Bloomberg News

Eversheds, White & Case, Morgan, Dewey: Business of Law

November 23, 2012

Eversheds LLP added two partners, Dani Kabbani and Ben Moylan, to the firm’s Doha, Qatar, office.

Kabbani joins the firm as a partner from Simmons & Simmons LLP. He has been practicing law in Qatar for the past 15 years and has experience working with governments and companies on commercial and corporate matters including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and private-equity transactions, the firm said. He previously worked with Qatar Petroleum for seven years.

Moylan joined as a partner from the Doha office of SNR Denton LLP. He has spent four years working in Qatar after relocating from London. He has experience in finance matters, including debt capital markets transactions, asset finance, acquisition finance, real estate investment and development finance arrangements, both conventional and Islamic, acting for borrowers and lenders across both public and private sectors, the firm said.

Financial services litigation partner Ben Bruton has transferred from the firm’s London office to Dubai to lead the region’s financial dispute resolution team.

Eversheds has lawyers in 45 offices in 28 countries around the world.

White & Case Hires International Trade Lawyer in Geneva

White & Case LLP has boosted its World Trade Organization practice in Geneva with the addition of counsel Erwan Berthelot. Berthelot was previously director of legal affairs at the trade association Cosmetics Europe, providing legal support on international trade, regulatory affairs and competition law. He spent nine years in Brussels with Gide Loyrette Nouel.

“Erwan will make a great addition to the firm’s international trade practice and the WTO team here in Geneva,” said Brendan McGivern, executive partner of the Geneva office.

Berthelot has a master’s degree in law from the University of Rennes.

White & Case has lawyers in 38 offices in 26 countries.

Bankruptcy Lawyer Stephen Ravin Joins Saul Ewing in Newark

Saul Ewing LLP announced that Stephen B. Ravin joined the firm as a partner in the bankruptcy and restructuring practice in Newark, New Jersey. He was previously at the New Jersey bankruptcy boutique Forman Holt Eliades Ravin & Youngman.

Ravin, who has more than 30 years of experience, focuses his practice on insolvency and bankruptcy law. He has served as a trustee and has represented trustees, individual and corporate debtors, creditors, creditors’ committees, assignees for the benefit of creditors and receivers, the firm said.

Saul Ewing has 240 lawyers in 11 offices in the Northeastern U.S.

News

Baker & McKenzie to Conduct Trade Secrets Survey for EU

European Commission has contracted with law firm Baker & McKenzie LLP to conduct a study on the economic and legal aspects linked with the use, misappropriation and litigation on confidential business information and trade secrets.

The firm will survey companies about how they manage their know-how and other information of strategic value for their competitiveness, according to a statement from the commission.

The survey will look at companies of all sizes throughout the European Union. The commission said it hopes to find whether there is a need to provide companies with better means of redress against the economic harm from misappropriation of proprietary information.

Any company wishing to participate in the survey can contact the firm through a special e-mail address: tradesecretstudy@bakermckenzie.com. Participants will be given a user ID, a password and a link to the webpage for the survey, and can choose among a number of languages in which to respond to the survey queries.

Videos

Penguin’s Lawyer Engros: Costs of E-Books Drove Deal

Uncertainty over how much book publishers will have to invest in e-book delivery platforms -- which could be substantial -- was a driving force behind the decision of Pearson’s Penguin and Bertelsmann’s Random House to merge, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP partner Charles Engros tells Bloomberg Law’s Spencer Mazyck.

Engros represented Penguin in the deal, which was announced in late October. In the last year, his firm’s media mergers and acquisitions practice has also represented Reed Elsevier in the sale of the entertainment trade publication Variety and the New York Times in its sales of About.com and its interest in the Boston Red Sox.

Fees

Dewey Collects $4.9 Million in Fees During October

Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, the liquidating law firm, collected $4.9 million in fees during October, down from $11.5 million in collections from former clients in September.

Dewey still has $218.7 million in receivables on the books, including $173.6 million more than 90 days old.

The firm ran up $4 million of expenses in October. Since the liquidation began in May, Dewey has collected $68.4 million and spent $22.1 million on the liquidation, according to the operating report filed in bankruptcy court.

As a result of a so-called cash sweep paying down secured debt by $2.7 million in October, cash declined by $1.6 million to end the month at $24.2 million. The secured debt paydown was $6.1 million in September.

Dewey has two official committees, one for unsecured creditors and the other for former partners. The firm once had 1,300 lawyers before liquidation began under Chapter 11 in May.

There was secured debt of about $225 million and accounts receivable of $217.4 million at the outset of bankruptcy, the firm said. Receivables are about the same now because former partners have been sending bills to clients during the bankruptcy for work performed before Dewey went out of business.

The petition listed assets of $193 million and liabilities of $245.4 million as of April 30.

The case is In re Dewey & LeBoeuf LLP, 12-12321, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

Litigation

Abercrombie Settles Pilot Lawsuit After CEO Ordered to Testify

Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (ANF:US) settled an age-discrimination lawsuit brought by a former corporate jet pilot in 2010 after a judge ordered Chief Executive Officer Michael Jeffries to give a second deposition in the case.

“The matter has been resolved and we have no further comment,” General Counsel Rocky Robins said Nov. 1 in a telephone interview, declining to disclose the terms of the agreement. Tim Kolman, a lawyer for the pilot, declined to provide additional details in an e-mail Nov. 21. The pilot’s lawyers rejected a six-figure settlement offer last month, according to a court filing.

U.S. District Judge Paul Diamond ordered Jeffries, 68, to be deposed for as long as seven hours in Philadelphia by yesterday after Abercrombie’s “disturbingly belated production of highly damaging evidence,” primarily a set of handwritten notes from the teen retailer’s former director of procurement, according to a Nov. 8 order.

Jeffries was deposed in Ohio two years ago as part of the lawsuit, filed in federal court in Philadelphia by corporate jet pilot Michael Stephen Bustin, who is now 55 and claimed he was fired and replaced by a younger man. The suit, brought in April 2010, has uncovered Jeffries’s specifications for the airplane’s attendants, from how they were to address him and his guests to the Abercrombie cologne they wore. The plaintiff also sought to determine his partner Matthew Smith’s involvement at Abercrombie and flight crew selection through his role heading a limited liability corporation called the Jeffries Family Office.

The pilot’s case is Bustin v. Abercrombie & Fitch Co., 10- cv-01675, U.S. District, Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia).

For more, click here.

To contact the reporter on this story: Elizabeth Amon in Brooklyn, New York, at eamon2@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net


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