Bloomberg News

Clifford Chance Forms Indonesian Link: Business of Law (Correct)

January 14, 2014

Clifford Chance LLP formed an association with Linda Widyati & Partners of Indonesia, a boutique law firm with experience in corporate mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance, and capital markets.

“Indonesia is a strong and vibrant economy and represents an important jurisdiction for many of our clients, including in sectors such as energy and resources, financial institutions, insurance, consumer goods and retail, and telecoms,” Clifford Chance’s managing partner for Asia Pacific, Peter Charlton, said in a statement.

Clifford Chance’s head of M&A in Amsterdam, Jeroen Koster, recently relocated to the Asia-Pacific region and will lead the association on the Clifford Chance side. Koster has a background in corporate and M&A work on Asia-Pacific matters.

Clifford Chance said it has been advising clients on Indonesian matters for more than 30 years from Singapore and Hong Kong.

“We are thrilled to be joining forces with Clifford Chance, which has one of the best-recognized and longest-standing international Indonesia practices,” Widyati said in a statement. “The association provides a fantastic opportunity for our lawyers, who will have access to Clifford Chance’s world-class training, knowhow, sector expertise and resources as well as providing them with international work and career opportunities.”

The association follows several other recent initiatives in the Asia-Pacific region by Clifford Chance, including its alliance with boutique litigation practice Cavenagh Law in Singapore and the opening of a Seoul office.

In the region, Clifford Chance has more than 400 lawyers at offices in Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Perth, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Sydney and Tokyo.

The firm has 3,400 legal advisers in 36 offices in 26 countries.

Moves

Greenberg Traurig Adds Former New Hampshire Congressman Bass

Former U.S. Representative Charles F. Bass joined Greenberg Traurig LLP as a senior director in the government law and policy practice in Washington.

Bass, a Republican was a member of the House for New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District from 1995 to 2007 and from 2011 to 2013.

He will focus on policy and legislative matters throughout the federal government. As former member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, he has experience with public policy in energy, telecommunications, health care, environmental protection, consumer protection, privacy, data security and related issues.

Greenberg has about 1,750 attorneys at 36 offices in the U.S., Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.

Venable Adds NHTSA Administrator David L. Strickland

Venable LLP will add David L. Strickland, the administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, to the firm’s Washington office as partner later this month.

Strickland has worked since 2010 as administrator at NHTSA, where he oversaw the development of the first national fuel efficiency program in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency, issued the first ejection-mitigation standards for passenger vehicles and brought national attention to child passenger safety issues, the firm said.

Before NHTSA, Strickland spent eight years on Capitol Hill on the staff of the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation as senior counsel.

“From the Hill to the Administration, David is well respected and understands the often complex regulatory process from different points of view,” Brock R. Landry, co-chairman of Venable’s government division, said in a statement.

At Venable, Strickland will be joining former U.S. Transportation Secretary James Burnley.

Venable is based in Washington and has offices in California, Delaware, Maryland, New York and Virginia.

Mintz Levin Adds Freedman for Health-Care Enforcement Defense

Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo PC is expanding its health-care enforcement defense practice with the addition of Larry Freedman in Washington. He joins from Patton Boggs LLP, where he represented health-care providers and life sciences companies for nine years, the firm said.

Freedman’s litigation practice has focused on defending clients against claims of fraud and abuse involving governmental programs. He has handled white-collar investigations, litigation and global resolutions involving criminal, civil and administrative allegations and counseled companies through internal probes and investor due-diligence reviews.

“Larry’s background and experience will further enhance our extensive health-care enforcement defense capabilities,” Karen Lovitch, who leads the firm’s health law practice, said in a statement.

Mintz Levin has more than 450 lawyers at eight offices in the U.S. and U.K.

Atlanta Litigator Peter Canfield Joins Jones Day

Jones Day said Peter C. Canfield, a civil litigator, has joined the firm’s Atlanta office in the business and tort litigation practice. He was previously in Dow Lohnes PLLC’s Atlanta office.

“Perhaps best known as a go-to trial lawyer for Atlanta news organizations, his practice also involves substantial complex civil litigation, which is an extraordinarily strong practice for us -- both in Atlanta and around the firm -- and his arrival makes it that much stronger,” Lizanne Thomas, the partner-in-charge of the Atlanta office, said in a statement.

Jones Day has lawyers at 40 offices in offices throughout the world.

FTC Veteran Richard Dagen Joins Axinn Veltrop in Washington

Axinn, Veltrop & Harkrider LLP said Richard Dagen, former assistant director and special counsel to the director of the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Competition, joined the firm’s antitrust group in Washington.  

During his tenure at the FTC, Dagen was involved in both federal and administrative trials and investigations involving prominent FTC merger and non-merger cases including Toys ‘R’ Us Inc., HJ Heinz Co., Rambus Inc. and Intel Corp. The firm said his responsibilities included all aspects of trying cases through to verdict and on appeal.

Dagen’s managerial responsibilities covered advising the bureau and the commission on cases’ merits, litigation risks and remedies, the firm said. He has been particularly active in the intersection of intellectual property and antitrust law, including the commission’s involvement with the non-disclosure of patents in standard-setting, the firm said.

“It’s a rare opportunity to add an attorney with such a wealth of experience in the full range of competition law,” John Harkrider, co-chairman of the antitrust group and a founding partner at the firm, said in a statement.

Axinn has lawyers who handle antitrust, intellectual property and high-stakes litigation matters at three U.S. offices.

Troutman Sanders Adds Bankruptcy Partner in Atlanta Office

Troutman Sanders LLP said Harris Winsberg joined its bankruptcy practice in Atlanta. Winsberg is returning to the firm after four years at King & Spalding LLP.

Winsberg has represented financial institutions and borrowers in the U.S. on corporate restructurings and regulatory matters involving consumer-protection laws and other matters. He also has experience in litigation matters, including those related to lender liability, alter ego liability and fraudulent conveyances, the firm said.

“He has a great deal of experience representing both lenders and borrowers on complex transactions, and will add valuable bench strength to our bankruptcy practice,” Bill Withrow, chairman of the firm’s litigation department, said in a statement.

Troutman Sanders has more than 600 lawyers in offices in North America and Asia.

Litigation

SAC’s Martoma Harvard-Expulsion Disclosed as Trial Starts

Nine years before former SAC Capital Advisors LP fund manager Mathew Martoma engaged in what prosecutors claim was “the most lucrative insider trading scheme ever charged,” he was kicked out of Harvard Law School for faking his grades.

Martoma, 39, is charged with conspiracy and securities fraud for allegedly using inside information from two doctors supervising a clinical trial of a drug intended to treat Alzheimer’s disease to make $276 million for SAC in 2008. The jury of seven women and five men was selected Jan. 9 and heard opening statements in the trial Jan. 10.

Richard Strassberg, an attorney for Martoma, told jurors Jan. 10 that his client is “an innocent man. Mathew Martoma did not commit these charges.”

U.S. District Judge Paul Gardephe in Manhattan unsealed court papers Jan. 9 revealing an effort by Martoma’s lawyers to keep from jurors and the public information they called “volcanic,” “grossly prejudicial” and intended to “paint Mr. Martoma as a liar in the eyes of the jury.”

“This event of 15 years ago is entirely unrelated to -- and has no bearing on -- this case,” Lou Colasuonno, a spokesman for Martoma, said in a statement about the Harvard expulsion. “Raising it now is a transparent effort by the government to unduly influence the ongoing court proceedings.”

The case is U.S. v. Martoma, 12-cr-00973, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

For more, click here.

Legal Fees

Swipe-Fee Accord Lawyers to Receive $571.8 Million, Judge Rules

A federal judge in Brooklyn, New York, approved $544.8 million in fees and $27 million in expenses for plaintiffs’ lawyers who reached a $5.7 billion settlement with Visa Inc. (V:US) and MasterCard Inc. (MA:US) that ended years of litigation with U.S. merchants over the setting of credit-card swipe fees.

The three firms appointed co-lead counsel for class plaintiff include Robbins Geller Rudman & Dowd LLP; Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi LLP; and Berger & Montague PC., according to the decision.

U.S. District Judge John Gleeson presided over the settlement, which was estimated to be the largest-ever U.S. antitrust accord.

Once owned by groups of major banks, Visa and MasterCard have defended themselves for decades against claims that they operated price-fixing schemes. Swipe, or interchange, fees are set by Visa and MasterCard and paid by merchants when consumers use credit or debit cards.

MasterCard and Visa separated from the banks through initial public offerings in 2006 and 2008, respectively. Merchants filed a class-action lawsuit against the companies and the biggest card-issuing banks in 2005. They later alleged that the payment networks continued to fix prices with the banks even after the IPOs.

The case is In re Payment Card Interchange Fee and Merchant Discount Antitrust Litigation, 05-md-01720, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York (Brooklyn).

For more, click here.

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

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


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