State Capital Group - Success Stories


News from the Network
March 2018


It is with sadness and regret that we report the passing March 7th of Nebraska member firm Erickson Sederstrom partner and former Nebraska governor Charley Thone at the age of 94. He was among the original 17 governors who founded SCG Legal in 1989. A four-term congressman from Nebraska’s 1st congressional district, Governor Thone was elected to his state’s highest office in 1978. As governor, he focused his efforts primarily on education, agricultural marketing and economic development. “In my view, Charley was one of Nebraska’s best governors,” said Judge Arlen Beam of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit. “He served in a period of economic uncertainty, especially in the farm economy, a matter not within the control of state government, and he moved the state forward with hard work, skill and dexterity.”


Australia member firm Hall & Wilcox continues on its growth path with the hiring of a Brisbane-based insurance team. The team of 20 is headed by partners Terry Killian, Kelli Stallard and Angela Brookes, and specializes in workers’ compensation, personal injuries and product liability. The team complements the firm’s national insurance practice, particularly its statutory insurance and workers’ compensation practice. Also at Hall & Wilcox, the firm has partnered with Asia’s leading fintech start-up hub, Stone & Chalk, to attract the start-up community. A not-for-profit organization, Stone & Chalk supports fintech start-ups looking to scale and commercialize their technology. Hall & Wilcox is part of Stone & Chalk's Insuretech Program 2018, an acceleration program designed to encourage start-ups to develop technology for the insurance industry. The firm has also committed to start-ups more broadly through what it calls its “frank” service offering, which supports entrepreneurs with frank advice, resources and connections. To learn more, click here.


Germany member firm GvW Graf von Westphalen has launched an aviation practice, drawing upon the expertise of a broad swath of its attorneys, representing different specialties and from multiple offices, in order to provide its clients customized legal solutions in this burgeoning area of the law. Having previously assisted clients in multiple transactions in the aerospace industry, the firm’s newly constituted practice group will expand the range of services it provides aviation-related companies to include collective bargaining, insolvency, state aid, subsidy law and procurement law. The practice will be headed by Düsseldorf partner Dr. Malte J. Hiort, who has had considerable experience working with U.S. companies in the area of corporate law and with handling their mergers-and-acquisitions work in Germany. Also at GvW Graf von Westphalen, the firm reports that it generated €42.2 million ($52.2 million) in revenue in FY 2017, with RPL of €384,000 ($475,000) – a new firm high. Overall profits were €18.4 million ($22.8 million), up 12.2% over last year. At its recent partner meeting in Lisbon, Christof Kleinmann and Dr. Robert Theissen, who are largely credited with having engineered this achievement, were each returned to a fifth successive two-year term as managing partners.

Alabama member firm Capell & Howard has opened a new office in Baldwin County. With offices in Montgomery and Auburn, the firm’s newest location will enable the firm to expand its services as well as increase its growing list of clients across Alabama. The new office is located in Fairhope at 317 Magnolia Avenue.


Ukraine member firm Arzinger reports that the Ukrainian Parliament last month passed a long-awaited law on limited liability companies. The firm says the new law will significantly improve and modernize the legal framework regulating LLCs. Among other things, the law addresses such inadequacies under current law as the enforceability of shareholder agreements, limits on the number of shareholders an LLC may have, audit commission requirements, and shareholder preemptive rights. According to firm partner Anna Zorya, who helped draft the new law, “These changes will raise corporate law to a significantly higher qualitative level and increase the efficiency of more than a half-million Ukrainian enterprises.” Also at Arzinger, Lana Sinichkina has been named exclusive winner of the Client Choice Awards for the life sciences and healthcare category in Ukraine. The award is given to law firms and partners around the globe for their outstanding client service. This year, Client Choice recognized 384 winners across 66 jurisdictions worldwide. Finally, partner Oleksander Plotnikov took part last month in the third annual Renewable Energy Project Finance Conference in London. During a panel discussion on debt financing of renewable energy projects, Mr. Plotnikov outlined the most vital issues associated with renewable energy financing and pointed out the most significant risks connected with projects in Ukraine and ways of mitigating them.


The National Law Journal has named David Weslow of District of Columbia member firm Wiley Rein and Geoffrey Potter of New York City member firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler to its 2018 list of Intellectual Property Trailblazers. Mr. Weslow’s cases have all involved copyright trademark and computer law claims, helping clients get control of stolen IP or shut down infringement. In one, he represented after its URL was stolen and held for ransom. He also filed a lawsuit to assert trademark and copyright claims against John Does who were running an Internet-based counterfeit operation, importing fake Montblanc products into the U.S. Mr. Potter chairs his firm’s anti-counterfeiting practice. He recently obtained preliminary injunctions for global healthcare company Abbott against dozens of distributors who were importing and then selling domestically hundreds of thousands of boxes of Abbott’s blood glucose test strips that the company had sold outside the U.S. for a low price. He then successfully defended the injunctions in the Second Circuit, which upheld the lower court’s finding that the imported strips’ packaging was materially different from what Abbott sold domestically and, therefore, violated its trademarks. Also at Patterson Belknap, partner Dan Lowenthal recently published an article in the Journal of Corporate Renewal entitled, “Venezuelan Debt Crisis Intensifies as Its Leaders Ponder Responses.” The article can be found here. Finally, Patterson Belknap partners Steve Younger and Muhammad Faridi will present a Bloomberg BNA webinar on Monday, March 26th, entitled “Cost-Effective Commercial Litigation in New York’s Commercial Division.” Registration is complimentary. A full description of the webinar, along with registration information, is available online.  


Vanessa Byrne and Michael Doran have been named co-heads of the real estate team at Ireland member firm Mason Hayes & Curran. The firm’s real estate team is one of the largest in Ireland and has advised on some of the most significant real estate transactions in the country. Ms. Byrne’s practice is focused on all aspects of commercial property, landlord and tenant and liquor licensing law. She has an extensive practice in the hotel and leisure sector, nursing homes, primary care centers and student accommodations, as well as the property and planning aspects of renewable energy and infrastructure projects including wind farms, solar parks and data centers. Mr. Doran concentrates on commercial and institutional residential property and the real estate aspects of land development. He advises commercial landlords and tenants on the acquisition and disposal of property interests and provides asset management advice to landlords, tenants and asset managers.


Andrea Rayment, Avery Saunders and David Ford have joined British Columbia member firm Clark Wilson. Ms. Rayment joins the firm as its director of professional development, where she will work with the firm’s attorneys at all stages of their careers to help build their leadership skills. She is a certified executive coach and an active member of the International Coaching Federation. Ms. Saunders joins as an associate in the firm’s private company mergers and acquisitions, commercial real estate and infrastructure, and construction and procurement groups. She advises private enterprises of all sizes on matters of corporate organization and structuring, and works with corporate borrowers in financing negotiations and drafting documents in operating and credit facilities. Mr. Ford joins as partner in the firm’s private company mergers and acquisitions, information technology and venture capital groups. He specializes in delivering advice on significant corporate transactions for many privately owned businesses, and also has expertise in the technology sector, helping companies generate revenue with their intellectual property or helping them acquire the technology they need.


DealMakers has rated South Africa member firm VDMA sixth among the top law firms in South Africa for mergers-and-acquisitions deals by deal value, with 6.52%, and fifth by deal flow, with 7.34%, more than double the share of the market by value and flow captured by global law firm rivals Hogan Lovells, Baker McKenzie and Allen & Overy. Said managing partner Pieter van der Merwe, “What makes this achievement so significant is that we are considerably smaller than many of our competitors, and yet we have still managed to achieve these results. We appreciate the trust our clients have placed in us to provide them with the best solutions capable of being delivered.”


Former Michelin general counsel Daniel Sanders Jr. is returning to South Carolina member firm Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough later his month, where he plans to focus on corporate and litigation matters, specifically in the automotive, tire and transportation industries. For most of his tenure at Michelin, he was based in the company’s North American headquarters in Greenville. But from 2006 to 2008, he and his family moved to France to work from the company’s global headquarters. When he returned to the U.S., he continued to climb the ranks in the company, eventually assuming the top legal role in 2014. One of the first changes he made as chief legal officer was to move the lawyers in the company’s legal department to their respective business units, so that they’d be “sitting with their clients instead of their colleagues.” Michelin has not yet announced who will succeed Mr. Sanders as general counsel.


Tennessee member firm Bass, Berry & Sims has released its sixth annual Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Review. Compiled by the firm's healthcare fraud task force, the review is a comprehensive analysis of enforcement settlements, court decisions and developments affecting the healthcare industry. The review details all healthcare-related False Claims Act settlements from last year, organized by sectors of the healthcare industry. In addition to examining all healthcare fraud-related settlements, the review includes updates on enforcement-related litigation involving the Stark Law and Anti-Kickback Statute, and considers the implications of the government's focus on enforcement efforts involving individual actors in connection with civil and criminal healthcare fraud investigations. The 2017 Healthcare Fraud and Abuse Review also covers noteworthy settlements in 2017, significant False Claims Act decisions, and issues to watch in 2018. To download a copy of the review, click here.


The Pennsylvania Builders Association has awarded Loudon “Hap” Campbell of Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans its distinguished achievement award. The award is the association’s highest honor, having been presented to only a handful of members since 1998. As PBA’s legal counsel, Mr. Campbell works with its members in land use and environmental legislative matters, and counsels landowners, developers, and builders in regulatory matters, as well as essential association law and practice matters. He is a former member of SCG Legal’s board of directors. Also at Eckert Seamans, Shane Valenzi has joined the firm’s litigation division as an associate in its Pittsburgh office. He focuses his practice in the areas of commercial litigation, contract law, labor and employment, fiduciary duty claims, and franchise law. Mr. Valenzi is a graduate of Vanderbilt University Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law. Kristine Marsilio also joins the firm’s business division as an associate in its Harrisburg office. She focuses her practice in the areas of hospitality and gaming law, and has extensive experience with administrative law matters. Previously, she served as an assistant consumer advocate in the Pennsylvania Office of Consumer Advocate, representing the interests of utility consumers before the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Commonwealth Court. Ms. Marsilio earned her J.D. at Duquesne University School of Law. Finally, Daniel Smith joins the firm’s business division as an associate in its Pittsburgh office. He primarily focuses his practice in the areas of mergers and acquisitions and general corporate counseling. Mr. received his J.D. from Case Western Reserve University School of Law.


Steve Amato, Emily Cowles, Cindy Effinger, Jim Frazier, Calvin Fulkerson, Rob Maclin, and Jack Wheat of Kentucky member firm McBrayer, McGinnis, Leslie & Kirkland have been named to the 2018 list of Super Lawyers®, an honor accorded only 5% of attorneys who practice in Kentucky. Not only has Emily Cowles been include on this list for more than five years, this year she is recognized as one of the top 50 attorneys in Kentucky, as well as one of the top 25 women lawyers. She has also recently been appointed by the Chief Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court to a three-year term as an attorney member of the Kentucky Bar Association Inquiry Commission. Additionally, Brittany Roethemeier and Ross Ewing remain on the Super Lawyers® list of Rising Stars for 2018, where they are joined by Amber Knouff, who recently joined the firm and is this year making the list for the third time.


Nadya Price, Khatiya Asvat and Gilberto Arosemena have been named partners at Panama member firm Patton, Moreno & Asvat. Ms. Price concentrates her practice on maritime law, corporate law and mergers and acquisitions. She completed her legal education at the University of Panama. Ms. Asvat practices in the areas of administrative, commercial, corporate and electronic commerce law. She is a graduate of Santa María La Antigua University School of Law and has an LL.M. from Harvard Law School. She is admitted to practice law in Panama and New York. Mr. Arosemena’s practice is focused on corporate law, commercial law, arbitration, investment structures, offshore structures, and estate planning and asset protection. He completed his law degree at Universidad Católica Santa Maria La Antigua and has an LL.M. from Northwestern University School of Law.


James Goodnow, the 36-year-old who joined Arizona member firm Fennemore Craig’s management committee two years ago, has been elected managing partner of the firm, making him one of the youngest lawyers to run a large American law firm. Mr. Goodnow, who started at the firm as a file clerk in college, practices in the areas of business litigation and alternative-fee litigation and financing. A regular in the media, he has appeared on or been covered by CNN, CNBC, Good Morning America, Today, Fox News, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the Financial Post, Entrepreneur, Inc., and many others. He writes a legal innovation, leadership and management column for Above the Law, and is a contributor to Forbes, covering the world of law and business. Mr. Goodnow is co-author of Motivating Millennials, which debuted at #1 on Amazon in the business management category. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School.


From complex forms and documents to tax and other commercial issues, the registration process of dealers and advisors comes with a variety of risk and challenges. Ontario member firm WeirFoulds makes the process easy and painless through our “Registration Services Program” – a fixed-fee solution designed to navigate the process in an efficient, cost-effective and creative manner. We are pleased to offer registration services for all categories of registration in Canada. To learn more about this program, please click here.


Virginia member firm McGuireWoods’ healthcare litigation group has announced its 2018 schedule of healthcare litigation and compliance webinars. Programs will discuss the outlook on healthcare litigation for 2018, identifying and mitigating data security risks in healthcare organizations, components of an effective compliance program, drafting and enforcing physician non-compete agreements, and much more. Each webinar in the series is broadcast at 1:00 p.m. ET/12:00 p.m. CT/10:00 a.m. PT and lasts one hour. Replays are available for those who cannot make the scheduled times. For a list of dates, and the topics to be covered in each program, please click here.