State Capital Group - Success Stories


News from the Network (February 2017)


Ontario member firm WeirFoulds has been shortlisted for Global Competition Review's annual award for "Litigation of the Year - Non-Cartel Prosecution: Creative, Strategic and Innovative Litigation on Behalf of Plaintiffs in a Non-Cartel Private Action," based upon the representation it provided in the Kobo eBooks case. Toronto-based Rakuten Kobo Inc. is one of the world's fastest-growing eReading services, offering more than 5 million eBooks and magazines to millions of users around the world. WeirFoulds represented Kobo in bringing a precedent-setting antitrust case to set aside a Canadian Competition Bureau settlement agreement that would have adversely affected Kobo's eBook business, resulting in the first-ever successful challenge to the bureau's settlement powers. The winner of the award will be decided by online vote. Please register your support for WeirFoulds' nomination by clicking here. Enter your email address, scroll down to the seventh item (Litigation of the Year - Non-Cartel Prosecution: Creative, Strategic and Innovative Litigation on Behalf of Plaintiffs in a Non-Cartel Private Action), and select choice #3 (Kobo Canada e-books settlement challenge). Voting ends February 24th. A full description of the GCR awards and the Kobo case can be found here. Winners will be announced at GCR's 7th annual awards ceremony, which will be held March 28, 2017, in Washington, D.C.


Lucy de Latour, Stephen Lowe and Matthew Couch have been named partners at New Zealand member firm Wynn Williams. Ms. de Latour is a resource management and local government specialist. Since joining the firm in 2013, her practice has focused primarily on issues associated with freshwater management, the Canterbury rebuild and a range of retail and industrial developments throughout New Zealand. A member of the corporate advisory team, Mr. Lowe has over 30 years' legal experience helping leading enterprises and entrepreneurs undertake transactions and resolve legal issues. He has been cited as a "leading lawyer" in mergers and acquisitions by independent legal directory IFLR1000. Finally, Mr. Couch has extensive commercial property experience both in New Zealand and the U.K. His practice is focused on large-scale property acquisitions and disposals, commercial leasing, unit title developments and property financing. He is a member of the firm's commercial property and projects team. Also at Wynn Williams, the firm has been ranked a leading firm in Chambers' Asia Pacific 2017 guide. Additionally, Jared Ormsby and Jeremy Johnson have been ranked individually in dispute resolution in the Chambers' Asia Pacific 2017 guide; Richard Hern, in insurance; and Philip Maw, in environment.


Latin Lawyer magazine and the Vance Center have named several SCG Legal member firms to its annual list of "Pro Bono Leading Lights" including Argentina member firm Allende & Brea, Nicaragua member firm Consortium Legal, Ecuador member firm Paz Horowitz and Mexico member firm Sánchez Devanny. The awards are conferred on firms that have made a significant contribution to the development of a pro bono culture in Latin America. 


Daniel Holmander and Joseph Marion, III of Rhode Island member firm Adler Pollock & Sheehan were recently elected shareholders of the firm. Mr. Holmander is co-chair of the intellectual property group, and a U.S. registered patent attorney with extensive technical experience developing clients' patent portfolios. He is a graduate of Temple University School of Law. Mr. Marion currently serves as co-chair of the firm's trusts and estates group. His areas of practice include generational wealth transfer estate and income tax planning, long-term care and special needs planning, business succession planning, probate and trust administration and real estate with a focus on land conservation. He received his J.D. from Roger Williams University School of Law.


Louisiana member firm Adams and Reese partner Johnny Domiano has been admitted to membership in the Jefferson Business Council, an advocacy group made up of influential civic and business leaders working to enhance the economic posture, social welfare and environment of Jefferson Parish and the River Region. Mr. Domiano serves as partner in charge of the firm's New Orleans office and is a partner in the litigation practice group. He focuses his practice on commercial litigation and transactional work, energy and maritime and economic development projects. Also at Adams and Reese, Caroline Catchings has joined the firm as special counsel in its Baton Rouge office. Ms. Catchings focuses her practice on corporate regulatory law and has litigated and resolved oil and gas, environmental, and other administrative matters in state and federal courts. She received her J.D. from Louisiana State University Paul M. Hebert Law Center. Finally, William "Bill" Shea has been appointed to the board of directors of Louisiana Appleseed, a nonprofit social justice and advocacy organization. It is part of the National Appleseed network of 17 public interest law centers across North America. Mr. Shea serves as partner in charge of the Baton Rouge office and member of both the commercial disputes and casualty and coverage practice teams. 


Pennsylvania member firm Eckert Seamans merged this month with Tener, Van Kirk, Wolf & Moore. The combined firm will retain the name Eckert Seamans. Based in Pittsburgh, Tener, Van Kirk focuses its practice exclusively on personal planning for individuals and families, including wills, estates and trusts, taxation, and pension planning. Joining from Tener, Van Kirk are attorneys Nancy Rackoff, Timothy Burke, Jr. and Todd Jordan, who will become part of Eckert Seamans' estates and trusts group, serving the firm's growing private client base. Ms. Rackoff is a member of the National Association of Estate Planners, the Allegheny County Bar Association's probate and trust law section and professional ethics committee, the Pennsylvania Bar Association's real property, probate and trust law section, and the Allegheny County Estate Planning Council. She received her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Mr. Burkeis a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel and presents annually at the Pennsylvania Bar Institute's Estate Law Institute on the topic of planning for retirement distributions. He received his law degree from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Finally, Mr. Jordanis a member of the probate and trust law section of the Allegheny County Bar Association and the Allegheny County Orphans' Court rules committee. He is a graduate of Widener University School of Law. Also at Eckert Seamans, David Gornish has joined the firm as a partner in the firm's Philadelphia office and intellectual property group. Mr. Gornish is a patent attorney with significant experience in domestic and worldwide patent procurement and portfolio management. He has drafted patent applications directed to many different technologies, including automated manufacturing equipment, injection molding processes, medical devices, drug delivery devices, therapeutic methods, musical accessories, pharmaceutical packaging, fluid transfer apparatus, product quality inspection methods, air filtration, plasma deposition processes, conveyor equipment, and bicycles. Mr. Gornish earned his J.D. at Temple University School of Law and his B.S. in mechanical engineering at Drexel University.


Mariana Eguiarte was recently named partner at Mexico member firm Sánchez Devanny. Ms. Eguiarte has been a member of the firm's tax group in its Mexico City office since 2009 and has 15 years of experience dealing with a broad range of tax matters, primarily focused on domestic and international tax advice for companies and individuals, as well as handling administrative matters before the tax authority including audit reviews, tax rulings and advanced pricing agreements. She received her law degree with honors from the Universidad Panamericana in Mexico City. She also has an LL.M. in international tax law from New York University School of Law and an LL.M. in tax from Universidad Panamericana. Ms. Eguiarte is admitted to practice law in both Mexico and New York.


Litigation attorney Kira Suyeishi of Colorado member firm Ireland Stapleton, through her pro bono work with Clemency Project 2014, recently was notified that President Barack Obama granted clemency to her client, Steven Rayford Moore, who had been serving a 30-year sentence for a non-violent drug offense. With the commutation from President Obama, Mr. Moore's sentence has been reduced significantly, moving up his release date by over seven years. In his official letter granting commutation, the President wrote, "I am granting your application because you have demonstrated the potential to turn your life around. I believe in your ability to prove the doubters wrong, and change your life for the better." "It was surreal to be able to tell my client and his family that he received clemency.  I am thrilled for my client and his family and grateful to President Obama and his administration for granting record numbers of clemencies to deserving individuals," said Ms. Suyeishi, whose practice involves defending and prosecuting complex commercial disputes and advising clients on all aspects of regulatory law. 


Minnesota member firm Larkin Hoffman's property tax appeals practice this month launched its Minnesota Property Tax Review blog. Tim Rye will be the blog's primary contributor and will focus on Minnesota property taxes through discussion of legal and valuation issues, Minnesota tax court holdings and commercial real estate market activity in and around the Twin Cities. In recent posts, Mr. Rye has addressed recent property valuation irregularities in the Twin Cities and provided an analysis of whether properties should be assessed based on investment value or market value. The firm's property tax appeal attorneys conduct commercial property tax reviews and file appeals in Minnesota and the upper Midwest on behalf of clients in the retail, office, industrial, warehousing and other commercial real estate investment sectors. Also at Larkin Hoffman, its franchise and distribution practice has launched the Franchisor Attorneys blog. The blog provides information to those considering franchising their business and business owners operating emerging and mature franchise systems.  The firm's franchise and distribution practice advises owners of franchise companies of all sizes on issues such as methods of expansion, preparation and registration of franchise documents and maintenance of franchise relationships. 


Daniel Lowenthal of New York City member firm Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler has been named chair of the firm's business reorganization and creditors' rights practice. Mr. Lowenthal regularly represents U.S. and non-U.S. business entities in a wide range of complex litigation issues arising out of bankruptcy, including creditors' rights disputes, purchases of intellectual property assets, and distressed debt acquisitions and restructuring. Mr. Lowenthal has achieved numerous favorable results for clients in trial and appellate courts as well as commercial arbitration. Recently, he successfully defended former executives of a failed European bank against allegations they had defrauded investors. A regular speaker on bankruptcy law topics, Mr. Lowenthal recently presented for the American Bankruptcy Institute, the Practising Law Institute, INSOL International, INSOL Europe, and the Association of Corporate Counsel. He is a graduate of George Washington University Law School.


Nicholas Frandsen, Alan Mouritsen, Nora Pincus, Brian Rothschild, Jacob Santini and Bruce White have been named shareholders at Utah member firm Parsons Behle & Latimer. Mr. Frandsen is a member of the firm's litigation department and concentrates his practice on banking and finance, employment and labor, and commercial litigation. He graduated from Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School. Mr. Mouritsen is a member of the firm's litigation department and concentrates his practice on appeals, administrative law, personal injury, and copyright and trademark litigation. He received his J.D. from Stanford Law School. Ms. Pincus is a member of the environmental, energy and natural resources department and focuses on all aspects of natural resource development, land use and real estate, with emphasis on oil and gas exploration and production, mining, real estate development and renewable energy projects. She received her J.D. degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Mr. Rothschild is a member of the corporate restructuring and chapter 11 bankruptcy department and represents debtors and creditors in distressed situations and opportunities, including in chapter 11 bankruptcy proceedings, FDIC, SEC, and state law receiverships, out-of-court restructurings, and distressed asset sales, mergers, and acquisitions. He is a graduate of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. Mr. Santini is a member of the environmental, energy and natural resources and litigation departments.  He concentrates his practice on regulatory and permitting issues, focusing on air quality law. His litigation practice includes environmental and natural resources litigation. He received his J.D. from the University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. Finally, Mr. White is a member of the corporate transactions and securities department and concentrates his practice on all aspects of corporate law, business transactions, corporate financing and corporate reorganizations. He is a graduate of Creighton University School of Law. Also at Parsons Behle & Latimer, its shareholders have elected Raymond Etcheverry, Hal Pos, Michael Kealy, Michael Petrogeorge and Kristine Johnson as the 2017 board of directors. Mr. Etcheverry will serve as chairman of the board; Mr. Pos, as vice chairman and president; Messrs. Petrogeorge and Kealy, as vice presidents; and Ms. Johnson, as vice president and secretary.


Nicole Bodoh, Alexandra Clauss, Alexandra Edelman, Shireen Hart, Kevin Henry and Ralphine O'Rourke have been named shareholders at Vermont member firm Primmer Piper Eggleston & Cramer. Ms. Bodohconcentrates her practice on corporate, securities and tax law. She received her J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and her LL.M. from Temple University Beasley School of Law. Ms. Clauss counsels employers on laws affecting the workplace and best practices related to a wide range of employment issues. She received her J.D. from Tulane University Law School. Ms. Edelmanis an experienced litigator and commercial attorney. She received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. Ms. Hart is a member of the firm's healthcare group, where she draws upon her more than 15 years of experience in the field to provide counsel to hospitals, long-term care facilities, community mental health agencies and pharmacies, laboratories, individual practitioners and healthcare-related vendors on a broad range of matters. She received her J.D. from William & Mary Law School. Mr. Henry is an experienced litigator, with wide-ranging experience in complex business and estate and trust litigation, domestic relations, and government enforcement actions. He received his J.D. from University of Michigan Law School. Finally, Ms. O'Rourke concentrates her practice on corporate law and commercial lending matters. She is experienced in managing debt and equity financings and mergers and acquisitions. She received her J.D. from Suffolk University School of Law.


Herman Bodewes, Creighton Castle, David Herman, Mark Mifflin, Christopher Sherer and John Swartz of Illinois member firm Giffin, Winning, Cohen & Bodewes have been named "leading lawyers" in their respective fields of practice. Each year's list of "leading lawyers" is determined by statewide surveys of all Illinois lawyers. Messrs. Bodewes and Swartz were initially named "leading lawyers" in 2003, the first year the list was compiled. Messrs. Herman and Mifflin this year marked their tenth consecutive year on the list. The "leading lawyers" designation is reserved for the fewer than five percent of all attorneys licensed to practice in Illinois. They must be in private practice, not working in-house for a company or governmental entity. Also at Giffin Winning, Jason Brokaw, Abby Sgro and Matthew Trapp have been named to the inaugural list of "emerging lawyers," a designation conferred upon up-and-coming lawyers who best exhibit "exceptional character" and "outstanding aptitude" in their respective fields of practice, as determined by the top private practice lawyers in Illinois. The "emerging lawyers" designation is reserved for lawyers who have not surpassed age 40 or who have practiced law for no more than ten years. "Emerging lawyers" account for less than two percent of a state's licensed attorneys, and only professionals already identified as "leading lawyers" may select them.


Maryland member firm Rifkin Weiner Livingston recently honored the distinguished public service careers of two of its earliest members by formally dedicating its Annapolis office conference rooms in their honor. Guests, including Maryland Senate President Mike Miller, paid tribute to the late Judge Edgar Silver and former Maryland state senator Laurence Levitan during a lunchtime reception at which ceremonial plaques and photos were unveiled in each of the conference rooms, honoring the two former name partners. A graduate of the University of Baltimore School of Law, Judge Silver was elected to the General Assembly in 1954, where he served until 1965. Governor Tawes appointed him that year to the municipal bench, where he served until 1971. He subsequently was appointed to the district bench in 1971. In 1977, he was appointed to the circuit bench, where he served for the next 12 years. Senator Levitan served in the Maryland General Assembly for 23 years. He chaired the powerful Senate budget and taxation committee for the last 16 years of his tenure. He joined the firm in 1995, after leaving public life. Firm managing partner Alan Rifkin commented, "I am so pleased we are able dedicate these conference rooms in our Annapolis office to Larry and the Judge. From now on, and for as long as we are here, the firm, our clients and friends will know that, when meetings are held in the Silver conference room or the Levitan conference room, these are special places to us."


For the third year in a row, U.K. legal publication The Lawyer has nominated Germany member firm GvW Graf von Westphalen for one of its 2017 "European Awards." Now in their eighth year, the awards were the first initiative of their kind to reward and celebrate excellence across the European legal market. This year the awards will focus on and recognize the growing importance of cross-border instructions to firms across the continent. Besides GvW Graf von Westphalen, other SCG Legal member firms nominated for one of the 2017 "European Awards" are Ireland member firm Mason Hayes & Curran, Poland member firm Domański Zakrzewski Palinka, and Turkey member firm Moroğlu Arseven. This year's awards ceremony will take place at Grange St. Paul's in London on March 16, 2017. For more information about the event, go here


Bob Pierce and Steven Hogan of Florida member firm Ausley McMullen have co-authored the 2017 edition of Bloomberg BNA's Florida Corporate Income Tax Navigator. The publication summarizes issues of note related to Florida corporate income tax. The Navigator is available through the Bloomberg BNA tax information service.