news page

Updated July 2022

In the Spotlight

GvW Graf von Westphalen (Germany) announced that there are significant changes in the German Act on notification of conditions governing an employment relationship (“Nachweisgesetz“) as of 1 August – companies are at risk of fines. Click here for a letter with additional details. Please forward this information to your clients who have employees in Germany.

Parsons Behle & Latimer (Utah) announced they officially welcomed a total of 31 new attorneys to the firm who previously practiced at Jones Waldo Holbrook & McDonough (Jones Waldo). With more than 180 attorneys, this move solidifies Parsons as one of the largest preeminent law firms in the Intermountain West. Today, Parsons also announces that for the first time in its 140-year history, it has opened a new, full-service office in Park City, Utah, bringing its total to eight offices in the Intermountain Region. The firm also announced that Erik A. Christiansen was sworn in as the president-elect of the Utah State Bar. Christiansen is a shareholder and bet-the-company litigator at Parsons with more than 30 years’ experience in high-stakes litigation. He is also the recipient of numerous accolades in the legal and educational communities. Christiansen will serve as president-elect from July 2022 through July 2023 after which he will serve as president of the Utah State Bar from July 2023 through July 2024. In addition to being a seasoned litigator on Parsons’ litigation practice team, Christiansen has devoted years of service to his alma mater the S.J. Quinney College of Law at the University of Utah, serving as an adjunct professor of law, and being named Alumnus of the Year in 2019. He has been ranked by numerous legal ranking publications, including Chambers & Partners, Best Lawyers in America, Mountain States SuperLawyers, and “Utah Legal Elite” Utah Business Magazine. Christiansen maintains a Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ rating.

In the News

Adler Pollock & Sheehan P.C. (Rhode Island) announced Nicole Benjamin has been appointed to the Rhode Island Council of The New England Legal Foundation, the leading non-profit public interest law firm in the region dedicated to addressing policy and constitutional concerns related to free enterprise. The New England Legal Foundation’s ongoing mission is to champion individual economic liberties, property rights, good government based on rule of law, and inclusive economic growth. NELF challenges actions by governments and private litigants which would unreasonably intrude on the economic freedoms of individuals and business enterprises in New England and the nation. The firm also announced Leslie Parker has been selected as one of Providence Business News’ annual 40 Under Forty honorees. Awardees were selected based on their career success and involvement within their communities. The honorees will be recognized in person on July 21st at an event held at Aldrich Mansion in Warwick. A special section highlighting each honoree will be featured in the print edition of Providence Business News the week of the event. The firm also announced Nicole Benjamin was honored at RI Lawyers Weekly Excellence in the Law event which took place on Tuesday, June 7, 2022. This event honors excellence in all areas of the Rhode Island legal community. Nicole received the Leaders in the Law Award which honors current leaders of the bar, drawn from across the spectrum of the legal profession. Additionally, Victoria M. Almeida, Senior Counsel was re-elected for a third term as Vice President of the Rhode Island Bar Foundation. Founded in 1953, the Foundation is a non-profit, charitable Foundation whose mission is to foster and maintain the honor and integrity of the profession of law and to study, improve and facilitate the administration of justice in Rhode Island, as well as promote the study of law, and to promote high standards of legal education. Vicky, Past President of the RI Bar Association, has served the legal profession in many roles and received Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly Excellence in the Law Hall of Fame lifetime achievement award.

Amit, Pollak, Matalon & Co. (Israel) announced that James Raanan will be joining as a partner in the Hi-Tech and Venture Capital department and head of the firm’s telecom’s activities. James has many years of experience in representing private and public companies, with an emphasis on M&A, venture capital, private equity, and a broad range of complex commercial transactions. James represents carriers and companies throughout the telecom ecosystem. Additionally, James has considerable experience in the fintech space, working with banks, payments companies and fintech-platform providers. James began his career in the corporate department of another large Israeli law firm before leaving to join IDT Telecom (a global telecom and payments company and part of IDT Corporation, which is traded on the NYSE), where he stayed for almost 20 years and served as General Counsel. Before joining our firm he ran his own boutique practice where he worked closely as corporate counsel to public and private companies in the telecom and fintech industries. James is admitted as an attorney in Israel (1998) and New York (2007) and attained his law degree from the University of Manchester, England.

Ausley McMullen (Florida) announced that Virginia Langston Ponder has joined the firm as a shareholder. Virginia is a native of Tallahassee, attended Florida State University as an undergraduate, and Barry University for Law School. She has been practicing law for 9 years, worked at the Office of Public Counsel from January 2017 to January 2019 and most recently served as Attorney and Deputy Staff Director for the Florida Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee.

Carney Badley Spellman (Washington) announced Matt Wiese has joined the firm and is the Chair of the Carney’s Estate Planning Practice Group. He focuses primarily in the areas of trusts and estates, closely held family business structures, and international and domestic taxation for high-net-worth individuals. He helps clients through all stages of estate planning, including probate and trust administration. He advises foreign and domestic clients on U.S. federal income, gift, and estate tax matters. Matt has also worked on significant sales of privately held companies and helps business owners with succession planning and general business law.

CNPLaw LLP (Singapore) announced the firm advised the seller on the sale of all of the shares in CFM Alliance Pte. Ltd (“CFM Alliance”) in a transaction with a buyer consortium vehicle. CFM Alliance is a Singapore holding company with four Singapore subsidiaries (Classic Systems, Classic Moving, DSP Relocations Asia and The Family Movers) and a Malaysian subsidiary, and brings together highly accredited and reputable relocation and moving companies. Their mission is to provide clients the most comprehensive end to end relocation services, and to maintain industry leading positions as trusted and reliable partners with global reach. The lawyers advising the seller include Bill Jamieson – Partner. The firm also advised the founders of Singapore-based Intrepid E-Commerce Services Pte. Ltd. (“Intrepid”), a leading regional eCommerce and Digital solutions provider across South-East Asia, on the acquisition of Intrepid by Ascential plc, a FTSE 250 company and global leader in information, analytics and eCommerce optimisation. The team was led by Tan Min-Li supported by Ge XiaomengLorraine Liew, Nicole Leong and Andrew Eng. The initial cash consideration paid for Intrepid is US$57m, plus deferred consideration payable over four years, contingent on meeting certain financial targets, resulting in an estimated total consideration of between US$100m and US$197m, with the maximum total consideration payable for Intrepid, capped at US$250m. The firm advised Kratos Communications SAS (“Kratos Communications “) on the transfer of the satellite communications services business conducted through a branch in Singapore to a new subsidiary. Following the transfer, the Singapore subsidiary will continue to provide satellite services to customers in Asia Pacific. Kratos develops and fields transformative, affordable systems, platforms and products for national security and communications needs. Kratos is changing the way breakthroughs are brought rapidly to these markets through proven commercial technology approaches, including proactive research and streamlined development processes. Kratos is focused in areas where tech advances can have a force multiplier effect, such as unmanned systems, satellite communications, C5ISR, warfighter training and combat systems. The lawyers advising Kratos Communications included Bill Jamieson – Partner, and Li Zhong Sheng – Associate.

Fraser Trebilcock (Michigan) announced the hiring of attorney Garett Koger who will work primarily in the firm’s Lansing office. Garett joins Fraser Trebilcock as an associate attorney in the litigation practice group focusing on commercial litigation. With nearly five years of litigation experience, which include service as the Chief Assistant Prosecutor for Clinton County and as an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Michigan, Garett has the knowledge to litigate clients’ disputes in virtually all arenas, including through appeal. Prior to Garett’s career in the legal field, he served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2002 to 2007. Garett then went on to receive his undergraduate degree from The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina, and his Juris Doctorate from Michigan State College of Law in East Lansing. The firm also announced the hiring of attorney Robert D. Burgee who will work primarily in the firm’s Lansing office. Robert joins Fraser Trebilcock as an attorney with over a decade of experience counseling small business clients and entrepreneurs in matters ranging from startups, acquisitions, and support to more general practice of law, including civil matters, regulatory compliance, employee benefits, and human relations guidance. Prior to joining the firm, Bob operated an independent general counsel practice advising business clients in their day-to-day operation, as well as drafting and negotiating contracts with their customers, suppliers, and employees. He also has legislative and policy experience from working with lawmakers and staff in the Michigan Legislature and trade association members.

Field Law (Alberta) announced three new lawyers. Vivian Stevenson, QC recently joined the Edmonton office. Vivian was called to the Alberta Bar in 1990 and has since practiced in the area of civil litigation. Vivian represents clients in commercial disputes involving product liability, partnership and shareholder disputes and provides governance advice and guidance to not-for-profit organizations. Cory Dawson also joined the Edmonton office practicing in wills, estates and trusts, real estate, and family contracts including pre-nuptial, cohabitation, and separation agreements. In the Calgary office, Stefanie Kingsbury has joined as a lawyer practicing in insurance and general litigation.

Hall & Wilcox (Australia: Melbourne) announced it has joined the United Nations Global Compact and has also announced a commitment to being carbon neutral and developing a strategy for a net zero future. At the Australasian Law Awards 2022, Hall & Wilcox won Law Firm of the Year (101-500 Lawyers), Law Firm Leader of the Year (>200 Employees): Tony Macvean, and Diversity Initiative of the Year. Partners Alison Choy Flannigan and Brad Marland and the firm’s New South Wales and Queensland state teams have been recognised in Doyle’s Guide 2022 for Health & Aged Care Law. A cross-practice Hall & Wilcox team, led by Partner Oliver Jankowsky, advised Deluxe Small Business Sales, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of NYSE-listed Deluxe Corporation, on the sale of all its shares in Hostopia Australia Holding Co Pty Ltd to Newfold Digital, Inc. The firm has opened applications for its Frank Lab 2022 startup accelerator, with this year’s program focusing on innovation in technology and the digital economy. The firm also announced they have made a record 46 promotions: 10 partners, 15 special counsel, 15 senior associations and six senior corporate services promotions. These internal promotions are in addition to the eight lateral partners appointed in the past 12 months, and reflect continued firm growth, strong client support and a commitment to advancing and supporting the careers of its people. The firm also announced their Technology & Digital Economy Industry Leaders are thrilled to launch their inaugural Tech Week, where key industry speakers will discuss the latest issues on technology, innovation and law. They are delighted to have high caliber industry experts share their valuable insight on topics including innovation and data, cyber, crypto, blockchain, venture capital: taking tech to market, and how companies innovatively use technology to solve problems. The firm also announced they have been named a finalist in the Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards 2022 for Law Firm of the Year, Pro Bono Program of the Year, Wellness Initiative of the Year, Managing Partner of the Year – Tony Macvean, and Litigator of the Year – Graydon Dowd. In addition, the firm has five finalists in the Lawyers Weekly Partner of the Year Awards: Employment Partner of the Year – Fay Calderone, Health Partner of the Year – Alison Choy Flannigan, Dispute Resolution Partner of the Year – Graydon Dowd, Mergers & Acquisitions Partner of the Year – Oliver Jankowsky, and Insurance Partner of the Year Matt McDonaldScott Butler and Graydon Dowd have been recognized in Doyle’s Guide 2022 for Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution in Queensland and Victoria, respectively. Further, a Hall & Wilcox team, led by Corporate & Commercial Partner James Morvell, has advised Lumi Interactive, an Australian female-founded team of game developers, on its US$6.75 million (approximately A$9.76 million) series seed priced equity capital raise round. The firm has partnered with the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia and host the 2022 AmCham Global Leadership Academy, a program for high-potential corporate leaders in Australia, with participants nominated by their CEO/Chair.

Ireland Stapleton Pryor & Pascoe, PC (Colorado) announced their Director of Litigation Kelley B. Duke has been elected to the Colorado Judicial Institute’s Board of Directors. As a member of the Board, Duke will play an active role in determining the direction, priorities, and projects for the organization, as well as helping to further and enhance the organization’s mission. The Colorado Judicial Institute, founded in 1979, is a nonprofit organization that is committed to protecting and defending the ability of the Colorado judiciary to decide cases fairly, impartially, and free from partisan politics; furthering the public’s understanding of Colorado’s judicial system; and supporting the excellence of Colorado courts, including through outreach and the funding of judicial education. Duke, in her practice, serves as a lead advocate to national and international clients in complex commercial litigation matters, and as a strategic advisor and outside general counsel to clients in diverse industries including public and closely held corporations, oil and gas, transportation, supply chain management banking, marketing, public relations, packaging and distribution, and public sector organizations including fire protection districts. She represents her clients in jury and bench trials before state, federal, and appellate courts, as well as before the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. The firm also announced that in its 2022 guide, Chambers USA has once again ranked Ireland Stapleton as one of Colorado’s top litigation firms, and they have individually ranked Ireland Stapleton attorneys Rebecca L. AlmonJames G. Benjamin, and K.C. Groves in their respective fields. Rebecca L. Almon, who leads Ireland Stapleton’s environmental practice group, has been ranked for environmental law. In her practice, she represents both public and private companies across the country and local governments in all aspects of environmental regulation. She represents her clients in federal, state, and local permitting; compliance matters; enforcement matters; water quality and wetlands protection; and the environmental aspects of real estate and corporate transactions. James G. Benjamin, a business and real estate attorney, is a repeat selection to the guide for his legal work in real estate. In his practice, he focuses on all aspects of commercial real estate transactions, particularly those involving office buildings, apartments, shopping centers, industrial property, and vacant land development. As a former President of the Denver Bar Association and senior member of the Bar, what he cherishes most is acting as a protecting steward of real estate law and a mentor to new lawyers. K.C. Groves, a commercial trial lawyer, has been ranked for commercial litigation. In his practice, he works with local and national companies, business owners, executives, and entrepreneurs to resolve complex business disputes and regulatory matters. He represents his clients in jury and bench trials, appeals, arbitrations, mediations, regulatory proceedings, and litigation-avoidance strategies.

Larkin Hoffman (Minnesota) announced the U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the appeal of a case involving MOAC Mall Holdings LLC, the owner of Mall of America, involving a lease dispute with Transform Holdco LLC. Larkin Hoffman has represented MOAC since the beginning of the dispute with Transform. Ropes and Gray is co-counsel in the Supreme Court appeal. The dispute arose when Sears Holdings Corporation, in its chapter 11 bankruptcy case, sought to assign its $10 per year Mall of America lease to Transform. In 2019 the bankruptcy court authorized Sears’s assignment of its lease with Mall of America to Transform. On appeal, the district court overturned the bankruptcy court’s authorization and agreed with MOAC that Sears’ assignment of the lease violated section 365(b)(3) of the Bankruptcy Code. That section protects shopping center landlords when its bankrupt tenant attempts to assign its lease. Specifically, it enumerates conditions that must be met to ensure “adequate assurance of future performance” of a shopping center lease, including “that the financial condition and operating performance” of the assignee (here, Transform) is “similar to the financial condition and operating performance of the debtor” (Sears) as of the time MOAC and Sears entered the original lease. After the district court ruled in MOAC’s favor, Transform argued for the first time that section 363(m) of the Bankruptcy Code deprived the district court of jurisdiction to hear the appeal. The district court reluctantly agreed that it lacked jurisdiction and reversed its prior ruling, and the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s ruling that it lacked jurisdiction. MOAC sought Supreme Court review by arguing that section 363(m) does not deprive appellate courts of jurisdiction and that in this case Transform waived any argument that section 363(m) provides a defense to Transform. Deciding whether section 363(m) is a jurisdictional statute would resolve a split among the circuits, with the Second Circuit in the minority of appellate courts that have held that the statute deprives jurisdiction on appeal.

McBrayer PLLC (Kentucky) announced the addition of Brittany Deskins, who joins the firm in its Lexington office as a Senior Associate. She will practice in the firm’s litigation group. Ms. Deskins is a 2013 graduate of the University of Louisville Brandeis School of Law and a 2010 graduate of Transylvania University, where she received her bachelor’s degree in psychology. She is also a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Further, the firm announced in their ongoing commitment to their clients, their community, and their role in the legal profession as a whole, McBrayer PLLC has joined the 2022-2023 cohort of law firms participating in the certification process for the Midsize Mansfield Rule, an initiative aimed at increasing diversity in firm makeup and leadership. The Mansfield Rule, administered by third party Diversity Lab, addresses a paucity of diverse attorneys in law firms and law firm leadership by broadening the pool of candidates considered for job openings, promotions, leadership opportunities and client connections. This process takes place by setting a series of benchmarks in law firm hiring, promotion and more to ensure that candidates from historically underrepresented backgrounds – women, racial or ethnic minority lawyers, LGBTQ+ lawyers and lawyers with disabilities – receive both due consideration and a stake in firm governance. The Midsize Mansfield Rule is a certification process for “midsize” firms with between 25 and 150 lawyers. “Our goal at McBrayer always has been to recruit the best attorneys, provide exceptional client service and enrich our community,” said James H. Frazier, III, Managing Member of McBrayer PLLC. “Achieving Midsize Mansfield Rule certification will allow the firm to further these goals and will also enable us to broaden our talent pool for hiring and leadership. Additionally, it ensures that our internal culture is a true expression of our ideals as a firm.” McBrayer’s participation in the Midsize Mansfield Rule underlines the firm’s commitment to its community by reflecting the richness of that community, and the further incorporation of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives throughout the firm culture only strengthens the perspectives the firm can bring to bear on client matters.

Richards, Layton & Finger (Delaware) announced new Directors Matthew D. Perri and Drew G. Sloan, and Counsel Jake Crosetto. Matthew Perri focuses his practice primarily on litigation in the Delaware Court of Chancery and the Delaware Supreme Court. He handles complex corporate governance, corporate control, fiduciary duty, contractual, appraisal, and other commercial disputes. Matt also assists special committees of boards of directors in investigations relating to stockholder demands and whistleblower complaints. Matt is recognized in The Best Lawyers in America. He has a BA from Binghamton University and a JD from the University of Virginia School of Law. Drew Sloan advises clients on Delaware alternative entity matters, with a particular focus on private equity funds and structured finance transactions. He provides counsel and legal opinions in connection with a wide range of formation, operational, and governance matters involving Delaware partnerships and limited liability companies. Drew serves on the board of directors of the American Red Cross of the Delmarva Peninsula. He earned a BA, with honors, from Rutgers University and a JD from Villanova University School of Law. Jake Crosetto focuses on a broad range of transactional matters, with an emphasis on transactions involving Delaware entities. He assists with numerous aspects of structured finance transactions and advises on secured transactions, debtor-in-possession lending, mergers and acquisitions, and venture capital investments. Jake received a BA, cum laude, from Lycoming College and a JD from Temple University School of Law.

Rifkin Weiner Livingston (Maryland) announced that William A. Castelli, Esq. will be joining the firm’s prestigious Government Relations and Lobbying group as a Partner on July 1, 2022. Bill brings a great depth of experience and knowledge with over 25 years of experience in government relations. Previously, he was Senior Vice President of Government Affairs for the Maryland REALTORS®, one of the largest professional trade associations in Maryland. He is also a past president of the Maryland Government Relations Association. Bill started his career in Maryland politics working as a legislative assistant for Congressman Steny Hoyer. Bill is a member of the Maryland Bar and the U.S. Supreme Court Bar. He graduated from the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law and Colby College.

Robinson+Cole (Connecticut) announced in its 2022 edition, the legal directory Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business has recognized 19 Robinson+Cole lawyers, including one that has been recognized nationwide. Chambers USA 2022 recognized the following Robinson+Cole lawyers in the designated categories of law: Nationwide: Privacy & Data Security – Linn F. Freedman – Ms. Freedman was also listed in the Chambers Global 2022 ranking guide in the area of Privacy & Data Security – USA. Bankruptcy/Restructuring – Natalie D. Ramsey and Rachel Jaffe Mauceri; Corporate/Commercial: Banking & Finance – Patricia J. Igoe; Corporate/M&A – Eric M. Kogan; Environment – Megan E. BaroniRobert S. MelvinEarl W. Phillips, Jr.James P. Ray and Emilee Mooney Scott; Healthcare – Lisa M. Boyle and Theodore J. Tucci; Labor & Employment – Britt-Marie K. Cole-Johnson and Natale V. DiNatale; Litigation: General Commercial – Bradford S. Babbitt and Jeffrey J. White; Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations – James A. Wade; Real Estate – Garry C. Berman and Steven L. Elbaum. Robinson+Cole also earned rankings in the following practice areas: Bankruptcy/Restructuring, Corporate/M&A, Environment, Healthcare, Labor & Employment, Litigation: General Commercial, Litigation: White-Collar Crime & Government Investigations and Real Estate. The firm also announced Manufacturing and Aerospace Supply Chain Team Chair, Jeff White, has been appointed by United States Secretary of Commerce, Gina M. Raimondo, and United States Trade Representative, Katherine C. Tai, to the Industry Trade Advisory Committee on Aerospace Equipment (ITAC 1). White will serve as a representative of The Lee Company, a global leader in miniature fluid control products, which was founded in 1948, as part of a group of 14 members for the purpose of fulfilling an advisory role to the United States Secretary of Commerce as well as to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), related to the U.S. aerospace and defense manufacturing industry. White will serve a four-year term, which expires in 2026.

Starn O’Toole Marcus & Fisher (Hawaii) announced that Trevor A. Brown has been recognized by Chambers High Net Worth Guide, Private Wealth Law for 2022. Mr. Brown has been recognized by the respected guide since the accolade’s inception in 2017. Brown is a litigator with particular expertise in sophisticated trust and estate disputes.

WeirFoulds (Ontario) announced that Ben Kates has joined the partnership effective June 6, 2022. As the newest addition to the partnership, Ben brings a wealth of experience in practising civil litigation for public and private sector clients, and has also acted as counsel to a number of industry regulators. Ben brings expertise in civil, corporate-commercial, and administrative matters, having handled corporate and contractual disputes, as well as professional liability, media defamation, and class actions. Ben joins the firm from the Law Society of Ontario, where he served as Discipline Counsel. Throughout his career, Ben has litigated for a boutique Canadian law firm, helped to launch a consultancy based in London, UK focused on strategic risk, been an active member of is a current member of The Advocates’ Society’s 10+ Committee, and has written numerous articles in a range of publications. The firm also announced the successful challenge to anti-LGBTQ laws in Antigua and Barbuda. On July 5, 2022, Antigua and Barbuda’s High Court of Justice declared laws which criminalize consensual, private, same-sex intimacy between adults to be unconstitutional. With this landmark decision, Antigua and Barbuda becomes the first country in the Eastern Caribbean to strike down its “buggery and serious indecency laws” as unconstitutional. WeirFoulds LLP and Partner Nadia Chiesa have supported this Constitutional challenge since it was launched by the Eastern Caribbean Alliance for Diversity and Equality (ECADE) in 2020. This case is part of ECADE’s five-country legal challenge to laws deemed unconstitutional and an impediment to the human rights and dignity of the region’s LGBTQ+ community. Nadia Chiesa and WeirFoulds LLP worked as part of a team of lawyers from across the Caribbean dedicated to social justice, including Douglas Mendes SC, Andrew O’Kola, and Veronica S.P. Cenac, as well as the Faculty of Law UWI Rights Advocacy Project, to support ECADE in this litigation. The firm also announced that a number of lawyers have been selected to serve on the Ontario Bar Association’s Law Sections as Law Section executives for the 2022-2023 year.