International legal news wrap: PE lucrative for US firms

by NZ Lawyer07 May 2014
Allen & Overy opens office in Myanmar

Allen & Overy (A&O) has become the first magic circle firm to set up shop in Myanmar with the launch of a representative office in Yangon.

The office is led by Bangkok managing partner Simon Makinson, who has spearheaded the Myanmar launch over the past two years. The base is also staffed by two lawyers and three business services staff.

The launch takes the firm’s Asia-Pacific office count to 12, including five existing ASEAN offices in Singapore, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Hanoi and Jakarta, with the latter established through an exclusive alliance with Indonesia's Ginting & Reksodiputro.
Proskauer acts on US$216 million IPO

Ares Management L.P. joined several private equity rivals in tapping the public markets last week by raising US$216 million through an IPO.

While the return was somewhat disappointing for the Los Angeles–based buyout shop, lawyers from Proskauer Rose, Simpson Thacher & Bartlett, Latham & Watkins and Patton Boggs divvied up an estimated US$9.5 million in legal fees and expenses, according to an SEC filing for the Ares listing.

The sum makes the IPO by Ares one of the most profitable for legal advisers in the US this year, although the fees still pale in comparison to what alternative asset management giant Fortress Investment Group paid out to its outside legal advisers seven years ago.

Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom took the lead for Fortress on the hedge fund’s $634 million IPO in 2007, which generated US$14.5 million in legal fees and expenses.
Linklaters hires Weil Gotshal partner Michael Kam to join US corporate practice

Linklaters has appointed Michael Kam from Weil Gotshal & Manges to its New York corporate group.

Kam, who is joining Linklaters as senior counsel in the compensation and benefits team, was formerly a partner at Weil.

Last year, Linklaters bolstered its US tax practice with the hire of a partner duo from Bingham McCutchen. David Brockway and Jasper Howard joined the firm's Washington DC office, which is led by New York co-managing partners Norton and Conrado Tenaglia, who oversee both US offices.

The firm now has a team of more than 120 US lawyers in New York and Washington DC.
Clifford Chance announces a new European managing partner

Alex Cook has been elected the new managing partner of Clifford Chance's Prague office, effective May 1, 2014. A partner with the firm since 2007, Cook takes over from finance partner Vlad Petrus, who, in addition to his existing banking, capital markets and insolvency practice, will now also focus on building the office's growing litigation and dispute resolution department.

Before joining Clifford Chance as counsel in 2005, Cook worked for Allen & Overy in London and Budapest.

Clifford Chance opened its Prague office in 1995 and works with domestic, regional and international clients. The team is made up of four partners and approximately 30 fee-earners.
Latham and Watkins Advises on €3.15bn multicurrency loan facility for Emirates Telecommunications Corporation

Latham & Watkins have advised Emirates Telecommunications Corporation (“Etisalat”) –as guarantor– and White Falcon Finance Company Limited –as borrower– on a €3.15 billion multicurrency loan facility which will be used to acquire Vivendi SA’s 53% stake in Maroc Telecom.

A group of 17 international and local banks were appointed as Mandated Lead Arrangers – Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank PJSC, Bank of America Merrill Lynch International Limited, The Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ, Ltd., BNP Paribas Fortis SA/NV, Crédit Agricole Corporate and Investment Bank, Deutsche Bank Luxembourg S.A., Emirates NBD PJSC, First Gulf Bank PJSC, Goldman Sachs Bank USA, HSBC Bank plc, ING Bank N.V., Mizuho Bank, Ltd., Morgan Stanley Senior Funding, Inc., Natixis, National Bank of Abu Dhabi PJSC, The Royal Bank of Scotland plc and Sumitomo Mitsui Banking Corporation.
HSBC Bank plc also acted as Facility Agent.

The Latham & Watkins team spanned the firm’s Abu Dhabi, Doha and Dubai offices and was led by partner Anthony Pallett with associates Christian Adams, Derek McKinley and Heba Al-Shakarchi.