Exclusive: Quinn to defend Steve Bannon in Fire and Fury claims

Steve Bannon has turned to Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan following the explosive allegations made in journalist Michael Wolff’s exposé on the White House, The Lawyer understands.

The embattled former adviser to Donald Trump is understood to have instructed the firm’s co-managing partner in Washington DC Michael Burck, who has been drafted in to defend Bannon, a former editor of Breitbart News, against accusations of defamation in Wolff’s controversial book, Fire and Fury.

Charles Harder of Harder Mirell & Abrams, who is representing both the President and the Trump campaign, has said that allegations made by Bannon “give rise to numerous legal claims including defamation by libel and slander, and breach of his written confidentiality and non-disparagement agreement with our clients”.

The most serious allegation Bannon made against the Trump administration was that a meeting between his son and a Kremlin-backed lawyer on 20 June at Trump Tower was “treasonous” and “unpatriotic”.

The explosive book was published at a time when the the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is looking into allegations that the Trump and his closest aides may have allowed Russia to influence the outcome of the election through the hacking of social media sites and the emails of Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton.

Burck, who is a former special counsel and deputy counsel to George W Bush, is also representing Bannon solely in the House of Representatives intelligence committee interview relating to his time as campaign chairman for Trump.

He will not act for Bannon regarding his work for Trump in the transition period or his time at the White House.

Other high-profile White House figures to have turned to Burck include former White House chief of staff Reince Priebus and incumbent White House counsel and lawyer Don McGahn, who have already faced questioning by Mueller.

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Walder Wyss tops M&A ranking

Walder Wyss AG tops the ranking by number of M&A Deals in 2017 among Swiss law firms, according to the final full-year league tables released by MergerMarket.

We successfully handled 49 reportable M&A transactions, and a significant number of additional transactions could not have been reported for confidentiality reasons. Walder Wyss ranked 9 (out of more than 500 law firms) in the Germanic Market (GER-AUT-CH) and was the No. 1 legal adviser in Switzerland. MergerMarket is a leading news service provider collecting data on M&A and capital markets transactions around the world.

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Vischer advises Oculis on CHF20m financing round

Oculis, a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the development of non-invasive topical treatment for back-of-the-eye diseases, announced the completion of a CHF 20m Series B financing. The round involved a syndicate of leading transatlantic life sciences investors composed of Novartis Venture Fund, Pivotal bioVenture Partners and Bay City Capital as well as existing investors including Brunnur Ventures and Silfurberg.

In connection with this financing, Oculis is relocating its corporate headquarters to Lausanne, Switzerland, while keeping its R&D activities in Reykjavik, Iceland.

Vischer acted as counsel to the new investors with respect to the financing and assisted Oculis with its relocation to Switzerland. The team was led by Dr. Matthias Staehelin (Partner, Corporate) and Nadia Tarolli (Partner, Tax) with the support of Vincent S. Reardon (Senior Associate, Corporate), Luzius Zumstein (Associate, Corporate) and Adrian Briner (Associate, Tax).

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Appointment strengthens trusts and probate expertise

Shoosmiths continues to expand its expertise in contentious trusts and probate with the recruitment of Tara McInnes, who will be based at the firm’s Thames Valley office.

Senior associate Tara (previously a partner at Gardner Leader Solicitors) is a full member of the Association of Contentious Trusts and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) and brings a wealth of experience as well as significant expertise in civil litigation concerning estates worth several million pounds.

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Ogier shortlisted for High Yield Deal of the Year at IFLR Asia Awards 2018

Ogier has been shortlisted for the high yield deal of the year category for the 2018 IFLR Asia Awards.

The firm is listed alongside King & Wood Mallesons, Linklaters and Grandall Law Firm,  for its work on the Xinhu Zhongbao US$700 million senior notes issue.

Ogier acted as BVI legal counsel to Xinhu (BVI) Holding Company Limited on its US$700 million 6.00% guaranteed senior notes issuance due 2020, which is guaranteed by Xinhu Zhongbao Co., Ltd.

The transaction was reported as the largest debut issuance of a high yield bond by a PRC company since January 2013.

Ogier’s Hong Kong office has seen a surge in US dollar-denominated bond issuances by Chinese companies (many state-owned) in the last quarter of 2017.

Ogier Hong Kong partner Nathan Powell said: “There is a huge pool of US dollar liquidity in Asia available to fund these Chinese issuances without the need to tap into the US market.

“China accounts for nearly half of the global dollar-bond market and is projected to surpass 60% of the market by 2020 when the total market is forecast to be US$1 trillion.

“The pipeline of deals remains strong so hopefully 2018 will continue to see strong demand for US dollar bonds.”

Associate Cecilia Li and legal manager Rachel Huang in Ogier’s Hong Kong office have worked alongside Nathan Powell on these deals.

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Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners promotes five new partners

The international law firm Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners announces the promotion of five new partners: Gabriele Arcuri, Emanuele Bosia, Mariasole Conticelli, Eva Cruellas Sada and Andrea Gritti.

Gabriele Arcuri (Corporate/M&A, Rome) is an expert in corporate and commercial law, corporate governance of private companies, mergers and acquisitions, divestment and acquisition of share packages and going concerns, leveraged buyout transactions and private equity deals, drafting of share purchase agreements and related transaction documents, including shareholders’ agreements and commercial contracts. He joined the firm in 2006.

Emanuele Bosia (Corporate/M&A, London) has extensive experience in M&A, corporate and commercial law, private equity, joint ventures, extraordinary corporate transactions and acquisition finance. As a qualified English solicitor he also focuses on the internationalization of companies and on English commercial and corporate law. He joined the firm in 2014.

Mariasole Conticelli (Financial Markets, Milan) has far-reaching experience in corporate finance and capital markets and assists companies as well as Italian and overseas investment banks in relation to corporate and  extraordinary financial transactions, including financial instrument offers and IPOs. She is also experienced in capital markets regulations, in particular with reference to the provision of investment services and collective investment undertakings. She joined the firm in 2002.

Eva Cruellas Sada (Antitrust & Regulatory, Milan) specialises in assisting Italian and overseas companies in cases concerning cartel proceedings, abuses of dominant position issues, distribution and licensing arrangements, the filing of complaints in regard to concentrations and antitrust infringements (private enforcement). She also has vast experience in the regulatory field (in particular pharmaceutical, energy, insurance/banking sector). She joined the firm in 2001.

Andrea Gritti (Corporate/M&A, Milan) focuses on advising Italian and overseas companies and private equity funds, in investment and divestment transactions, as well as in any ordinary and extraordinary corporate matters and certain aspects concerning acquisitions, financing and debt refinancing. He also has significant experience in drafting and negotiation of commercial agreements. He joined the firm in 2005.

Rosario Zaccà, Co-Managing Partner of Gianni, Origoni, Grippo, Cappelli & Partners states: “My warmest congratulations to all our new partners. These new promotions confirm our firm’s ability to attract, select and nurture new talent. The growth path our firm continues to pursue, illustrated through partnership development, guarantees our clients a complete service and strengthens our position of leadership in the legal market.”

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Conyers appoints new chief operating officer

Conyers has named Paul Naylor as Chief Operating Officer. Paul will assume the role on 1 April, succeeding Stephen DeSilva who is set to retire on 31 March, after more than 25 years with the firm.

“Conyers is a leading international law firm and I am delighted to be joining the management team and working across the global network to contribute to the firm’s success”, said Mr. Naylor.

Paul has extensive experience in operational roles. Prior to joining Conyers, he worked at Linklaters for over 10 years, most recently as Business Manager for its global Dispute Resolution division and COO for its India practice.

“We would like to thank Stephen for his contributions to Conyers. He has had a positive impact on all areas of the firm’s operations and he will be missed when he leaves us in March”, said Christian Luthi, Director and Chairman. He continued, “We are pleased to welcome Paul and look forward to working with him to ensure the continued smooth running of the firm and fully expect that he will play a key role in helping us fulfil our strategic objectives and build on our place as a leader in our market”.

“It is an exciting time at Conyers. Paul brings a great deal of business savvy to the role and an innovative new approach in a rapidly changing market is key to differentiating the firm. I wish him every success going forward”, remarked Mr. DeSilva.

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Khaitan & Co advises Reliance Brands on acquisition of stake in Genesis Luxury Fashion

Khaitan & Co advised Reliance Brands Limited in relation to acquisition of significant minority in Genesis Luxury Fashion Private Limited from Splendor Distributions Ltd (formerly L Capital GLF Ltd). The core transaction team included Rahul Dutt (Partner), Aakash Choubey (Partner), Pavi Jain (Senior Associate), Siddharth Anand (Associate) and Anish Mohanty (Associate) with assistance from the following:

Tax aspects: Vinita Krishnan (Associate Director), Ankit Namdeo (Associate) and Sneh Shah (Associate)

Intellectual property aspects: Shailendra Bhandare (Counsel), Vidhi Kotak (Associate) and Aishwarya Kane (Associate)

Litigation aspects: Rajat Jariwal (Partner) and Sahil Narang (Principal Associate)

Due diligence: Ishita Khare (Associate) and Rishika Lekhadia (Associate)

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Khaitan & Co advises Spectro Analytical Labs on sale of 60% stake

Khaitan & Co advised Spectro Analytical Labs Limited (Spectro) and its promoters on the sale of 60% stake in Spectro to Eurofins Environment Testing Lux Holding SARL (Eurofins) and allotment of 100% preference share capital of Spectro to Eurofins. The consideration for the sale and allotment of shares to Eurofins. Anand Mehta (Partner), Aayush Misra (Senior Associate) and Suditi Surana (Associate) represented the client on the transaction.

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Khaitan advises Tata Power on debentures issuance

Khaitan & Co advised Tata Power Company Limited on the issuance and subscription of unsecured, non-cumulative, redeemable, taxable, listed, rated, non-convertible debentures aggregating to INR 1500 Crores. The Debentures were listed on the wholesale debt market segment of BSE Limited.

Manisha Shroff (Partner), Madhuparna Dasgupta (Principal Associate), Rolwine Alva (Senior Associate) and Ankit Chavan (Associate) represented the client on the transaction.

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