Valerie Ford Jacob

Valerie Ford Jacob is co-head of our global financial institutions sector group and co-head of our global capital markets practice. Valerie focuses on capital raising, including both debt and equity in the public and private markets, mergers and acquisitions, and joint ventures. She also counsels corporations and special committees on corporate governance, securities regulation and investigations.

Before joining Freshfields, Valerie was the Chairperson at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson.

She is a frequent contributor to legal and other periodicals on securities laws and financing topics. Valerie is consistently recognized as a leading lawyer by Chambers Global, Chambers USA, IFLR, The Legal 500 United States and Best Lawyers.

Valerie co-led the Freshfields team that was honored as Transatlantic Private Equity Team of the Year by Legal Week and The American Lawyer for its cross-border work advising Formula One (F1) and CVC Capital Partners on the sale of F1 to Liberty Media. She was named to the Law Dragon 500 Hall of Fame in 2017. She was also honored as a Woman Worth Watching in the 2016 issue of Profiles in Diversity Journal and the 2017 Expert Guide to Women in Business Law, a peer-ranked list of female experts in various divisions of business law.

Described by clients as “a legend in the business,” Valerie was named Finance Lawyer of the Year at Chambers USA’s 2012 Women in Law Awards.

She also is a member of The Committee of 200 (C200), an invitation-only membership organization of the world’s most successful women business leaders. IFLR 1000 recently named Valerie a Leading Lawyer.

Firm Overview:

The world’s biggest international organisations rely on us to help them make the right decisions in a fast-changing world. We combine the knowledge, experience and energy of the whole firm to solve our clients’ most complex challenges, wherever and whenever they arise.

Dr. Najem Alzaid

Najem Alzaid has vast experience advising both private and public entities on capital markets, corporate law, regulations, legislation, and public policy.

Najem sits on the board of the National Centre for Privatization & PPP (representing the private sector) and the Saudi Electricity Company (representing the Public Investment Fund). He is also a member of the Tadawul regulatory policies and oversight committee.

Prior to joining Z.S&R, Najem served as a commissioner and board member of the Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) for two and a half years following his appointment by a Royal Order.

As commissioner of the Capital Markets Authority, Najem chaired a number of committees including the steering committee for the Application of the New Companies Law; Chairmen (or equivalent) of Securities Authorities in the Gulf Cooperation Council Committee (2016); working group for the development of the Committee for the Resolution of Securities Disputes; and Working Group for the Classification of the Capital Market Law and its Implementing Regulations Violations.

Firm Overview:

Building a prosperous and sustainable economic future is a global priority. From increasing foreign direct investment to re-focusing international interests, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is an aspirational strategic plan to ensure the continued development of the country and the international community.

Working together with our associated office in Riyadh, ZS&R Law Firm, we are investing in the long-term through providing a robust and cohesive legal service to match the objectives of the Kingdom and our clients.

Providing you with a balanced team of national and international, multilingual lawyers, we are proud to be from diverse cultures and backgrounds. We have the right knowledge and experience to understand your commercial drivers. We will navigate Saudi laws and regulations, drive your cross-border transactions and cement strong foundations for growth.

Jan Bellens

As the EY Global Banking & Capital Markets Sector Leader, Jan Bellens counsels banks in defining their strategies and supports their implementation with investments, acquisitions and ambitious organic growth initiatives.

He has been supporting leading banks’ executive teams with their growth opportunities and multi-year business transformations for the last two decades. He has worked with clients in over 20 countries.

Before joining EY, Jan Bellens was in management consulting for 17 years. He has an MBA from INSEAD.

Our Purpose:

At EY, our purpose is Building a better working world. The insights and quality services we provide help build trust and confidence in the capital markets and in economies the world over. We develop outstanding leaders who team to deliver on our promises to all of our stakeholders. In so doing, we play a critical role in building a better working world for our people, for our clients and for our communities.

In a world that’s changing faster than ever, our purpose acts as our ‘North Star’ guiding our more than 280,000 people — providing the context and meaning for the work we do every day. We help digital pioneers fight data piracy; guide governments through cash-flow crises; unlock new medical treatments with data analytics; and pursue high quality audits to build trust in financial markets and business. In other words, working with entrepreneurs, companies, and entire countries to solve their most pressing challenges.

Through our four integrated service lines — Assurance, Advisory, Tax and Transaction Advisory Services — and our deep sector knowledge, we help our clients to capitalize on new opportunities and assess and manage risk to deliver responsible growth. Our high-performing, multidisciplinary teams help them fulfill regulatory requirements, keep investors informed and meet stakeholder needs.

We believe a better working world is one where economic growth is sustainable and inclusive. We work continuously to improve the quality of all of our services, investing in our people and innovation. And we’re proud to work with others – from our clients to wider stakeholders – to use our knowledge, skills and experience to help fulfill our purpose and create positive change.

John C. Kang

John C. Kang is a partner in the firm’s Orange County office. John represents private sector clients, including property developers, owners, and financial institutions. John’s practice involves a broad range of commercial real estate transactions, including finance, leasing and purchase and sale transactions. With skills gained at prominent national and international law firms during the first ten years of his career, John has extensive experience in secured lending, project development, real estate joint venture and equity fund formation, and equity- and asset-based property acquisitions and dispositions. John’s experience also includes representing both landlords and tenants on a variety of leasing matters, including negotiating leases for office space, industrial warehouses, retail, medical office buildings and data centers, as well as build-to-suit construction leases and ground leases. John also represents lenders in the negotiation and documentation of loan sale transactions, deed in lieu transactions, forbearance transactions, and loan modifications.

After founding his own law firm after the first decade of practice, John’s practice has expanded to include capital markets, franchise, and corporate matters, such as private equity and mergers and acquisitions.

John’s goal is to provide legal services to clients that are efficient, comprehensive and well-analyzed to meet and exceed their expectations.

Firm Overview:

Gordinier Kang & Kim LLP (“GKK”) is a premier boutique business law firm with offices in Los Angeles and Orange County, California. Our goal is to provide the highest caliber legal services in an efficient and comfortable boutique setting to provide better value for our clients. GKK has recruited top lawyers in their respective practices who were formerly partners and associates at international and national, highly respected law firms and/or as corporate counsel at large private companies.

At our firm, you get “big firm” talent and quality work product, coupled with the more personalized service and responsiveness of a smaller firm. We have the flexibility to efficiently handle matters of all sizes, and the business knowledge and trial experience to handle the most complex and important cases.

Our experience advising on legal issues affecting businesses of all shapes and sizes across a wide array of industries helps us provide a broader perspective on key decisions that matter to our clients. Whether you are an entrepreneur starting a new business, a real estate investor wanting responsive advice, a mid-sized company in the midst of contentious litigation or a public company with a shareholder dispute, we have a proactive and efficient approach to ensure your success.

In every matter we take in, we collaborate so each client gets the best thinking our entire firm has to offer. We assemble teams of the most skilled attorneys, at every level of experience, to develop a winning strategy.

We understand the financial pressures our clients face when they are seeking legal advice. Accordingly, we develop a fee structure with each client upfront, based on the demands of the particular case. This fee approach thoughtfully aligns us and our clients.

Ludovic Timbal Duclaux de Martin

Me Ludovic Timbal Duclaux de Martin is registered in the Paris Bar as a Business lawyer (predominantly activity). The experience of Ludovic comes from magic circle law firms.

Ludovic has received numerous awards during his career and we recommend him in three different areas of the law. Below is an image of Ludovic’s printed Certificate of Excellence, which he received for outstanding performance in Capital Markets Law.

His practice includes:

  • business law (commercial contracts, advice of traders in their activities);
  • corporate law (setting-up, running and dissolution);
  • commercial criminal law;
  • commercial instruments (promissory notes, cheques, bills of exchange);
  • capital markets (debt instruments, shares, derivatives);
  • tax law;
  • bankruptcy law;
  • law of security;
  • international trade (including EU law); and
  • commercial litigation, arbitration and settlement agreements.

Ludovic holds a master’s degree in business law, a master’s degree in International and European law (both from the University of Paris X – Nanterre) and a master’s degree in contract law (DEA) from the University of Paris XI – Sud. He also holds a diploma of professional English from the University of London (British Institute in Paris).

He holds a certificate in private law and contract enforcement in the United – States of America and in France (contracts and arbitration) from Yale University / Paris II – Panthéon – Assas.

He was sent to London in secondment within the framework of a specific programme, the European Associate Programme. Ludovic is generally praised from peers for his well-developed general legal background (both in private and public law) and, in some areas, his extensive knowledge. He is described as having an undeniable technical expertise with strong technical and drafting skills (French and English). A team member stresses a strong capability to convey complex topics in engaging and accessible ways.

As a transactional lawyer, clients observe that he can make a real difference in getting things done efficiently and properly, overcoming obstacles when needed be. Clients and team members converge to say that he is an asset to a legal team, being in addition nice to work with. A client notes its outstanding negotiation skills and a team member emphasizes his organizational deal skills. Ludovic has been nominated several times for market distinctions as Deal Maker of the Year in 2013, for a Global Award and a Law Award in 2014 by the Anglo-Saxon Finance Monthly magazine.

In 2015, Ludovic created his own law firm. For a more personal presentation, he belongs to a family of jurists for two centuries: magistrate, professor of law (Professor Timbal at the University of Paris II – Panthéon – Assas), lawyer (bâtonniers, secretary of the conference) and notary.

He supports economic empowerment. He is described as a very dynamic lawyer, open minded, and very contact friendly.

Manuela António

Manuela António is a well-known lawyer and private notary in Macau and the founding partner of the firm. Involved in every instance of all cases, she is the heart and soul of the firm since it opened in 1986.

Highly regarded for her consistent legal knowledge as well as pragmatic approach, Manuela has been involved in the major legal challenges that have been taking place in Macau, such as the public tender for the gaming concessions (acting for a tenderer) in 2002 and the listing abroad of several companies with subsidiaries operating in Macau.

Having a comprehensive insight of the law in Macau, Manuela is also particularly praised for her legal knowledge on Real Estate and Construction, Banking & Finance and Public and Administrative Law. She is also a very able litigator and supervises directly all cases related to dispute resolution, being often commended for her practical and balanced solutions.

More than benefiting from Manuela’s legal skills, clients also tend to compliment her business savvy and unique perspective of the Region and its culture. In fact, her experience in Macau dates back to 1982, after being invited to act as legal advisor at the Macau Finance Department and later as Chief of the Taxation and Excise Services of Macau. Around that time she was also appointed Magistrate of the Tax Enforcement Court and member of the Supervisory Board of the Monetary Institute of Macau (presently, Monetary Authority of Macao) by the Macau Government.

Before that, besides practicing as lawyer (having joined the Portuguese Bar in 1975) and acting as arbitrator in several arbitrations, Manuela’s experience is centered at the Ministry of Finance of Portugal, as legal advisor, assistant, and later chief of staff for the Minister. She also represented the Portuguese Government in several international negotiations for external financing arrangements for the public sector. Manuela also gained exposure to the private sector by being appointed member of the Supervisory Board of TAP Air Portugal and legal consultant of major Portuguese jointly-owned companies (by the Government and private individuals), such as the largest highway concessionaire in Portugal and banks. She was also Assistant Professor at the University of Lisbon.

Professional Qualifications:

– Registered Lawyer with the Portuguese Bar Association
– Registered Lawyer with the Macau Lawyers’ Association (since its foundation in 1991)
– Founding member of the Macau Corporate Governance Institute (MCGI)

Academic Qualifications:

– Course for Private Notaries, Macau SAR (1991)
– Postgraduate studies in Economical Sciences, Law School, University of Lisbon, Portugal (1979)
– Law Degree (LLB), Law School, University of Coimbra, Portugal (1973)

Professional Experience:

– 1991 to date: Private Notary, Macau SAR
– 1986 to date: Lawyer (founding partner), Manuela António – Lawyers and Notaries, Macau SAR
– 1984 to 1986: Chief of the Taxation and Excise Services, Macau SAR
– 1982 to 1986: Member of the Supervisory Board of the Monetary Institute (presently, Monetary Authority of Macao), Macau SAR
– 1982 to 1986: Magistrate of the Tax Enforcement Court, Macau SAR
– 1982 to 1984: Legal advisor at the Macau Finance Department, Macau SAR
– 1978 to 1982: Assistant Professor at the Law School of the University of Lisbon, Portugal
– 1980 to 1982: Lawyer and consultant of Banco Borges & Irmão, Lisbon, Portugal
– 1978 to 1982: Lawyer and consultant of Brisa Auto-Estradas de Portugal S.A., Lisbon, Portugal
– 1981 to 1982: Legal advisor of the Secretary of State of the Treasury, Lisbon, Portugal
– 1979: Advisor to the Secretary of State of the Treasury, Lisbon, Portugal
– 1977 to 1982: Representative of the Ministry of Finance at several international negotiations for external financing agreements in favour of the Portuguese Government and state-owned companies with the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the European Investment Bank, Lisbon, Portugal
– 1977 to 1978: Chief of staff of the Finance Minister, Lisbon, Portugal
– 1976: Advisor to the Finance Minister, Lisbon, Portugal
– 1976: Scholarship from the Agency for International Development, having completed an internship in the USA on the methods of preparation and negotiation of international financing agreements, USA
– 1975 to 1978: Representative of the Portuguese Government, as a member of the governing bodies, in several public companies and Government jointly owned companies, such as in the Supervisory Board of TAP Air Portugal, Lisbon, Portugal
– 1974 to 1982: Legal advisor of the Public Finance Department of the Ministry of Finance, Lisbon, Portugal


“O Sector Empresarial do Estado em Portugal e nos Países da C.E.E.” (“The Public Companies in Portugal and in the E.E.C. countries”) – Co-author of the book, jointly published by the Portuguese Center of Studies for Public and Social Economics and the Government Press Services

Firm Overview:

Large enough to handle complex cases, yet being able to maintain a close personal relationship with its clients, the firm is well suited to provide legal services of any kind as well as to represent both local and foreign individuals and corporations.

A large portion of our clients are companies based in other jurisdictions. We work on a day-to-day basis with companies and individuals based in the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, the U.S.A., Great Britain, Australia, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, among many others.

Our goal is to provide legal services of the highest quality in a timely and efficient manner, always keeping in mind the actual needs of our clients. The firm is known for adopting an efficient and pragmatic approach, in order to give a technically accurate and swift response to its clients.