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Updated October 20, 2022

In the Spotlight

VDMA Law (South Africa) announced it opened a new office in Stellenbosch during the course of September 2022. Stellenbosch has increasingly become the top destination for specialist service providers and decision makers in business. It is therefore the opportune time for VDMA to expand its footprint into Stellenbosch.

“Earlier this year we celebrated VDMA’s 12th anniversary and since the inception of the firm, we have considered not only the future of the firm itself, but ensuring that the future of the firm is aligned with the future of our clients” said Pieter van der Merwe, VDMA’s Managing Partner, “and we are confident that our Stellenbosch office will aid in our goal of ensuring that VDMA remains the boutique corporate and commercial law firm of choice in South Africa.”

In the News

Brydon, Swearengen & England (Missouri) announced that its partners, William “Trip” EnglandDean Cooper and Charles Smarr, have been selected again for inclusion in the 2022 edition of Best Lawyers in America. Mr. Smarr is listed in Food and Beverage Law, Mr. Cooper in Energy Law, and Mr. England in Energy and Communications Law.

CNP Law (Singapore) announced it acted for a group of sellers in their divestment of a controlling stake in Rebonics Pte Ltd (“Rebonics”) to the leading recommerce group in Greater Southeast Asia, Carousell Group. Rebonics is the parent company of Laku6, an Indonesian electronics recommerce platform offering an online marketplace for buying and selling secondhand mobile phones. The transaction saw the exit of long-term individual and institutional investors in Rebonics, with Carousell Group stepping in with a US$25 million investment in Rebonics to bolster its growth in the Greater Southeast Asia electronics recommerce industry. The transaction was completed in July 2022. CNPLaw represented, among others, one of the co-founders of Laku6, Mr Alvin Yap, who commended CNPLaw for its team effort in seeing the transaction through to completion. The team involved in the transaction was Ken ChiaHazel Ho-TsastsinaSylvia Koh and Lai Zheng Yong. Ken Chia and Lai Zheng Yong acted for the founder-shareholders of Votiva Singapore Pte. Ltd. (“Votiva”) in the divestment of their entire equity stake in Votiva to Yokogawa Engineering Asia Pte. Ltd. (“Yokogawa”), a subsidiary of Yokogawa Electric Corporation, a Japanese multinational corporation in the business of providing industrial automation and control solutions. Votiva is the parent company of a group of companies in Southeast Asia, which provide IT consultancy and outsourcing services, including implementation of enterprise resource planning (“ERP”) and customer relationship management software. The acquisition propels Yokogawa’s expansion of its ERP services as it taps on Votiva’s existing offerings and networks to accelerate the implementation of ERP solutions for customers both within and beyond Southeast Asia. Following the completion of the transaction in September 2022, Votiva will be renamed to Yokogawa Votiva Solutions.

CNP Law also announced that they have received various rankings for 2023 from Asialaw Profiles. The firm has received a ranking of “Recommended” for the following practice areas: Capital Markets, Investment Funds, Labour and Employment, and Private Equity. The firm has received a ranking of “Recognised” for the following practice areas: Banking and Finance, Corporate and M&A, and Dispute Resolution. The firm has received a ranking of “Notable” for Regulatory and Construction. Notably, this is the fifth year where Asialaw Profiles has introduced new categories based on Industry Sectors, and CNP is proud to be ranked in various sectors amongst other leading law firms. CNP has received a ranking of “Recommended” for the Technology and Telecommunication sector and a ranking of “Notable” for the Real Estate sector. Tan Min-Li for Capital Markets and Bill Jamieson for Investment Funds were recognized as distinguished practitioner. Amit Dhume for Investment Funds was recognized as notable practitioner. The firm also announced that for Y2023, the firm continues to be highly ranked and recognized in the International Financial Law Review 1000 (IFLR1000) for various practice areas, namely, Banking and Finance, Capital Markets -Debt, Capital Markets -Equity, Investment Funds, M&A, Project Development and Restructuring and Insolvency. The lawyers received the following recognitions by IFLR1000: Mr Pradeep Kumar Singh: Highly Regarded for Capital Markets; Ms Tan Min-Li: Highly Regarded for Capital Markets; Mr Bill Jamieson: Highly Regarded for Investment Funds; Mr Ken Chia: Notable Practitioner for Corporate and M&A; Ms Hazel Ho: Notable Practitioner for Corporate and M&A; and Ms Wong Pei-Ling: Rising Star Partner for Capital Markets.

Field Law (Canada: Alberta, Northwest Territories, Nunavut, Yukon) announced they were ranked by Chambers and Partners for Canada 2023 in Band 3 in Employment + Labour for Alberta, with three ranked lawyers in Band 4 (Frank Molnar, KCKelly Nicholson and Steve Eichler). They were also ranked in Band 3 in General Business Law for Northern Canada and the Arctic, with Ayanna Ferdinand Catlyn as a ranked lawyer in Band 2. The firm also announced new lawyers. Regan Christensen recently joined the Calgary office. Regan was called to the Ontario Bar in 2016 and focuses on business litigation, debt collection, and alternative dispute resolution. Regan is a skilled negotiator and courtroom advocate who has successfully represented clients ranging from major financial institutions to small and medium-sized businesses in both trial and appellate court. Before relocating to Alberta, he spent six years as a lawyer in Ontario. Mark Hein joins as a lawyer in the Calgary office with a focus on general civil litigation, insurance defense (personal injury, property damage, occupier’s liability, product liability, and construction), commercial litigation, and employment litigation. He was called to the Alberta Bar in 2018.

Fraser Trebilcock (Michigan) announced attorney Melisa M. W. Mysliwiec has recently been elected as a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel (ACTEC). Melisa compassionately and effectively advises clients and implements individualized and creative planning techniques for her clients in the areas of elder law, Medicaid planning, estate planning, and trust and estate administration. ACTEC is an organization of almost 2,400 trust and estate lawyers and law professors who have been elected by their peers in recognition of having made outstanding contributions to the practice of trust and estate law. The firm also announced the hiring of attorneys Jennifer L. Hansen and Sean P. Gallagher who will work primarily in the firm’s Lansing office. Jennifer joins Fraser Trebilcock in the litigation practice group focusing on litigation, general business law, and real estate law. Jennifer’s experience includes handling various litigation matters and transactional work with subpoenas in the real estate practice area. Sean joins Fraser Trebilcock as a regulatory attorney whose experience includes serving as an advisor, advocate, counselor, and strategist, with a focus on highly regulated areas of law, including energy regulation and procurement matters involving industrial and other businesses, cannabis and industrial hemp, and municipal public employee pension funds. Sean has assisted in protecting the interests of public pension participants, retirees, and their beneficiaries in both investment and benefits-side related litigation and advising on governmental transparency and statutory report regulatory compliance matters, serving as legal counsel to the Retirement Systems of the City of Detroit before, during, and after the City of Detroit’s Chapter 9 bankruptcy proceedings.

Hall & Wilcox (Australia: Melbourne) announced it welcomed new partner Stefan Fenk, an experienced construction lawyer, who predominantly handles construction and projects disputes. Stefan will also play a key role on the firm’s German desk. Hall & Wilcox won Law Firm of the Year at Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards 2022. Additionally, Managing Partner Tony Macvean and partners John Hutchinson and Ed Paton have been recognized in Doyle’s Guide 2022 for Corporate Law and Business & Commercial Law. The firm was also named a leading corporate law firm in Doyle’s Guide. Partners Martin Ross and James Deady and Special Counsel Mark Lebbon assisted the Australian Football League with the A$4.5 billion media rights deal recently announced. Hall & Wilcox also advised Maggie Beer Holdings on its strategic divestment of St David Dairy. Partner James Morvell and Special Counsel Vanessa Murphy led the Hall & Wilcox team. Additionally, the firm held Tech Week, a program of events with registrations nearing 2,000, where industry leaders discussed the latest developments, issues and emerging trends in technology, innovation and law. Topics included innovation and data, cyber, crypto, blockchain, taking tech businesses to market – capital raising and corporate transactions, and how companies innovatively use technology to solve problems. The firm also announced it has five finalists in the Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards 2022 – partners Penelope Ford and Ilona Strong for Partner of the Year, Barbara Casado for Special Counsel of the Year, Tamara Charlwood for Rising Star of the Year and Briele Heath for Marketing Communications Professional of the Year. The firm is also a finalist for Innovator of the Year and Diversity Law Firm of the Year. Hall & Wilcox has been recognized as a 5-Star Employer of Choice 2022 by Australasian Lawyer. Partners William MooreJames Whiley and Emma Woolley, Special Counsel Claire Hawke-Gundill and Senior Associate Sam Baring have been recognized in Doyle’s Guide 2022 for Wills, Estates & Succession Planning. William, Emma and Claire were additionally recognized for Wills & Estate Litigation. Our Victorian, New South Wales and Western Australian teams were also recognized.

Hall & Wilcox announced it has been named a finalist for Professional Services Firm of the Year in the Australian Insurance Industry Awards, organized by the Australian and New Zealand Institute of Insurance and Finance (ANZIIF). Managing Partner Tony Macvean and Partner Fay Calderone have been recognized in Australasian Lawyer‘s Most Influential Lawyers 2022. Fay Calderone was also named Employment Partner of the Year in the Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards 2022. The firm’s Private Clients team and partners William MooreEmma Woolley and James Whiley have been recognized in Chambers and Partners High Net Worth Guide 2022 for Private Wealth Law in Australia. Nathan Kennedy has been appointed the firm’s first full-time Pro Bono & Community partner. In 2021, Hall & Wilcox contributed over 14,500 pro bono legal hours, a record for the firm. A number of partners from across the firm – Kathryn HowardChris BrownScott ButlerWayne KelceyMark PetruccoHector West and Graydon Dowd – have been recognized in Doyle’s Guide in their respective fields. The firm also advised Islamic Bank Australia on becoming the first Islamic bank licensed in Australia, Kilara Capital on the establishment of a $34 million growth fund, Spirit Super on the divestment of its interest in two foreign currency denominated syndicated loans to separate European infrastructure entities, and not-for-profit group HOPE Housing Fund Management Limited on an innovative shared equity housing arrangement to help essential workers own a home closer to work.

Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC (Colorado) announced that 20 of the Firm’s attorneys have been selected to the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®. New to the list this year: Kelley B. Duke acknowledged for Commercial Litigation, Sean Jennings for Cannabis Law, Mark E. Lacis for Corporate Law, Benjamin J. Larson for Commercial Litigation, James R. Silvestro for Land Use and Zoning Law, Erica L. Tarpey for Corporate Law, and Elizabeth P. Woodward for Environmental Law. The other Ireland Stapleton attorneys selected include: Rebecca L. Almon – Environmental Law and Real Estate; Timothy G.  Atkinson – Commercial Litigation; Sarah W. Benedict – Corporate Law; James G. Benjamin – Real Estate; Tom Downey – Administrative and Regulatory Law; Michelle B. Ferguson – Employment Individuals and Employment Management; K.C. Groves – Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, and Real Estate; Mark E. Haynes – Litigation Insurance; Russell W. Kemp – Real Estate and Corporate Law; James J. Killean – Real Estate; William E. Tanis – Business Organizations and Corporate Law; Julie M. Walker – Commercial Litigation; Thomas J. Wolf – Commercial Litigation, Corporate Law, and Real Estate.

McBrayer PLLC (Kentucky) announced it welcomed Vince Gabbert to the firm. Joining as Of Counsel, Gabbert comes to the firm following over a dozen years serving as the Chief Operating Officer of Keeneland. He now also serves as President of the Lexington Sporting Club, the city’s new professional soccer franchise. Gabbert’s practice at McBrayer’s Lexington office will center on equine and gaming law, especially regulatory compliance in those areas. Over his years at Keeneland, Gabbert gained a great deal of knowledge regarding the Thoroughbred racing industry in Kentucky and beyond, a great asset to McBrayer’s equine law practice group and the industry stakeholders it serves. The firm also announced 30 attorneys – a firm record – recognized in the 2023 editions of U.S. News – Best Lawyers® in America and Best Lawyers®: Ones to Watch. Best Lawyers® 2023 recognition was awarded to Stephen G. AmatoJaron P. BlandfordKeeana Sajadi BoarmanJames H. Frazier, IIIDavid J. GuarnieriMary Estes HagginLisa English HinkleVirginia L. LawsonDouglas T. LogsdonRobert E. Maclin, IIIAnne-Tyler MorganDaniel Luke MorganW. Brent RiceChristopher J. ShaughnessyZachary C. WebsterLuke A. WingfieldJon A. WoodallPreston C. Worley; and Brendan R. Yates in the firm’s Lexington office and Cynthia L. EffingerChris J. GadanskyEd MonarchAlan D. PauwIvan J. SchellRobert T. Watson, and Jack A. Wheat in the firm’s Louisville office. Best Lawyers® additionally awards “Lawyer of the Year” distinctions to attorneys outstanding in their practice areas. Only a single lawyer in a specific practice area and location is honored with this designation. This year, three McBrayer attorneys have been recognized as “Lawyer of the Year” in their fields: Christopher J. Shaughnessy (Health Care Law, Lexington, KY), David J. Guarnieri (Criminal Defense: White Collar, Lexington, KY), and W. Brent Rice (Utilities Law, Lexington, KY). For attorneys in their first decade of practice, Best Lawyers® recognizes “Ones to Watch.” McBrayer’s Lexington office boasts four honorees this year: returning honoree Kathryn A. Eckert and new honorees Addison M. LowryT. Neal Morris, and Cassidy L. Sorrells.

Parsons Behle & Latimer (Utah) announced Best Lawyers in America has recognized 56 attorneys as the Best Lawyers in America for 2023, including five as “Lawyer of the Year” – a category that is presented to only one attorney in a given geographical region and practice area for each year’s edition – and 10 attorneys as “Ones to Watch” – new attorneys who are notably climbing the legal ranks. The 2023 Best Lawyers in America list includes attorneys in Parsons’ Boise and Idaho Falls, Idaho offices, Reno, Nevada office and Salt Lake City office. Parsons is also currently ranked as a top law firm in 59 practice areas in Idaho, Nevada and Utah collectively. Parsons’ attorneys who achieved Best Lawyer ranking and “Lawyer of the Year” status are as follows: David R. Bird, Government Relations Practice; Vicki M. Baldwin, Energy Law; Julianne P. Blanch, Insurance Law; Shawn C. Ferrin, Real Estate Law; Michael J. Malmquist, Mining Law.

Richards, Layton & Finger (Delaware) announced Fred Cottrell, a leader in Delaware’s intellectual property bar, has been named chair of Richards, Layton & Finger’s Litigation Department. He handles significant litigation before the District of Delaware and in Delaware’s state courts, including major IP, antitrust, products liability, and commercial litigation. Chad Shandler was selected as the Litigation Department’s vice chair. He has expertise in complex financial, commercial, trusts and estates, intellectual property, and insurance litigation. Kelly Farnan is the new head of the firm’s Intellectual Property Group. She focuses her practice on complex commercial and intellectual property litigation in Delaware’s state and federal courts. The firm also announced that nine directors in Richards Layton’s Litigation Department were recently recognized in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America, and two associates were named among the Best Lawyers “Ones to Watch.”

 Rifkin Weiner Livingston LLC (Maryland) announced that the firm and a number of attorneys have again been recognized by Best Lawyers for its 2023 edition. The firm is recognized again as a 2023 Tier 1 “Best Law Firm” and our attorneys have been recognized in the practice areas listed: Alan M. Rifkin, Best Lawyers: Sports Law, Commercial Litigation; Arnold M. Weiner, Bet-The-Company Litigation, Commerical Litigation, Criminal Defense: White Collar, Professional Malpractice Law- Plaintiffs; Michael V. Johansen, Government Relations Practice; Jamie Eisenberg Katz, Business Organizations (Including LLCS and Partnerships), Real Estate Law; Barry L. Gogel, Commercial Litigation, Professional Malpractice Law- Plaintiffs; Brad I. Rifkin, Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, Government Relations Practice; Michael T. Marr, Medical Malpractice Law- Defendants.

Robinson+Cole (Connecticut) announced Managing Partner and past Litigation Section Co-chair Rhonda J. Tobin has been named one of Benchmark Litigation’s Top 250 Women in Litigation for 2022. Published on August 4, 2022, the guide focuses on the leading Top 250 female litigators from across the US who have earned their place by participating in some of the most impactful litigation matters in recent history, as well as by earning the hard-won respect of their peers and clients as top players in their respective fields. Tobin is the only female litigator chosen in the state of Connecticut. This is the ninth consecutive year she has received the distinction. The firm also welcomed the addition of John H. Mutchler as a partner in the firm’s Intellectual Property + Technology Group. Mutchler has a global practice advising clients on their intellectual property rights with specific experience in patent, trademark and copyright prosecution, patent appeals before the USPTO Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and intellectual property litigation. Mutchler is a Professional Engineer licensed in Connecticut. Mutchler’s practice includes patent prosecution and reexamination proceedings, licensing, U.S. government and private company contracting, copyright and trademark consulting and litigation, portfolio management, and IP due diligence in bankruptcy proceedings, asset purchase and sales agreements, business formation, and mergers and acquisitions. The firm also announced it was ranked as a “highly recommended” firm in Connecticut in the 2023 edition of Benchmark Litigation – an industry guide to the world’s leading litigation law firms and lawyersThe firm also received a “recommended” ranking in the area of labor & employment. The following Robinson+Cole lawyers earned a star honor: Wystan M. AckermanBradford S. BabbittPatrick W. Begos,  Joseph L. ClasenGerald P. Dwyer Jr.Edward J. HeathLinda L. MorkanRhonda J. TobinTheodore J. TucciJames A. Wade and Jeffrey J. White. In addition, Stephen W. Aronson and Rachel V. Kushel received the “Labor & Employment Star” recognition from the fifth edition of Benchmark Litigation Labor & Employment.

Scharf Banks Marmor LLC (Illinois: Chicago) announced Susan H. Rider, former Vice President & Deputy General Counsel for Labor, Employment & Employee Benefits at Exelon Corporation, has joined the firm. Ms. Rider served as a trusted advisor to senior leadership and led the nationwide team of labor, employment and benefits lawyers at Exelon Corporation and its then subsidiary Constellation. Among her many accomplishments at Exelon was her work with human resources and executive leadership to increase diversity and inclusion in the company’s workforce. At Scharf Banks Marmor, Susan leverages her many years of experience in corporate law to assist employers with the myriad labor and employment challenges they face. She is actively involved in the firm’s Equity Audit Practice as well as employment counseling and pre-dispute resolution practice.

WeirFoulds LLP (Canada: Ontario) announced Denise Baker and Wayne Egan were appointed Co-Managing Partners effective July 1, 2022. Wayne has acted as the Managing Partner since he was appointed to the position in 2018. The decision to divide the role of Managing Partner into a shared responsibility was made as a result of the Firm’s growth over the past few years – both in terms of internal headcount and client portfolio. This will better support the further development of the Firm, with Denise and Wayne working collaboratively to address key strategic matters and advancing important milestone goals. The firm also announced that they have once again been recognized in Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers. In the 2023 edition, five partners have been recognized as leaders in their fields. Additionally, 50 WeirFoulds lawyers have been recognized in Best Lawyers in Canada and Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch. WeirFoulds congratulates 42 of their lawyers on being recognized in the 2023 edition of Best Lawyers in Canada, and eight of t heir associates and partners on being recognized in the Best Lawyers Ones to Watch category. This year they have proudly earned 80 rankings in 25 specialty areas. On August 29, 2022, the High Court of Justice in the Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis (St. Kitts and Nevis) declared laws criminalizing consensual, private acts of same-sex intimacy between adults to be unconstitutional. Partner Nadia Chiesa represented the Claimants in this Constitutional challenge to successfully overturn the “buggery laws” in St. Kitts and Nevis. The Court found these laws contravened Constitutionally guaranteed rights to freedom of expression and personal privacy.