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BTI Consulting Group Recognises Eversheds for Superior Client Service

Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce that it has been named to the elite 2021 BTI Client Service 30, a list of law firms recognised for delivering superior client service. The rankings are based on unprompted client feedback from general counsel at some of the world’s largest organisations.

The BTI Client Service 30 is a subset of the organisation’s larger client survey, The BTI Client Service A-Team 2021: The Survey of Law Firm Client Service Performance, which evaluates individual law firm performance through thousands of client interviews conducted over the span of 20 years.

This year’s analysis is a result of 350 independent, candid, one-on-one interviews with corporate counsel; firms cannot lobby or self-nominate to be added to the list. Of the 282 law firms recognised in The BTI Client Service A-Team 2021, Eversheds Sutherland ranked among the top 30.

Additionally, Eversheds Sutherland was recognised as a “Leader” in unprompted communication, anticipating client needs, commitment to help, client focus, understanding business, value for the dollar and quality products. The firm also achieved recognition in all three of BTI’s newest categories in the 2021 report: mobilising resources, fielding the absolute best team and quickly assessing the client’s situation.

“We greatly appreciate the confidence of our clients and peers, and are very grateful that they continuously entrust us with some of their most important matters and objectives,” said Eversheds Sutherland Co-CEO Mark D. Wasserman. “We take great pride in meeting the highest standards of service, and it is extremely rewarding to be singled out for this honour.”

About BTI Consulting Group

The Boston-based consulting group is the leading provider of strategic market research to law firms and professional services firms. BTI conducts the only continuous benchmarking market study in the legal services industry based on independent interviews with general counsel and key decision makers who hire law firms.

About Eversheds Sutherland

As a global top 10 law practice, Eversheds Sutherland provides legal services to a global client base ranging from small and mid-sized businesses to the largest multinationals, acting for 70 of the Fortune 100, 61 of the FTSE 100 and 128 of the Fortune 200.

With more than 3,000 lawyers, Eversheds Sutherland operates in 69 offices in 32 jurisdictions across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. In addition, a network of more than 200 related law firms, including formalised alliances in Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa, provide support around the globe.

Eversheds Sutherland provides the full range of legal services, including corporate and M&A; dispute resolution and litigation; energy and infrastructure; finance; human capital and labour law; intellectual property; real estate and construction; and tax.

Eversheds Sutherland comprises two separate legal entities: Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP (headquartered in the UK) and Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP (headquartered in the US), and their respective controlled, managed, affiliated and member firms.

International Women’s Day 2021

International Women’s Day gives us an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of women, and in particular those working at our firm. The theme for 2021 is ‘Choose to Challenge,’ a reminder that we all can and should choose to call out gender bias and inequality to create an inclusive world.

Women are not a homogenous group; they are diverse by nature of their backgrounds, their life experiences, their abilities, perspectives and opinions, and International Women’s Day is about celebrating inclusion of women in its truest sense.

We have much to celebrate in our global firm – we have remarkable women doing notable work throughout the world. In January 2021, we became the first ‘Am Law 200’ firm to name a woman of color, Shauna Clark, as both our Global and US Chair. Recently, Shauna spoke with women leaders of the firm to get their views on the challenges that women face today, including discrimination and micro-aggression in the workplace and the perceptions of female leadership during a pandemic.

“Discrimination is much less overt now, it’s subconscious in many ways and I think that makes it more challenging to overcome,” said Alison Deitz, Managing Partner, Australia. “We, as female leaders, need to be very aware of that and ensure we can overcome it, whether by unconscious bias training or actively putting in place metrics for gender pay equity, to ensure that we’re not discriminating in any shape or form.”

“We’re getting to the point now where gender discrimination is more systemic, so it’s around the actual structures themselves and who is at the table making the decisions and the transparency around that, which is different to what was more bold and in your face in the past,” echoed Angela Tancock, Chief Strategy Officer, Canada.

The reality, then, is that women still are fighting not just for a place at the table – but to be listened to when they get a seat there.

“As a woman I get penalised for my tenacity and for being direct,” explained Natasha Moore, Head of Learning and Development, Europe, Middle East and Asia. “Women are often invited to the party, but we’re not invited to dance.”

One issue that remains is that women who are assertive are sometimes painted in a negative light, which can make them reluctant to display their full confidence or potential.

“In the context of the work place, many women wait until they are 100 percent ready to take up a challenge, whereas our male counterparts would not do that, and what I say to women is – you go the extra mile, not because you are a woman but because you will find very few people in that space, and that is your place to make your mark in, in whatever way you choose to,” said Marelise van der Westhuizen, CEO, South Africa.

“Women who are seen as go-getters can be judged more harshly and we don’t just see that in professional organisations, but in the wider world too,” added Farmida Bi, EMEA Chair. “Women politicians, for example, are held to a different standard. However, the thing I’ve found most interesting about the current pandemic is the discussion around whether female leaders in countries like New Zealand or South Korea have proved to be more successful because they are leading in a different, better way.”

“When I started, I didn’t have the courage to be my authentic self and I became very adept at shifting my personality to make those around me more comfortable, and it was just another weight that I carried, in addition to being black and a woman and young in a male-dominated environment,” Shauna said.

Combatting the issue requires raising issues of disrespect, implicit bias and micro-aggression when we see it, in order to seek to correct and improve it, Shauna said.

“The conversation needs to be about resilience and being human and correcting mistakes,” Shauna said.

“There are both the implicit bias issues that people have – I have them, we all have them – sometimes there are also biases that we hold ourselves to,” added Gina Shishima, Chief Strategy and Operations Partner, United States. “I also think it’s not the best thing to focus on; if I have to say it again, I’ll say it again. I think trying to be cognisant of it is key, but I try to focus on being effective.”

Read more about our diversity and inclusion efforts, including how we strive to achieve gender balance.

Eversheds Successfully Defends Representative in SEC Appeal

Eversheds Sutherland is pleased to announce that the firm successfully defended registered representative David Tysk in an appeal to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of a disciplinary proceeding brought by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

In 2013, the firm was hired to defend Mr. Tysk against FINRA’s charges that he acted unethically and violated arbitration procedures. Before this successful appeal, FINRA had ordered him to pay a $50,000 fine and suspended him from the securities industry for one-year, essentially ending his career in the securities industry.

After several years of appeals, including two appeals to the SEC, the SEC found in favour of Mr. Tysk, overturning FINRA’s findings.

Eversheds Sutherland Partner Brian Rubin led the team with support from Litigation Partner Lee Peifer.

Mr. Rubin said, “This is the first time in at least five years that the SEC has completely ruled against FINRA in an appeal of a disciplinary hearing. This case is a great example of how and when to push back against regulators.”

The SEC’s decision can be found here.

About Eversheds Sutherland’s Securities and Enforcement Litigation team

Eversheds Sutherland defends broker-dealers, investment advisers, public companies, accounting firms and individuals in securities exams, investigations, enforcement actions, arbitrations and related securities litigation, including class actions. With a comprehensive understanding of the financial regulatory landscape and an appreciation of our clients’ business needs, we know what it takes to make cases go away—whether that means shutting cases down early, negotiating reasonable settlements or litigating.

About Eversheds Sutherland

As a global top 10 law practice, Eversheds Sutherland provides legal services to a global client base ranging from small and mid-sized businesses to the largest multinationals, acting for 70 of the Fortune 100, 61 of the FTSE 100 and 128 of the Fortune 200.

With more than 3,000 lawyers, Eversheds Sutherland operates in 68 offices in 32 jurisdictions across Africa, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the United States. In addition, a network of more than 200 related law firms, including formalised alliances in Latin America, Asia Pacific and Africa, provide support around the globe.

Eversheds Sutherland provides the full range of legal services, including corporate and M&A; dispute resolution and litigation; energy and infrastructure; finance; human capital and labor law; intellectual property; real estate and construction; and tax.

Eversheds Sutherland is a global legal practice and comprises two separate legal entities: Eversheds Sutherland (International) LLP (headquartered in the UK) and Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP (headquartered in the US), and their respective controlled, managed, affiliated and member firms. The use of the name Eversheds Sutherland is for description purposes only and does not imply that the member firms or their controlled, managed or affiliated entities are in a partnership or are part of a global LLP. For more information, visit eversheds-sutherland.com.

Duane Morris & Selvam Statement on Myanmar Operations

Duane Morris & Selvam issued the following statement in response to the on-going political uncertainty impacting Myanmar.

“We continue to carefully monitor the on-going situation throughout the country,” said Leon Yee, Chairman for Duane Morris & Selvam. “That said, we believe in the long-term future for the country and its economy, as well as for Duane Morris with our strong roots there. At this time, maintaining the on-going safety of our team and clients, and concern for the people of Myanmar, remains of our utmost priority.”

“Throughout the turmoil of the past weeks, our active and comprehensive counsel to clients in Myanmar and across Asia has remained firm and steadfast. We will always be here for our clients. The relationships our lawyers have established with business leaders in the region, as well as the operational and legal resources available to clients as a local office within Duane Morris’ robust global network, has positioned us well for continued seamless delivery of substantive legal counsel,” Mr. Yee continued.

He added further that lawyers and staff located in the Firm’s office in Yangon, Myanmar, are able to work both in the office as well as remotely, and that the Firm is accommodating in-office attendance consistent with local COVID-19 conditions.

About Duane Morris & Selvam

Duane Morris & Selvam LLP is the joint law venture between Duane Morris LLP and Selvam LLC, with its headquarters in Singapore. By way of its global platform and extensive range of legal services, the firm helps companies conduct business in and out of Asia, the United States, Latin America, the United Kingdom and beyond. In addition to the excellent skills of its lawyers, clients benefit from the cultural fluency and key relationships that the firm has developed over many years of practising law throughout the region. The firm has a presence in the key markets of Southeast Asia, including Singapore, Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as offices in Shanghai and Yangon. Supporting these regional offices, the firm operates a series of country desks for India, Indonesia, Korea and Japan, as well as an alliance in Sri Lanka. It is regularly ranked among the region’s leading law firms by Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500 and IFLR1000.

Kuehne+Nagel acquires Asian logistics provider Apex

Leading global law firm Baker McKenzie has advised global transport and logistics group Kuehne+Nagel on its acquisition of Apex International Corporation (Apex) from private equity firm MBK Partners and management, its largest acquisition to date.

Apex is one of Asia’s leading freight forwarders, especially in the transpacific and intra-Asia. The company was founded in China in 2001 and has expanded throughout Asia and beyond over the years of its growth history. With approximately 1,600 employees, Apex generates yearly turnover in excess of CHF 2.1 billion. In 2020, the company handled total air freight volume of approximately 750,000 tons and sea freight volume of 190,000 TEU.

Dr. Detlef Trefzger, CEO of Kuehne+Nagel International AG, says: “The combination of Apex and Kuehne+Nagel provides us with an opportunity to offer our customers a compelling proposition in the competitive Asian logistics industry, especially in e-commerce fulfilment, hi-tech and e-mobility. We are looking forward to welcoming the Apex colleagues to the Kuehne+Nagel family.”

The Baker McKenzie team was led by Alexander Fischer, together with Howard Wu, Alexander Blaeser, Matthias Trautmann, and with the following deal team members: Zurich: Boris Wenger, Matthias Courvoisier, Eva-Maria Strobel, Markus Wolf, Yves Mauchle, Roger Thomi, Zarina Fueglister, Tiziana Hongler and Jan Lusti; PRC: Zheng Lu, Terry Xu, Gege Li, Merry Du, Coco Xi, Emma Zhao, Leo Zhang, Sufi Shang, Luis Zhang, Rachel Ye, Cora Wu, Lucca Li, Xi Chen, Hunt Wu, Kevin Yuan and Laura Liu; Hong Kong: Harold Van Kooten, Isabella Liu, Jannice Lau, Joel Cheung, Mandy Hung, Bryan Ng, Stephen Crosswell, Charlie Wong, Thomas Jenkins, Amy Ling, Lu Zhou, Jannie Mak, Rainbow Fu, Lesley Jingyu Luo and Antonia Chan; USA: Eunkyung Shin, Jeanne Song, Andrew Sagor, Chen Tang, Derek Liu, Stuart Seidel, John Fedele, Jennifer Trock, Alexander Matthews and Arvind Miriyala; Australia: Eric Thianpiriya; Canada: Yana Ermak; Germany: Alexander Ehrle; Mexico: Reynaldo Vizcarra-Mendez and Jesus Antonio Perez-Palazuelos; Netherlands: Christiaan Van der Meer, Danielle Pinedo, Florian Fehres, Emile Doelwijt, Julie Wulfften Palthe, Maarten van Laar, Philip Luckmann and Anastasia Moonen-Vaes; Taiwan: Gwyneth Gu and Yiting Lin; Thailand: Pornapa Luengwattanakit, Narumol Chinawong Teo, Sirikan Buranasiri and Kritchaya Rattanasakul; Vietnam: Lan Phuong Nguyen, Chi Hoang Yen Ngo and Xuan Nghi Ma.

The acquisition is subject to customary closing conditions, including merger clearance by the competent competition authorities. The purchase price will be financed by available liquid sources and, if needed, by available credit lines. Following closing of the transaction, a minor stake of Apex shares is to remain with the experienced and entrepreneurial management of Apex.

Latham & Watkins advises Tencent Music on its investment in Wave

Latham & Watkins advised Tencent Music Entertainment Group (“Tencent Music” or “TME”), the leading online music entertainment platform in China, on its minority equity investment in Wave, the market leader in interactive virtual entertainment experiences. The deal will enable TME to air Wave experiences in China across all of its platforms including QQ Music, Kugou Music, Kuwo Music, and WeSing.

Additionally, this collaboration will allow the two companies to develop virtual concert content for TME Live, an innovative live performance brand under TME, which pioneers the integration of offline concerts with an online experience.

The Latham deal team was led by Hong Kong corporate partner Frank Sun, with Beijing associate Jason Zhao. Advice on CFIUS matters was provided by Washington, D.C. partner Steven Croley, counsel Rachel Alpert, and associate Tahura Lodhi; and on IP matters by Hong Kong associate Kieran Donovan.