Law Firm News

Kirkland & Ellis adds partner Ranesh Ramanathan to Boston office

Ramanathan has nearly 15 years of experience negotiating, structuring and managing complex transactions globally, including acquiring diverse multijurisdictional portfolios of assets and extracting entire business units from distressed sellers. He will focus his practice on debt finance, distressed/special situations, alternative investments and credit fund transactions. He was previously global general counsel at Bain Capital Credit.

George Baptista joins Norton rose Fulbright as partner in New York

Baptista focuses his practice on Latin America and has considerable experience working with issuers and underwriters on international securities offerings. He is also knowledgeable in corporate, multilateral and infrastructure-related financings in the emerging markets. He was previously with Mayer Brown.

Akerman names P. Jeanne Brown as CMO

Brown was previously with Williams & Connolly, serving as director of business development, marketing and client relations. She will work with firm leadership to grow its client base by implementing a strategic client development plan. Akerman also appointed Ron Paquette as director of pricing, where he will develop and implement pricing arrangements, monitor performance against client and firm budgets, as well as measure the effectiveness of pricing arrangements for the firm and its clients. He was previously with Hunton Andrews Kurth, where he managed pricing analytics.

Dentons expand IP practice with two appointments

Joy Atacador joins as a partner in the intellectual property and technology and life science and healthcare practices. She specializes in IP litigation and dispute resolution, particularly the protection and enforcement of trademarks, patents, copyright, designs, confidential information and reputation rights. Roanne De Menezes also joins the firm as a special consultant, focused on trademarks and portfolio management. She has expertise in all aspects of trademark management covering a variety of sectors, from pre-filing clearance searches, filing strategy advices and filing and prosecution of trademarks locally and internationally.

Holland & Knight adds former DHS assistant secretary to international trade practice

Seth Stodder joins the firm’s Los Angeles office as a partner representing clients on a broad range of matters, including transactions before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, international trade and customs issues, immigration and visas, cybersecurity and data privacy, government investigations and national/homeland security. During his time with the DHS, Stodder headed the team evaluating foreign investments for CFIUS and the Federal Communication Commission’s “Team Telecom” and represented DHS on the CFIUS committee. He also oversaw all trade issues for DHS, including trade policy, customs issues, e-commerce, supply chain security, trade agreement negotiations, transportation security, and import and export control, as well as border security, immigration policy and law enforcement.

Kean Miller adds Anjali Parikh Gillette as senior counsel in Houston office

Gillette will practice in the firm’s energy, admiralty and maritime, and corporate litigation groups. She has experience in legal issues related to land based and offshore oil and gas matters, assisting clients in commercial litigation, insurance defense, Federal Employers’ Liability Act, railroad defense litigation, Longshore Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, Defense Base Act and Carmack Amendment transportation issues. She was previously with Holman Fenwick Willan.

Morgan Lewis adds partner Ryan Kantor to D.C. office

Kantor was previously an assistant chief of the DoJ’s Antitrust Division, where he oversaw antitrust investigations and enforcement actions involving healthcare, insurance, consumer products and other sectors. He also led or supervised some of the Antitrust Division’s largest and most important investigations, lawsuits and enforcement actions in a wide variety of industries.

Mark Chorazak joins Cadwalader as a partner in financial services group

Chorazak represents financial institutions on a wide range of bank regulatory, transactional and compliance matters. He also counsels banks, thrifts, investors and other financial services firms on strategic matters and compliance issues arising under the Bank Holding Company Act, the Dodd-Frank Act and other key U.S. banking laws. He joins the firm from Simpson Thatcher, where he was the lead regulatory counsel on some of the largest bank mergers since the financial crisis. He will be based out of the firm’s New York office.

Susan Kayser joins K&L Gates as an IP partner in D.C. office

Kayser provides IP litigation and counseling services to international brands and start-ups on trademark, advertising, and copyright matters. She also litigates and defends against Lanham Act false advertising claims, counsels clients on global product launches and advertising campaigns and leads IP due diligence teams for global brand acquisitions. She joins the firm from Jones Day.

Michael Sandgren joins Dentons as a partner in litigation and dispute resolution practice

Sandgren will focus on representing manufacturers and distributers of industrial products in personal injury defense. He has more than 20 years of experience in toxic tort and environmental litigation representing building contractors and developers in disputes arising out of alleged exposure to asbestos, benzene, silica and other toxic substances. He will be based in the firm’s Oakland office.

Kirlank & Ellis adds partner Nicola Dagg to London IP team

Dagg has more than 20 years of experience handling complex intellectual property disputes and advisory work. Her practice focuses on patent litigation and breach of confidence disputes, particularly with the legal and commercial aspects of highly scientific and technologically advanced matters. She was previously with Allen & Overy, where she was the global head of intellectual property.

Raúl Fernández-Briseño to head M&A at Mayer Brown’s Mexico City office

Fernández-Briseño advises clients on shareholders arrangements, cross-border transactions and corporate disputes. He also handled complex structured financings and regulatory issues in several industries, including but not limited to telecommunications and transportation, as well as a variety of project-finance matters. He was previously with White & Case.

Melis Acuner joins Cadwalader as special counsel in disputes group

Acuner was previously with Skadden, where she advised clients in high-profile cross-border disputes, criminal and civil investigations and regulatory matters. Her practice focuses on arbitration and litigation, with an emphasis on complex multijurisdictional disputes. She will be based out of the firm’s London office.

Ken Muller joins Kirkland & Ellis as a partner in investment funds group

Muller’s practice focuses on the formation, organization and operation of private equity real estate funds, private equity funds, club vehicles, REITs and other platforms; private equity, real asset and other alternative investment managers; as well as private equity and strategic finance, M&A, joint ventures, and other types of complex business transactions. He joins the firm from Morrison & Forester, where he served as co-chair of the private equity fund group.

Four attorneys promoted to counsel at Nixon Peabody

Sarah Abel is in the global finance group in San Francisco, where she represents companies, commercial banks and other financial institutions in commercial lending and asset-based lending transactions. Scott Shepardson is also based out of the San Francisco office in the commercial litigation group, where he works on consumer warranty cases and product liability litigation, negotiation and drafting of commercial leases and real estate litigation. Based out of the Boston office in the commercial litigation group is Ronaldo Rauseo-Ricupero, who defends businesses and executives in the energy, defense, contracting and higher education industries facing federal or state investigations and related civil or criminal litigation under the False Claims Act, Anti-Kickback Statute, environmental laws or consumer protection statutes. Finally, Amy Reichart out of the Rochester office’s energy and environmental group, represents clients in environmental regulatory and enforcement matters, site investigation and remediation, brownfields redevelopment, real estate tax appeals and all phases of litigation.

Jeff Zhang joins Orrick as partner in China M&A practice

Zhang was previously with King & Wood Mallesons, where he was a partner in the New York office. He has considerable experience representing both Chinese state-owned enterprises and private companies in cross-border public and private M&A, tender offers, privatizations, spinoffs and joint ventures. He will split his time between Orrick’s Beijing and New York offices.

FaegreBD add Nicola Ezra to finance and restructuring team

Ezra has extensive experience in all forms of debt finance, including syndicated, project and leveraged finance, international trade and export finance, corporate banking, fund financing and debt restructuring. She acts for commercial lenders, multilateral financial institutions and development banks, and has advised international corporate borrowers and sponsors in the U.K. and in multiple jurisdictions spanning Central and Eastern Europe, sub-Saharan Africa and the Americas. She will be based out of the London office.

Donald Samuels joins Polsinelli as a shareholder

Samuels brings more than 30 years of experience in employment law and litigation, representing employers throughout the U.S. He has advised clients on matters such as wage and hour issues including class and collective actions, discrimination and wrongful termination claims, sexual and racial harassment claims, whistle blower and retaliation claims and enforcement of non-compete and restrictive covenants. He is also an employment law arbitrator for the American Arbitration Association, a member of the board of directors of the Colorado Judicial Institute, and a mentor at Denver University Law School.


Legal Technology News

Fujitsu launches cloud-based data distribution and utilization service

Fujitsu launched its Intelligent Data Service Virtuora DX Data Distribution and Utilization Service, a cloud service that enables companies and organizations to bring visibility to the value in the data they have, share it, and accelerate co-creation across industries using outlines of the data. Virtuora DX uses Fujitsu VPX technology that extends the function of the blockchain to create data interchanges among companies without placing the data in external environments. The service will be immediately available in Japan.

Bowmans selects Kira to improve due diligence efficiency

Pan-African law firm Bowmans invested in Kira to improve efficiencies in some of its key legal processes, particularly in M&A, private equity and compliance. The firm is one of the first in Africa to implement an AI solution. Bowmans will initially focus use of the platform on due diligence.

Apttus to integrate Kira text analytics to contract lifecycle management platform

Apttus will combine its contract lifecycle management offering with Kira’s advanced machine learning text analytics. The combination allows Apttus users to use intelligent identification and extraction of data, reducing risk and speeding up contracting processes involving third-party agreements. In addition, machine learning analysis tailored to specific corporate needs can be used interchangeably between Apttus and Kira platforms: Kira for legacy contract and bulk import projects and Apttus for third party contract review and negotiation.

HPE to acquire networking technology provider Plexxi

HPE acquired software-defined data fabric networking technology provider Plexxi. The deal is expected to extend HPE’s capabilities into the software-defined networking market. HPE says it will also able to leverage next-generation data network fabric that can create or re-balance bandwidth to workload needs, thereby increasing agility and efficiency.

NetDocuments to integrate DocsCorp technology to bring OCR to platform

NetDocuments will integrate with DocsCorp’s contentCrawler technology to deliver Optical Character Recognition (OCR) and image compression functionality as a built-in feature to its platform. NetDocuments OCR will monitor all incoming images and image-based PDFs and automatically convert to searchable PDF and full-text index all the content. The integrated platform will be available in July 2018.


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