensive one. This is something the Ministry of Justice may wish to review.”

The £57.5 million for the 6,000 cases – equivalent to 30 every week for four years – excludes the additional £28.4 million that the Government had to pay for its own legal costs.

Oliver Heald

Oliver Heald, former Government law officer CREDIT: CHRIS MCANDREW / UK PARLIAMENT

The total of £86 million means the average case ends up costing the taxpayer more than £14,000 in legal fees.

Complex procedures around legal fees mean the Government can be forced to pay out extra payments on top of these to lawyers who successfully challenge legal rulings.

It is supposed to act as compensation to solicitors who may take on some cases where they lose and then end up potentially out of pocket with nobody to pay their costs.

But others believe the “No Win No Fee” culture has gone too far with lawyers able to get away with huge costs’ bills for winning cases against the state.

Other cases included lawyers for Kevin Kiarie, who fought deportation after being convicted of drug offences, who were paid expenses of £194,353. They won the case on the basis that having to appeal from abroad was a breach of his human rights under EU laws.

Human rights lawyers also won a court case claiming it was unfair to send migrants back to the EU country where they first arrived – and sent taxpayers a £600,000 bill for their work.

The lawyers, who charged £330-per-hour, represented an Iranian and three Eritreans who had smuggled their way into the UK after first claiming refugee status in Italy. Once in the UK, they lodged claims to stay here saying it would breach their human rights if they were sent back to Italy.

The Home Office said it took seriously its duty to spend public money effectively. Given the volume of cases, it was “unsurprising” it faced a number of legal challenges: “We have a good track record in defending Judicial Reviews of decisions but remain committed to learning where the Courts do not find in our favour.”

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.

 

White & Case Advises Naspers on US$1.16 Billion Acquisition

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Naspers, a global internet and entertainment group and one of the world’s largest technology investors, on its US$1.16 billion acquisition of an additional 29.1 percent shareholding in Avito, the leading Russian online classifieds site.

The transaction values Avito at an implied enterprise value of US$3.85 billion. Following the acquisition Naspers stake in Avito will increase from 70.4 percent to 99.6 percent (on a fully diluted basis). The remaining shares are held by existing management.

White & Case also advised Naspers on its minority investment in Avito in 2013 and on Naspers’ subsequent US$1.2 billion investment in 2015, when Naspers became the majority owner of Avito.

Avito was established in 2007 by Filip Engelbert and Jonas Nordlander together with founding investors Vostok New Ventures and Kinnevik. It achieved revenue of US$286.5 million and EBITDA of US$127.6 million for its last full financial year to March 2018 and Avito currently has 10.3million unique visitors per day.

The White & Case team which advised on the transaction was led by partners Eric Michailov (London / Moscow) and Johan Steen (Stockholm) with support from counsel Sophie Sahlin (London) and associates Hanna Wingren (London / Stockholm) and Ksenia Tyunik (Moscow).

 

EU court advisor sides with Airbnb against French restrictions

The European Court of Justice Advocate General submitted an opinion Tuesday siding with Airbnb in a case challenging strict French rules.

The Prosecutor’s Office in Paris France filed an indictment for infringement of Hoguet law (real estate law) concerning real estate agents against Airbnb Ireland. Airbnb Ireland denies acting as a real estate agent and the Court of Justice agreed. The opinion found that Airbnb services fall within the scope of “information society services.” The AG rejected that the Irish company would be covered by the nation’s Hoguet Law because there was not proper notification of the intention to apply French law to the Irish company.

In a press release accompanying the opinion the court said that the AG found that Airbnb is a “service consisting in connecting potential guests with hosts offering short-term accommodation, via a electronic portal, in a situation in which the provider of that service does not exercise control over the essential procedures for the provision of those services, constitutes an information society service.”

The opinion is not binding on the court, but is likely to be adopted.

Conyers advises AXA on agreement to acquire XL Group

Conyers advises AXA in connection with an agreement to acquire 100% of Bermuda-based XL Group Ltd (NYSE: XL), a leading global property and casualty commercial lines insurer and reinsurer, for a total consideration of US$15.3 billion, to be fully paid in cash. Completion of the transaction, which was unanimously approved by the boards of AXA and XL Group, is subject to approval by XL Group shareholders and other customary closing conditions, including the receipt of required regulatory approvals, and is expected to take place during the second half of 2018.

White & Case Advises on Conforama’s €316 Million Bond Issue

Global law firm White & Case LLP has advised Steinhoff group’s main creditors on the financial restructuring of its subsidiary Conforama, through a €316 million two-tranche bond issue.

Conforama, the leading European player in furniture retail in-store and online, finalized the bond issue on April 15, 2019 with around 30 equity and debt funds, all Steinhoff group creditors, in order to finance its activity.

Steinhoff executed an agreement in August 2018 with all of its creditors, which was approved by a Company Voluntary Arrangement in London in March 2019, enabling its global debt to be rescheduled and restructured and making it possible for its subsidiaries to be directly financed by its creditors. This approach was previously adopted with Steinhoff’s subsidiary, Mattress Firm, as part of a Chapter 11 procedure.

The White & Case team in Paris which advised on the transaction was led by partner Saam Golshani and included partners Denise Diallo, Colin Chang, Alexandre Ippolito, Brice Engel, Alexandre Jaurett, Bertrand Liard and Alexis Hojabr, counsel Jean Paszkudzki and associates Aurélien Loric, Léa Grédigui, Alexandre Giacobbi, Laure Elbaze, Jeremy Lucas Tong, Bettina de Catalogne, Thomas Chardenal, Anne Sauvebois-Brunel, Céline Martinez, Ginevra Marois and Alice Léonard. Partner Iacopo Canino and associate Bianca Caruso (both Milan) advised on Italian law aspects of the transaction.

Switzerland

PSP Swiss Property optimizes its real estate portfolio

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has advised PSP Swiss Property (PSP) on the acquisition of the so-called “Carba Portfolio” in Bern-Liebefeld, valued at CHF 180.5 million, which was purchased by a share deal.

The portfolio consists of several properties with approximately 36’000 m2 of usable floor space; it offers state-of-the-art and representative premises for offices and services as well as attractive commercial space. The “Carba portfolio” is practically fully let and generates a gross yield of 3.9%.

“We are very pleased to have supported PSP in their acquisition of their real estate portfolio with our legal and tax expertise,” commented Martin Furrer, partner in Zurich.

PSP Swiss Property owns a real estate portfolio worth CHF 7.4 billion in Switzerland’s main economic areas; its market capitalisation amounts to CHF 4.7 billion. The 92 employees are based in Geneva, Olten, Zug and Zurich. Since March 2000, PSP Swiss Property has been listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange

Baker McKenzie provided comprehensive advice to PSP with regard to all legal and tax aspects of the acquisition and during negotiations. The Baker McKenzie team comprised Martin Furrer (Partner Zurich), Samuel Marbacher (Partner, Zurich) as lead partners, Mario Kumschick, Selina Mani, Valeria Knöpfel, Michael Zeller, Cathrin Marxer, Basil Kirby, Philippe Monnier and Andrea Puricelli.