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Cravath Wins Dismissal in Merck Class Action
Law Firm News | 2007/04/13 21:09

On April 12, the United States District Court in New Jersey granted the Merck & Co.'s motion to dismiss with prejudice a consolidated securities class action filed by investors against Merck in connection with disclosures by Merck regarding VIOXX. In his ruling, Judge Stanley R. Chesler found that the securities action should be dismissed because all of the plaintiffs' claims were time-barred under the applicable statutes of limitations. Cravath is lead counsel for Merck in the securities action. The Cravath team was led by partners Robert H. Baron, Evan R. Chesler and David Greenwald and associate Karen R. King.

Two Godfrey & Kahn lawyers received awards
Law Firm News | 2007/04/08 11:27

Two lawyers from Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. were among 17 people recognized as outstanding volunteers by The Milwaukee 7 at its recent advisory council meeting: Christine Liu McLaughlin, shareholder and member of the Labor & Employment Practice Group in the firm’s Milwaukee and Waukesha offices, and Mark C. Witt, shareholder and member of the Corporate Practice Group in the firm’s Milwaukee office. The awards were presented in appreciation of McLaughlin’s and Witt’s professional connections that helped open the door to many CEOs during the Milwaukee 7 CEO Call Program.

The Milwaukee 7, launched in September 2005, was formed to create a regional, cooperative economic development platform for the seven counties of southeastern Wisconsin: Kenosha, Milwaukee, Ozaukee, Racine, Walworth, Waukesha and Washington. The CEO Call Program includes a team of 135 volunteers who have visited with the CEOs of 450 companies to aggregate information for a more systematic understanding of the business climate and address concerns to help attract, retain and grow diverse businesses and talent.

Christine Liu McLaughlin
McLaughlin provides counsel on an array of issues including hiring, discipline and termination; family and medical leave; federal and state disability discrimination; federal and state civil rights and fair employment; sexual and other unlawful harassment; workplace violence; contingent workforce; and affirmative action and compliance. She has conducted workshops and seminars on these and other employment law topics in Wisconsin as well as nationally. Additionally, McLaughlin was instrumental in the creation and implementation of Legal Resource Training, Godfrey & Kahn’s interactive training service initiated as a proactive tool to help clients avoid employment litigation.

McLaughlin is a member of the Society for Human Resource Management and the Human Resource Management Association of Southeastern Wisconsin.

Mark C. Witt
Witt’s practice is focused on business law, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, private equity and venture capital. Mark has been involved in numerous public and private business transactions as counsel to buyers, sellers, lenders and investors. He also is experienced in international business transactions and restructurings, including private equity and hedge fund investments in Asia. He assisted with the creation of Godfrey & Kahn's Shanghai office.

Witt serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the YMCA Holton Youth Center, and is a member of the Advisory Board of WIN-Milwaukee, and the Board of Directors of the Milwaukee Curling Club.

Founded in 1957, Godfrey & Kahn maintains offices in Milwaukee, Madison, Appleton, Green Bay, and Waukesha, WI; Washington, DC; and Shanghai, PRC. With more than 190 attorneys, Godfrey & Kahn provides legal and business advice to clients ranging from small businesses and governmental entities to large privately and publicly held national and international companies.

Peter Elias Joins Morrison & Foerster’s San Diego Office
Law Firm News | 2007/04/05 18:29

Morrison & Foerster LLP is pleased to announce that Peter Elias has joined the firm as a partner in its San Diego office.  Mr. Elias joins the firm’s Tax Department, where his practice will focus on joint ventures, LLC, mergers and acquisitions, and cross-border tax issues.  He recently has focused his practice extensively in the fund formation and private equity area, forming and advising promoters and investors in all types of pooled investment vehicles, including real estate and opportunity funds, hedge funds, and venture capital funds.

Mr. Elias’s tax expertise advising clients in joint ventures, mergers and acquisitions, project finance transactions, strategic investments and workouts, and real estate transactions will make him a valuable asset to both the corporate and real estate practices at the firm.

“We are delighted to have Pete with us. He will be a great addition to the team and will expand our tax capabilities on the West Coast, allowing us to better serve our corporate and real estate clients,” said Thomas Humphreys, chair of the Tax Department.  “Pete’s outstanding tax skills, particularly in the corporate area, will allow our office to be truly full-service for our corporate clients,” added Mark Zebrowski, managing partner of the firm’s San Diego office.

Mr. Elias said, “Morrison & Foerster provides me with a great platform to expand my practice.  The firm's deep commitment to client service will give me the opportunity to build on existing relationships and contribute to the continued growth of the firm’s tax practice.”

Mr. Elias joins the firm from Foley & Lardner.  Mr. Elias received his J.D. from the University of California, Hastings School of Law in 1992, and his LL.M. in taxation from the New York University School of Law in 1993. He graduated, magna cum laude, from the University of Pittsburgh.  He was admitted to the California State Bar in 1993.

Katten Muchin Rosenman Names 11 New Partners
Law Firm News | 2007/04/04 19:05

The Board of Directors of Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is pleased to announce that it has elected 11 attorneys to partner.

"This is a group of very talented attorneys," said Vincent A. F. Sergi, the Firm's National Managing Partner. "They have all demonstrated the commitment to professionalism and dedication to client service that we expect of those who advance in the firm, and we look forward to their continued success."

The board selected attorneys from seven practices (Corporate, Commercial Finance, Intellectual Property, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Real Estate, Tax Planning, Trusts and Estates) across four Firm offices.

In Chicago:

Valentina Famparska, in the Tax Planning Practice, concentrates on federal and state taxation, focusing in venture capital, private equity and emerging growth companies, partnerships, and mergers and acquisitions. Ms. Famparska graduated from Sofia University School of Law, Bulgaria with a law degree and highest honors. In Bulgaria, she practiced for five years in the areas of commercial law, corporate law and taxation. She also worked as a legal advisor for the Bulgarian Ministry of Finance, Department of Taxation. Ms. Famparska received a law degree, magna cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

Brooks T. Giles, in the Corporate Practice, concentrates on private company mergers and acquisitions. He has represented both buyers and sellers in acquisitions, including stock purchases, asset sales, tax-free mergers, and leveraged buyout situations. Mr. Giles also has experience in public and private corporate finance transactions, including registered and 144A debt offerings, registered equity offerings and venture capital financings. His public company experience includes mergers, tender offers, hostile proxy contests and general corporate advice, including poison pills. Mr. Giles received his B.A. from the University of Chicago and holds both a J.D. with honors and an LL.M. from Duke University School of Law.

Derek F. Ladgenski, in the Commercial Finance Practice, concentrates on all aspects of corporate finance, including secured and unsecured senior financing, mezzanine financing, equity co-investments and similar products for a wide variety of lending syndicates and institutional and entrepreneurial finance and corporate clients. He has experience with several distinct lending products, including secured and unsecured asset-based and cash flow loans, debtor-in-possession financings, loans to distressed companies, securitizations, Islamic Shari'ah-compliant loans, real estate-based loan packages, loans to energy and utility companies and secured and unsecured mezzanine loans. Mr. Ladgenski holds a B.S. with distinction and a B.A. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received his J.D., magna cum laude, from the University of Illinois College of Law.

Stephen J. Lombardo, III, in the Corporate Practice, concentrates his work primarily in the areas of private equity/venture capital, mergers and acquisitions and general corporate work. He has worked on a wide range of transactions (valued from $1 million to $15 billion) representing clients in a wide variety of industries including restaurant and food, technology, manufacturing, healthcare, aerospace, and finance. He holds a B.S.B.A. as well as a J.D. from Georgetown University, and is also a CPA.

Eric A. Smith, in the Corporate Practice, focuses his work primarily in private equity and mergers and acquisitions, but also counsels clients in matters related to public and private securities matters. His primary focus is representing private equity funds and their portfolio companies. He has also been involved in providing advice to corporate clients involved in leveraged buyouts, consolidations, restructurings and various other types of corporate transactions, as well as to executives involved in various private equity transactions. Mr. Smith holds a B.S. with honors from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a joint J.D., magna cum laude, M.B.A. from the University of Illinois in Champaign.

Philip J. Tortorich, in the Trusts and Estates Practice, concentrates in the areas of tax- and estate-planning matters, primarily representing wealthy individuals and closely-held corporations. His work includes consulting with clients regarding tax-efficient structuring of corporate entities, including C corporations, S corporations, limited-liability companies, limited partnerships, and hybrid-type entities. He also designs trusts that shift the future growth of a client's net worth out of the client's estate while minimizing the exposure to gift taxation. Mr. Tortorich regularly advises clients on structuring personal family investment companies, as well as their philanthropic goals. He holds a B.A. from Loyola University Chicago and a J.D., cum laude, from Loyola University Chicago School of Law.

In Los Angeles:

James J. Thompson, in the Corporate Practice, counsels clients on a wide range of matters including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, reorganizations, formation and financing transactions for emerging growth companies, public and private offerings of equity and debt securities, 1933 Securities Act and 1934 Exchange Act compliance and periodic reporting, corporate governance matters and general corporate representation. He advises publicly-traded corporations and privately-held corporations and other business entities, investment banks, commercial banks and other financial institutions. He has represented clients in industries including, technology, e-commerce and the Internet, health care, biotechnology, real estate, gaming, entertainment, education, financial services and consulting sectors. He holds a B.A., magna cum laude, from Georgetown University and a J.D. from the University of Southern California School of Law.

Laurie Cohen Yoo, in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice, concentrates her practice in real estate litigation. Ms. Yoo represents retail shopping center owners, managers, and developers in a wide range of matters including lease enforcement, public access, and disability discrimination (ADA). She regularly counsels clients on shopping center management issues and enforcement of private property interests. She holds a B.A., cum laude, from Pomona College and a J.D. from UCLA School of Law.

In New York:

Julie Pechersky, in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Practice, focuses on the defense of private and publicly-traded companies and their directors and officers in securities actions, directors' and officers' liability actions, and governmental and regulatory investigations and litigation. She also serves as counsel to companies in internal investigations. Ms. Pechersky has represented clients in a wide range of matters relating to allegations of accounting irregularities and securities fraud. Prior to joining the Firm, Ms. Pechersky clerked for Chief Judge Sylvia Rambo, United States District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. She holds a B.A. with honors from the University of Pittsburgh and a J.D. from New York University School of Law.

Susan Lee Saslow, in the Real Estate Practice, concentrates in all aspects of real estate transactional matters, including commercial acquisitions and dispositions, leasing, real estate finance and development of all types of real properties. Her practice primarily focuses in the areas of conventional and securitized real estate financings. She has extensive experience representing institutional clients and private investors and developers in sophisticated debt and equity financings, advising both borrowers and lenders in complex transactions involving multi-state, multi-property portfolios, mezzanine financings, securitized loan originations, construction loans and loan participations. She holds a B.A. from Wesleyan University and earned her J.D., cum laude, from Albany Law School of Union University.

In Washington:

Justin L. Krieger, in the Intellectual Property Practice, focuses on intellectual property litigation, patent prosecution, and client counseling with a technical background in chemistry. Mr. Krieger concentrates on patent litigation and has participated in all phases of patent litigation including discovery, trial and appeals. As a registered patent attorney, Mr. Krieger is also actively involved in prosecuting patent applications in the chemical engineering, metallurgical, nanotechnology, medical device, mechanical, consumer products, business method and software technology fields. He has extensive experience prosecuting domestic and international patent applications including reexamination and reissue applications. He has also provided numerous non-infringement and validity opinions in the chemical, polymer and mechanical arts from both due diligence and litigation perspectives. Mr. Krieger received a B.S. in Chemistry from the College of William and Mary and his J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law.

Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP is a full-service law firm with offices in the nation's largest centers of business, government, finance and technology and an affiliated entity in London. With over 650 attorneys in more than 40 areas of practice, Katten provides timely and cost-effective counsel to clients in numerous industries. Katten provides advice for a wide range of public and private companies - from entrepreneurial, emerging-growth, and middle market firms to global Fortune 100 corporations - as well as government entities, institutions of higher learning, museums and a host of other charitable and cultural organizations.

Hunton & Williams LLP hires new attorneys in Dallas
Law Firm News | 2007/04/04 18:51

Hunton & Williams LLP today announced it has added 93 new lateral attorneys which significantly grows the firm’s presence in Texas. The attorneys joined from Jenkens & Gilchrist’s offices in Dallas, Austin, and Houston. Of those joining, 87 will be in Dallas, five in Austin, and one in Houston. The firm will open a new Austin office.

With these additions, Hunton & Williams will have nearly 1,000 lawyers in 19 offices worldwide and will be one of the largest non-Texas-based law firms in Dallas. The Dallas office will grow from 70 lawyers to 157.

The attorneys are enlarging the following practice areas: financial institutions, corporate, financial services, real estate, litigation, bankruptcy, tax, and estate planning.

Weil Gotshal's Dan Dokos - Dealmaker of the Year
Law Firm News | 2007/04/03 16:45

Daniel S. Dokos, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP partner and chair of the firm’s Banking & Finance practice, was awarded the prestigious Dealmaker of the Year award by The American Lawyer in its Corporate Debt category. The highly sought after distinction is awarded to a select group of attorneys who demonstrate excellence in managing ground-breaking or industry-changing deals. Mr. Dokos is recognized for his leadership role in representing JPMorgan, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs in the secured financing for Ford Motor Company. The loan transaction, totaling $18.5 billion, was the largest corporate loan in history.

The American Lawyer is the country’s leading monthly magazine for lawyers and has served as the standard by which the nation’s most important lawyers measure themselves for 25 years.

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