Eversheds Sutherland strengthen projects offering in the Middle East

Eversheds Sutherland has appointed project finance lawyer, Ashley Halewood, as a partner in its Projects team in Dubai. Ashley joins the firm from Linklaters’ Energy & Infrastructure team in Dubai.

With nine years’ experience working in the Middle East, Ashley has advised on a number of high profile transactions in the infrastructure, renewables, oil & gas, petrochemicals and power and water (IWP, IWPP and ISTP) sectors across the MENA region.

He has represented sponsors, developers, commercial lenders, Islamic finance institutions, ECAs and multilateral agencies, in all aspects of project financing, including bids, acquisitions and disposals.

Ashley is named as a ‘Rising Star’ by The Legal 500 in the Infrastructure and Projects (including Project Finance) sector.

Keri Rees, Co-Head of Global Company Commercial, Eversheds Sutherland said: “We’re thrilled to welcome Ashley. His appointment builds on our existing offering in the Middle East, enhancing the capability we already offer to our clients through the technical excellence and wealth of experience that he brings. Whilst Middle East focused, Ashley is part of a global team and it’s great to see this develop with Ashley already connected with colleagues in London, Paris, Germany and Asia in particular. Despite these challenging times, having Ashley on board reaffirms our ongoing long term commitment to meeting the needs of our clients and the increasing demand for service excellence.”

Nadim Kayyali, Regional Head of Eversheds Sutherland’s Corporate and Commercial team in the Middle East commented: “Ashley is a superb lawyer, with a proven track record in the region and his appointment reflects the investment in talent that the firm has made in the Middle East over the past couple of years. He brings with him a wealth of technical experience and client relationships which will develop further our existing projects teams in Dubai and across the region in Tunisia, Qatar, Jordan, UAE and KSA. We are committed to the growth of our practice in the Middle East, and supporting the strategic growth and strength of our global projects offering, and it is my pleasure to welcome Ashley to our team.”

Ashley Halewood commented: “I am delighted to be joining such a highly reputable team, building on what is already a strong offering in the Middle East, and a great platform from which to grow and strengthen my relationships with clients. It’s an interesting time to be joining Eversheds Sutherland amid our clients’ obvious concerns around COVID-19 and its impact on, amongst other things, the energy and infrastructure sectors. I look forward to working as part of the team to help find innovative solutions to our clients’ challenges and opportunities.”

Hogan Lovells secures major win in patent dispute case

A Hogan Lovells team from New York, Washington DC, and Northern Virginia have secured a major win for BASF in a three-week jury trial in the Eastern District of Virginia.

The case was one of the largest patent disputes in the United States, involving 350 claims from 17 patents and five different patent families. The underlying technology at issue involves the ability to use plants to make health-critical omega-3 fatty acids (now primarily available through fish products). Australian entities CSIRO, Nuseed, and GRDC sought royalties through December 2034.

Hogan Lovells defeated claims involving 13 patents through successful pre-trial claim construction, and by succeeding at trial in demonstrating to the jury the invalidity of certain patents, and co-ownership of others stemming from a previous collaboration. For the four remaining patents with terms expiring in 2025, the team persuaded the court not to issue an injunction and define a royalty rate a fraction of that sought.

“We are pleased to have obtained such a strong result for BASF,” said Hogan Lovells partner Arlene Chow. “One of the interesting aspects of this case is the team that went to trial was a strongly diverse team at both the partner and associate level. In a day and age when clients say they are looking for diverse legal representation, we are pleased that BASF supports diversity in high stakes matters.”

The Hogan Lovells team included partners Arlene Chow and Ernest Yakob in New York, Anna Kurian Shaw in Washington DC, and Tom Connally in Northern Virginia. The team also included senior associates Nitya Anand and Jared Schubert, and associates Takashi Okuda and Una Fan, in New York, and associate Tom Hunt in Northern Virginia.

Pinsent Masons announces new partnership with World Athletics

Pinsent Masons yesterday announced its appointment by World Athletics as their first official supplier of legal services. The appointment was made after a detailed tender process and is for the next four years.

Drawing on their multinational network of over 100 specialist professionals within their business of sport advisory group, Pinsent Masons will provide legal support, advice and strategic guidance to World Athletics on a global basis. The scope of areas covered will include regulatory and governance, commercial rights, negotiation and arbitration, intellectual property, insurance, employment, brand protection, dispute resolution and technology.

“Our world is changing rapidly, even more so with the current pandemic, and we need nimble and forward-thinking partners to help us make the most of the opportunities this will present.” ~ Sebastian Coe, World Athletics President 

The firm will also provide a full range of legal support around World Athletics’ major events and deliver guidance and training to assist the sport’s administrators around the world.

Commenting on the partnership Sebastian Coe, World Athletics President said: “In many ways, this agreement represents our ambitions for our sport as a global powerhouse. We will need Pinsent’ skillset in a number of areas as we build athletics around the world and I’m delighted that they also see the value in this relationship. Our world is changing rapidly, even more so with the current pandemic, and we need nimble and forward-thinking partners to help us make the most of the opportunities this will present. Like us, they see innovation as a key component of success.

“Their global presence will allow us to access their services wherever we are, which is particularly useful for an organisation with 214 Member Federations and major events staged across the world, and their expertise will help us to maintain world best practice in our governance and commercial relationships.”

Head of Sports at Pinsent Masons, Trevor Watkins said: “We are thrilled to have won this appointment and very much look forward to an exciting and dynamic partnership with World Athletics. It’s a tremendous achievement for our team to have been chosen and, after such a competitive process, is recognition of the global strength and expertise of our specialist lawyers.

“We believe we have a strong synergy with World Athletics in its desire to be the best example of a well governed sports federations, particularly in areas of governance, regulation, integrity and innovation. That message really rings true to us as a firm that embraces innovation, technology and strategic thinking. We’ve had a tremendous response from our multinational network of offices to the prospect of this agreement and the opportunity to work with a sport that our team finds inspirational on many levels. Many of the team are members of running clubs and participate as volunteers within sport and this partnership will allow them to combine their existing passion for the sport and their professional expertise.”

Dentons opens offices in the British Virgin Islands and Saint Lucia

Dentons has opened offices in the British Virgin Islands and Saint Lucia as part of its expansion plans in the Caribbean. Dentons is the only Pan-Caribbean law firm, and with more offices in all of Latin America and the Caribbean than any other law firm, Dentons is the first truly Pan-Latin American and the Caribbean law firm in the history of the legal profession.

The British Virgin Islands is widely recognised as a leading international financial centre principally due to its internationally recognised regulatory regime, a well-developed and professional corporate infrastructure, efficient company formation and administration processes, political and economic stability, an internationally renowned and respected commercial court and tax-neutrality. The British Virgin Islands is a world leader for excellence and innovation in financial services and plays an essential role in the global economy. The BVI Business Company is widely used globally as the core of many private wealth, investment and joint venture structures.

“Dentons’ new offices in the British Virgin Islands and Saint Lucia enable us to meet client needs in two additional priority Caribbean markets for our clients,” said Elliott Portnoy, Global CEO of Dentons. “We can now connect our clients to our leading talent in the British Virgin Islands and Saint Lucia as well as to our 19,000+ people in 184 locations across 76 countries around the globe.”

“Dentons continues to execute its strategy to scale the firm across the Latin America and the Caribbean region despite the unprecedented challenges created by COVID-19,” said Joe Andrew, Global Chairman of Dentons. “With offices in 25 countries, Dentons is now present in virtually all of Latin America and the Caribbean – a true differentiator for our clients.”

“Since entering the region in 2016, Dentons has combined with elite firms across Latin America and the Caribbean,” said Jorge Alers, the Latin America and the Caribbean Region CEO of Dentons. “Our new offices in the British Virgin Islands and Saint Lucia complement our strategy to enhance our offshore practices across the Caribbean , as well as in other offshore financial and corporate centers, such as Panama, Uruguay, Mauritius, Ireland, Luxembourg, Hong Kong and Singapore.”

Dentons’ new office in the British Virgin Islands is led by partner Stuart Bruce who has extensive experience handling complex, high-value cross-border matters across Banking and Finance, M&A, Private Equity and Joint Ventures, Corporate and Regulatory advice. In Saint Lucia, Dentons has expertise in Banking and Finance, Corporate, Construction, Employment and Labour, Financial Institutions, Government, Hotels and Leisure, Insurance, Litigation and Dispute Resolution, Public Law and Real Estate.

So far in 2020, Dentons has launched six combinations: Dentons Bingham Greenebaum and Dentons Cohen & Grigsby, the first step in forming a truly national law firm in the United States as part of Dentons’ “Project Golden Spike,” Dentons Kensington Swan in New Zealand, Dentons Lee in South Korea, Dentons Jiménez de Aréchaga in Uruguay and Dentons Rattagan Macchiavello Arocena in Argentina.

Hogan Lovells and Reed Smith advise on the sale of Softomotive

Hogan Lovells and Reed Smith have both played advisory roles in the sale of Softomotive, one of the leading worldwide providers of Robotic Process Automation solutions, to Microsoft. The addition of Softomotive brings Microsoft closer to its 2020 resolution to ’empower tech intensity in its customers and partners’ including in RPA, which is forecast to reach an estimated $7.2 billion by 2025.

The Hogan Lovells team advising the shareholders of Softomotive, including UK-based growth equity firm Grafton Capital, was led by corporate partner Richard Diffenthal, with support from senior associate Simon Grimshaw and associate Joseph Platt (corporate), partner Karen Hughes and senior associate Tom Eyre Brook (UK tax), partner Fiona Bantock (ESI), partners Nancy O’Neill and Kurt Lawson and senior associate Caitlin Piper (on US Tax) and partner Matt Eisler and counsel Ryan Adrian (US corporate).

The Reed Smith team advising Microsoft was led by corporate partner Mike Young, supported by partners Casper Fox (corporate), Gregor Pryor (entertainment & media), David Ashmore (employment), Ramsey Hanna (entertainment & media) and Anthony Poulopoulos (corporate), counsels Stephen Mooney (corporate), Christina Nikiforaki (regulatory enforcement), senior associates Tufayel Hussain (corporate) and Nick Breen (entertainment & media), and associates Harrison Stimson (corporate), Charlotte MacArthur (real estate), Haig Siranosian (litigation), Roch Glowacki (entertainment & media) and Tom Baxter (corporate).

Commenting on the transaction, Hogan Lovells partner, Richard Diffenthal said: “RPA is undoubtedly the future of IT automation and Softomotive have already proven to be pioneers and innovators in this marketplace. It was a real privilege to support Softomotive on this deal, and to work closely with co-founders Marios Stavropoulos and Anargyros Kaninis, as well as Oliver Thomas and his team at Grafton Capital.”

Mike Young, corporate partner at Reed Smith, added: “We are pleased to once again have supported Microsoft on an important acquisition that ensures they remain at the forefront of RPA solutions.”

Latham & Watkins advises Inari Medical in upsized IPO

Inari Medical, Inc., a commercial-stage medical device company focused on developing products to treat and transform the lives of patients suffering from venous diseases, has announced the pricing of its upsized initial public offering of 8,202,565 shares of its common stock at a public offering price of US$19.00 per share, for total gross proceeds of approximately US$156 million, before deducting underwriting discounts and commissions and offering expenses. All of the shares are being offered and sold by Inari. In addition, Inari has granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 1,230,384 shares of common stock at the initial public offering price, less underwriting discounts and commissions. Inari’s common stock began trading on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on May 22, 2020 under the symbol “NARI.”

Latham & Watkins LLP represents Inari Medical, Inc. in the initial public offering with a capital markets team led by Orange County partner Shayne Kennedy and New York partner Nathan Ajiashvili, with Orange County associates Ross McAloon, Eric Hanzich, and Jacob Walsh. Advice was also provided on benefits and compensation matters by Los Angeles partner Michelle Carpenter, with Orange County associates Sara Schlau and Gabrielle Masse; on tax matters by Los Angeles partner Samuel Weiner, with Orange County associate Janet Hsu; on intellectual property matters by Bay Area partner Judith Hasko, with San Diego associate Robert Yeh; and on regulatory matters by Washington, D.C. partner Elizabeth Richards and Brussels partner Hector Armengod, with Bay Area counsel Betty Pang, Washington, D.C. counsel Nicole Liffrig Molife, Washington, D.C. associate Chad Jennings and New York associate Heath Ingram.