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Harvard Law School Alumni Event in Tel-Aviv

FBC & Co. Hosts Harvard Law School Alumni Event in Tel-Aviv

Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co, with the Harvard Law School Association of New York City and the Harvard Law School Association of Europe, hosted the first ever HLSA event in Israel on April 20, 2017 in Tel-Aviv.

According to the HLSA, there are approximately 160 Harvard Law School graduates in Israel, many in private practice, academia, the judiciary, and in business.

Over 70 guests listened to fascinating discussions on law and politics, corporate law reforms, threats and opportunities in the Middle East, and the Israeli hi-tech arena, by Prof. Daniel Friedmann, former Israeli Minister of Justice, Prof. Sharon Hannes, Dean of the Buchmann Faculty of Law at the Tel-Aviv University, Major General (ret.) Amos Yadlin , former head of Aman, the IDF Military Intelligence Directorate, and Mr. Alan Feld, Founder & Managing Partner at Vintage Investment Partners. Harvard Law School Prof. Emeritus Alan M. Dershowitz shared his thoughts on the "one-state two-state" question regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  


Digital Boundaries: What Every Board Needs to Know about Data Management and Cyber security Management

SyCipLaw partner Rose Marie M. King-Dominguez was one of the featured speakers at Breakfast Roundtable on "Digital Boundaries: What Every Board Needs to Know about Data Privacy and Cyber security Management" last May 5 at the Tower Club Makati. The event was organized by the Institute of Corporate Directors and AIG.

Rose Marie M. King-Dominguez's specializations include telecommunications, media and technology (TMT), investments and business law, mergers and acquisitions, data privacy, and life sciences. She has advised clients in a variety of industries on privacy and data protection issues, including issues and matters involving employee data policies, BYOD, offshore storage, use of data in customer agreements, and privacy policies and terms and conditions on sites.  

Five years on, GRAB Wants to grab Online-to-Offline Commerce next

Grab, a ride-hailing company which has evolved over the last five years to a mobile payments platform with presence in 55 cities across 7 South-east Asian countries, has put in place plans to disrupt the online-to-offline (O2O) space. O2O commerce, is a business strategy that directs online customers to make a purchase at an offline business. During its 5th Anniversary event, Chief executive Anthony Tan, said "Yesterday, we disrupted transport. Today, we're starting to disrupt payments. Tomorrow, all the O2O consumer services are waiting to be disrupted."

Ms. Stefanie Yuen-Thio, joint managing director of TSMP Law Corporation, said that the Grab story is no longer about ride-hailing and the lateral expansion of this offering to include bike-hailing etc. Grab has ambitions to expand into fintech through mobile payments and to leverage big data to improve traffic conditions. She added, "It's inspiring that a company founded five years ago in South-east Asia can take on global giants like Uber, and formulate plans to improve living and economic conditions in Asia. Ultimately though, its business model is going to have to outrun its burn rate, if Grab wants to hitch a ride on the wave of disruptive success."  


Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek Advises Vetter on EUR 210 Million Refinancing

With a Frankfurt-based team led by partner Thomas K. Schrell, the business law firm of Heuking Kühn Lüer Wojtek comprehensively advised Vetter on a EUR 210 million refinancing transaction. The bank consortium consists of BNP Paribas, Commerzbank, DZ BANK, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, Landesbank Hessen-Thüringen Girozentrale, and SEB AG. The revolving credit line has a maturity of five years, with a two-year extension option of one year each. In addition to the repayment and refinancing of existing financial liabilities, the financing purpose is the funding of the group's general investment needs and thus the support of planned further growth in the coming years.

Vetter is a leading global pharmaceutical service provider for the development, manufacture, and packaging of aseptically pre-filled injection systems. The company is headquartered in Ravensburg and employs some 4,100 people at several German and three foreign sites in the USA (Chicago), Japan, and Singapore. In addition to small and medium-sized companies, the customer base also includes the top 10 of the world's largest pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

Delphi advises EQT Ventures on investments in Min Doktor, Peltarion and Small Giant Games

Delphi has advised EQT Ventures on investments in the digital healthcare company Min Doktor, the AI company Peltarion and the Finnish gaming company Small Giant Games. Delphi's team was headed by Managing Partner David Aversten and Senior Associate Emma Dansbo. The team also included Counsel Anna Ribenfors and Associate Jeppa Persson, among others.

Shoosmiths advises LDC on £11m investment into leading global medical communications group

National law firm Shoosmiths has advised LDC, the UK's leading mid-market private equity investor, on its latest investment into Lucid Group Communications, a global specialist provider of strategic medical communications services to world leading pharmaceutical companies.

LDC completed an £11million minority investment into the group which has offices in London, Beaconsfield and New York City. Founded in 2007, the group provides medical education, medical communication, strategic consultancy and digital services to drive better disease and patient management.

LDC's investment will enable Lucid to continue to build infrastructure to support its rapid growth, strengthen its market presence in the US and support Lucid in building its digital and creative capability to broaden support for clients. LDC investment directors Christian Bruning and Rob Apollo will join the board with Tim Trotter appointed as Non-Executive Chairman.

Delphi has assisted X-Group S.A. ("X-Group") in connection with British American Tobacco's acquisition of 100 percent of the shares in Winnington Holding AB ("Winnington"). Winnington is a Swedish snus manufacturer behind the innovation of white snus made of purified tobacco that remains white even under the lip.

The Shoosmiths team was led by corporate partner Emma Gibson with Kiran Dhesi (Senior Associate) and James Skivington (Associate) assisting.


Pellerano & Herrera Assisted Scotiabank in Financing of US Embassy's Residential Compound

Pellerano & Herrera advised Scotiabank in the financing granted to US Overseas Housing, LLC for the construction of a residential compound for employees of the United States Embassy in Santo Domingo. The legal team was led by partner Luis Rafael Pellerano, senior associate Joanna Bonnelly, and associate Paloma Grullen.

The deal was unusual for the Dominican Republic, as the project was developed to provide atypical residential compound for the employees of the foreign diplomatic mission and the whole project was granted as the guarantee, which is the property of an embassy, and therefore of a foreign government.

This project consists of 75 new residential units in a secure compound, intended to house U.S. personnel working at the United States Embassy in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic.

The US government invested approximately US$40 million in the project and it constitutes a precedent in the Dominican Republic in investments of this type and magnitude.

Morgan & Morgan advised Thesan with respect to a US $11.5 million finance for the development and operation of solar energy project El Espinal

Morgan & Morgan acted as Panamanian counsel to Thesan with respect to a US$11.5 Million Dollars Project Finance facility granted by CIFI (Corporacion Interamericana para el Financiamiento de Infraestructura, S.A.) for the development and operation of a solar photovoltaic power plant “El Espinal", with an installed capacity of 8.5MW in the Republic of Panama.

The firm continues to advise Thesan in on-going legal and regulatory matters of this project.

Partner Ramon Varela, and associate Ana Carolina Castillo, participated in this transaction.

Beccar Varela and Allende & Brea advise in Masisa's acquisition by Egger Group

Estudio Beccar Varela - Buenos Aires, July 21st, 2017.

Egger Holzwerkstoffe GmbH, through its Argentine subsidiary Egger Investments S.A., signed an agreement for the acquisition of the industrial business of Masisa Argentina SA (subsidiary of Masisa S.A., a Chilean company) on July 17th. The transaction is expected to close within the next three months, once the conditions precedent contained in the agreement are met. Horacio E. Beccar Varela, managing partner of Beccar Varela (counsel to Egger), stated that the team “is pleased to have counseled a European group as prestigious as Egger, interested in investing in our country. We believe this is a good sign for the times to come". Valeriano Guevara Lynch, managing partner of Allende & Brea (counsel to Masisa), highlighted that the transaction “involved two strong players in the industry, which is a sign of trust in renewed investment in the country".

Masisa is a Chilean-based company, dedicated to the wood and forestry business, with a strong presence throughout Latin America. In Argentina, Masisa is one of the main wood manufacturers, whose industrial facility is located in Concordia, province of Entre Rios. Upon closing of the transaction, Masisa S.A. will keep its forestry business.

Egger Holzwerkstoffe GmbH is a large multinational company with operations in the wood industry in Europe.

In this transaction, Egger was counseled by Beccar Varela (partner Horacio E. Beccar Varela, junior partner Casiana Silveyra Perdriel and associates Paula Casaux Alsina and Lucía Guardone), while Masisa (and affiliates) by Patricio Reyes (Masisa's General Counsel) and Allende & Brea (partners Valeriano Guevara Lynch and Marcos Patrón Costas and associates Tomás Di Ció, Nicolás Procopio and Laura Kurlat).


Haynes and Boone Lawyers Help High-Profile Journalist Win Release from Prison

Haynes and Boone, LLP successfully intervened to secure the release from prison of Barrett Brown, a D Magazine columnist who has written for The Daily Beast, Vanity Fair, Huffington Post, The Guardian, and The Intercept.

Mr. Brown first gained nationwide attention for writing about and supporting the mission of the hacktivist collective Anonymous, and for founding Project PM, a crowd-sourced wiki that sought to expose civil rights abuses in the intersection of government and the cyber intelligence industry.

Brown was imprisoned in 2012 in connection with charges related to a hack of Austin-based private intelligence company Stratfor. He was released from prison in 2016 and was later ordered to serve the remainder of his sentence under home confinement. His sentence expired May 25, 2017.

On April 20, however, Brown was detained and sent back to prison because he had agreed to be interviewed by PBS documentary filmmakers. Bureau of Prison officials claimed Brown needed pre-clearance to conduct the interview.

David Siegal, a partner in Haynes and Boone's New York office, was able to impress upon prison officials that they did not have the right to revoke Brown's home confinement, and that any requirement of pre-clearance to conduct interviews with the media was a violation of Brown's First Amendment rights. Haynes and Boone Associate Joseph Lawlor assisted on the matter.

Just days after the lawyers got involved, Brown was released from prison.

"The treatment of Barrett Brown by the Bureau of Prisons was unjustified and in violation of his First Amendment free speech rights," Siegal said. "Unfortunately, Barrett was forced to spend four days in a federal penitentiary when he should have been out living his life. We are happy we were able to work with Barrett and his family to achieve his return home."

In a D Magazine article in April about his four days in prison, Brown wrote that his detention "only ended after one of the nation's most prestigious law firms" got involved. "Thus, it was that on Monday morning, the counselor at Seagoville's J2 jail unit summoned me to his office and told me, "You won. Get your stuff ready. You're leaving."

Dykema Successfully Represents Jacked Up, LLC on Appeal Against Sara Lee Corporation in U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit

Small energy drink maker Jacked Up, LLC prevailed over international food conglomerate Sara Lee Corporation yesterday in a significant appellate victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Jacked Up was represented on appeal by a team of attorneys from Dykema, a leading national law firm. The Fifth Circuit's 29-page published opinion places Jacked Up in position to potentially recover the millions of dollars in damages it suffered as a result of Sara Lee's wrongful actions.

In September 2011, Jacked Up and Sara Lee signed an eight-year licensing agreement for Sara Lee to nationally distribute Jacked Up's proprietary energy shots and energy-infused iced teas. But just weeks into this multi-year contract, Sara Lee terminated the agreement, gravely damaging Jacked Up's business and forcing the small start-up company to file suit for breach of contract, fraud, fraudulent inducement and several other causes of action.

The United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas granted summary judgment in favor of Sara Lee and dismissed all of Jacked Up's claims. However, Jacked Up appealed to the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans. On April 25, 2017, a three-judge panel of the Fifth Circuit partially reversed the grant of summary judgment and thereby breathed new life into Jacked Up's key causes of actions against Sara Lee. The Fifth Circuit restored Jacked Up's claims for breach of contract, fraud and fraudulent inducement, and remanded back to the district court for trial on the merits against Sara Lee.

“We are very pleased with the Fifth Circuit's decision, and Jacked Up looks forward to aggressively prosecuting its claims against Sara Lee on remand in the trial court," said Christopher D. Kratovil, lead appellate counsel to Jacked Up and Office Managing Member of Dykema's Dallas office. “Jacked Up is a small company known for its innovative energy-infused beverages, and we are honored to contribute to its success by winning this appellate victory against a massive food products conglomerate."

The Dykema team representing Jacked Up in the Fifth Circuit was led by Chris Kratovil and Victor Johnson, with support from Kristina Williams and Matthew Sikes.

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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