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Bert Greene named Duane Morris Austin office managing partner

Duane Morris LLP has appointed Bert Greene managing partner of its Austin office. Since its opening in 2017, the Austin office has been run by Houston office managing partner Thomas W. Sankey.

“After three short years, we now have a growing nucleus of extremely talented lawyers in Austin, resulting in an office geared to become an even greater force in this high-tech hub,” said Matthew A. Taylor, Chairman and CEO of Duane Morris. “Tom has done an amazing job spearheading the strategic growth of the firm’s presence in Texas. I know Bert will take the baton and run with it in Austin as we continue to propel our growth in the city and state.”

“I’m honoured to lead an office that has made such a major impact on the firm in such a short period of time,” said Greene. “I look forward to working with my colleagues in Austin, throughout Texas and around the firm to keep building the momentum we have established here.”

Greene’s practice is focused on the enforcement and procurement of intellectual property rights, with a primary emphasis on patent litigation and trade secret litigation. His litigation clients have included large and small technology companies, energy and chemical companies, and retailers in cases involving a diverse array of technologies. Greene has represented both patent holders and accused infringers in numerous federal jurisdictions across the country. He also has experience with patent prosecution, opinion work, portfolio management, copyright litigation, and trademark litigation. Greene has also handled numerous pro bono cases on behalf of asylum applicants in U.S. immigration court.

Greene is a graduate of the University of Texas School of Law (J.D., with honours, 2004), where he was managing editor of the Texas Intellectual Property Law Journal, and the University of Texas at Austin (B.S., chemical engineering, with highest honours, 1998).

About the Duane Morris Austin Office

Duane Morris attorneys have longstanding ties to the Texas legal and business communities and have been practicing law in the state for many years. The opening of the firm’s Austin office in October 2017 further aligned Duane Morris’ domestic footprint with the robust high-technology and energy sectors in Texas. Clients benefit from the firm’s presence in the Texas capital and in Houston, along with the firm’s global breadth of services and experience representing public entities, large corporations, middle-market companies, emerging-growth companies and entrepreneurs.

PwC appoints Jessica Shannon as Global Leader of G&PS practice

PwC has appointed Jessica Shannon as Global Leader of its Government & Public Services (G&PS) practice. Jessica is a partner in PwC Ghana where she leads large-scale and transformative donor-financed projects across the Africa region. She also leads PwC’s World Bank Group portfolio, working with teams in more than 70 countries around the world to address pressing development challenges.

Jessica has a long history of supporting G&PS clients of diverse size and scale to navigate complex problems, previously serving in various leadership capacities in the US and in the Caribbean. As part of PwC’s Global Crisis Centre, she led a deployed team of professionals from West Africa, US, and UK throughout the Ebola epidemic. She has also been extensively involved with the COVID-19 pandemic response, as well as critical climate change initiatives.

In her global role, Jessica leads the G&PS practice team, which advises clients in local, regional, national and global government and public service entities across a range of areas, including defence, security, digital government, education, international development, cities and local government, and public finance. The practice has around 12,000 professionals worldwide.

Jessica earned a bachelor of science degree in finance and international business at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and a master of business administration degree from Harvard Business School. She joined PwC US in 2014.

Jessica Shannon, PwC’s Global G&PS leader comments: “I’ve always been passionate about public service and endeavour to make a lasting, positive impact in the world. My career at PwC has enabled me to do that by working with a multitude of organisations in the public and private sector, in developing economies and industrialised nations. In every case, the mission has been the same – solve society’s most important problems with innovative approaches to make a positive difference to people’s lives. 

Taking the helm of the G&PS practice at a time when governments and multilateral institutions are faced with a magnitude of challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, including the accompanying economic fallout and societal issues, is a great honour for me. I’m looking forward to working with our truly global network of G&PS experts to tackle the tough problems our stakeholders are facing today and share a perspective on what the future might hold.”

Kevin Burrowes, PwC’s Global Clients and Industries leader comments: “In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a real opportunity to make a real impact on society by helping governments and public organisations deal with the challenges the pandemic has brought. Jessica has a passion for public service that was ignited when she volunteered with the US Peace Corps, and she’s continued to make a difference in the international development and humanitarian community throughout her career. Her purpose-driven leadership and expertise will guide our practice and our clients at a time when citizens and circumstances are requiring more of government at every level.”

Beatriz Araujo appointed Fellow by the World Economic Forum

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has announced that Beatriz (Bea) Araujo has been appointed as a Fellow to the World Economic Forum’s Platform on Shaping the Future of Investing. She will form part of a coalition of over 100, including companies, policy-makers, pension funds, asset managers and insurance companies, to drive consensus on investment reforms that address global challenges.

Bea is a partner based in Baker McKenzie’s London office and has more than 35 years of experience leading on and advising clients on business critical transactions and matters. Her practice focuses on corporate governance best practices, including board advisory, director duties, stakeholder governance and subsidiary governance, for both UK companies as well as global groups. She has supported the World Economic Forum as an expert on governance projects and has written various articles on corporate governance topics, most recently a White Paper in collaboration with the World Economic Forum on “The Modern Dilemma: Balancing Short- and Long-Term Business Pressures.” In her new role, Bea will have a number of responsibilities, including:

  • Creating institutionally valuable and relevant content and bring it to Forum’s most prominent communities;
  • Guiding the platform content around stakeholder capitalism and its impact on governance;
  • Guiding specific platform projects like “Future of the Corporation” in context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (“4IR”) and the current pandemic situation;
  • Contributing to forthcoming Forum publications for the platform.

Speaking after the announcement, Bea said, “I am honoured to have been appointed as a fellow by the World Economic Forum’s leadership, having collaborated with the Forum for many years, both during my time serving on Baker McKenzie’s Executive Committee, and subsequently as the Firm’s leader on Corporate Governance. I hope to bring my years of expertise in to help shape the conversation on the future of governance as part of the Forum’s Great Reset.”

“The impact of COVID-19 has affected industries around the world and given new importance to sustainable investing. Public private cooperation is needed now more than ever in the investing industry,” says Maha Eltobgy, Head of the Future of Investing, World Economic Forum. “We are eager to work with top companies such as Baker McKenzie on the opportunities and challenges ahead.”

Dentons appoints three partners to European leadership roles

Global law firm Dentons has announced the appointment of three partners to European practice and sector leadership roles. Anita Horváth will co-lead the Europe Energy sector group, Christopher Rose will lead the Global Private Services sector group within Europe, and Thomas Schubert will lead the Europe Venture Technology and Emerging Growth Companies group.

Anita Horváth

As Co-head of the Europe Energy sector group, Anita Horváth will serve alongside fellow co-head, Arkadiusz Krasnodębski, to further develop Dentons’ transactional offering within the energy sector. Based in Budapest, she is among the premier lawyers advising on complex domestic and cross-border M&A, joint ventures and private equity transactions in Hungary, and frequently leads multi-jurisdictional deals. In addition to her regional appointment, Anita was also recently named Co-head of the Corporate and M&A practice in Hungary, alongside partner Rob Irving. She has been a partner at Dentons since 2015.

”Having advised most of the premier energy players on their strategic projects in Hungary and CEE, I look forward to replicate our Energy team’s success on a European level. As Dentons is home to the largest energy-focused team of lawyers in the world, in my new role, I plan to further enhance our strength in advising developers, investors, contractors, financiers, governments and regulators on their energy sector related projects.” commented Anita Horváth.

Christopher Rose

In his newly created role, Christopher Rose will establish and lead the Global Private Services group within continental Europe to provide cross-sector and cross-practice legal advisory services to ultra-high-net-worth individuals and family offices around the world. Rose has been a partner and Head of the Europe Venture Technology and Emerging Growth Companies group at Dentons since 2017. He advises on cross-border venture and growth capital investments, as well as mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures. An emerging markets specialist, he has advised on over 250 transactions in Russia, the Middle East, Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa. He regularly represents emerging growth companies in all stages of development, with a particular focus on e-commerce, food and beverage, technology and entertainment.

“Over the past several years, I have worked extensively with high-net-worth individuals and family offices, advising them primarily on their investments and acquisitions. This new role goes far beyond that,” said Christopher Rose. “Whether our clients need support with their venture capital, private equity or real estate deals, tax issues, estate planning, dispute resolution, or regulatory matters, our Global Private Services group will act as their ‘concierge’ to our global firm. We will pull together the right team of Dentons professionals, provide them with transparent fee quotes and manage their projects from beginning to end to ensure the best results.”

Thomas Schubert

Thomas Schubert, a partner in the Berlin office, will take over as Europe Head of the Venture Technology and Emerging Growth Companies practice from Christopher Rose. Schubert has significant experience in technology M&A and in assisting aspiring growth companies on the implementation of innovative digital business models, including blockchain technology. A well-regarded transactional lawyer, he advises on M&A deals, private equity investments, venture capital transactions and joint ventures. He is also respected for his work in the energy and renewable energy sector, and he will continue in his role as Co-Head of the Energy section of the Europe Regulatory group. He has been a partner at Dentons since 2015.

Thomas Schubert commented, “Digitisation is fundamentally changing about every industry sector. This calls for a totally new approach of doing business. Continued investments in new innovative business models by VC funds as well as corporate investors will be key for a successful transition. I am honoured to taking over the coordination and lead of Dentons’ European Venture Technology Group with the goal of further growing our interaction with and impact on the global ecosystem.”

Tomasz Dąbrowski, CEO of Dentons Europe, commented on the appointments, “Dentons remains strongly committed to our strategy to enhance our offering in key sectors and practices across the European continent. I am therefore delighted that three talented partners – Anita, Chris and Thomas – will use their experience and creativity to further develop quality, innovative solutions for our clients.”

Pinsent Masons grows its Financial Services offering in Dubai

Multinational law firm, Pinsent Masons, has appointed Banking & Finance partner Matthew Escritt to lead the firm’s Banking & Finance practice in the Middle East, based in Dubai.

Matthew joins from Norton Rose Fulbright, where he has been for the past 19 years, with the past eight spent as partner in the banking and finance team. During this time he has worked in London, Moscow, Bahrain, Singapore and Dubai.

Matthew is a banking and finance specialist, advising on all areas of structured cross border finance, including syndicated lending acquisition, development finance, asset finance, vendor finance, and structured trade and commodity finance. He is familiar with both conventional and Islamic finance funding structures. He also advises on financial restructuring and insolvency mandates. Based in Dubai, he will be leading the Banking & Finance practice in the Middle East (within the Finance & Projects group) and will focus primarily on clients in the Financial Services sector.

Commenting on Matthew’s appointment, Michael Watson, head of the Finance & Projects group at Pinsent Masons said: “Matthew’s reputation precedes him and we look forward to welcoming him as head of our banking and finance practice in Dubai. His experience and expertise will greatly strengthen the practice, enabling them to deepen relationships with existing clients as well as developing new ones. His appointment is another fantastic addition to our growing international capabilities.”

Alexis Roberts, head of the Financial Services sector at Pinsent Masons added: “Matthew’s appointment is a pivotal one in increasing our financing bench strength and will enable us to better support our clients within the Financial Services sector. His breadth of experience and the clients that he’s worked with will allow us to grow our offering across the sector. We greatly look forward to him joining the team.”

Matthew Escritt, head of Banking and Finance in the Middle East added: “I am excited to have been given the opportunity to lead Pinsent Masons’ Banking & Finance practice in the region and to be part of an international team tasked with growing a strategically important practice area to complement the firm’s existing strengths. It will also ensure that we are able to provide vital, full-service support to our clients as they navigate today’s challenging business environment. Given the diverse talents of the individuals involved and the well-known strengths of the existing practice I am confident that we are well placed to achieve our goals.”

Adding to the growing multinational Finance & Projects group, Matthew’s appointment follows that of Anthony Morton in Frankfurt, James Harris in Asia, Jim Hunwick in Sydney and Eran Chivka in Paris.

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.”