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Information and data privacy law heavyweight joins Pinsent Masons

Multinational law firm Pinsent Masons has hired partner Jonathan Kirsop as a key addition to its leading data privacy and information law offering.

Jonathan advises a wide range of clients on data privacy with particular focus on the financial services sector. His range of expertise spans contractual and regulatory advice, data subject access requests, international data transfers as well as providing broader technology, data and commercial expertise.

He joins the firm from Stephenson Harwood where he established and led the information law practice within their commercial, outsourcing and technology team.

Jonathan will assist in the further development of Pinsent Masons’ information and data privacy law capabilities in London, particularly to the firm’s financial services clients, as well as working with partners within the rest of the UK, across Europe and Asia Pacific offices.

Simon Colvin, Head of the Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice at Pinsent Masons said “Data and privacy is at the heart of the business for most of our clients. As the regulatory landscape continues to evolve, Jonathan brings valuable expertise to support clients, particularly in the heavily regulated financial services sector, as their needs for support and advice on all things information and data privacy law grow and become more complex.”

Laura Cameron, Head of Risk Advisory Services at Pinsent Masons said “The demand for data and privacy advice has increased exponentially and it has become a boardroom issue for businesses. Jonathan is a key addition to the firm at this time, as the continued development of technology and indeed the strategic use of, and protection of, data is a business critical issue for all organisations.”

Hogan Lovells advises Timberland Investment Resources Europe

Hogan Lovells has assisted Timberland Investment Resources Europe (TIR) in setting up its second investment vehicle in Luxembourg.

The firm helped TIR, one of the few private investment management firms that offers investment solutions in the forestry sector, to set up a Reserved Alternative Investment Fund (RAIF). The Hogan Lovells team advised on the initial structuring of the fund, including tax, through to the first closing of the fund, which occurred in January 2020 for circa EUR 75 million. The current target is to double this amount by the end of the year.

This fund is one of a few on both sides of the Atlantic investing in timberland and forestry assets.

This work shows the client’s continuous trust in Hogan Lovells. The firm previously advised TIR on the launch of their first Luxembourg fund (TIR Europe Forestry Fund) in 2016.

The Hogan Lovells Luxembourg team was led by Pierre Reuter (partner) and included Simon Recher (associate), Mathilde Soetens (trainee), with support from the London team led by Erik Jamieson (partner) and Ollie Phillips (associate). On the tax side, the team included Gérard Neiens (partner), Jean-Philippe Monmousseau (counsel), Pierre-Luc Wolff (senior associate), and Grâce Mfuakiadi (associate).

Dentons names Michael Zolandz to head its Washington DC office

Dentons has announced the appointment of Michael Zolandz as managing partner of its Washington DC office. Zolandz chairs Dentons’ Federal Regulatory and Compliance practice, and is a key leader in the firm’s Global Public Policy and Regulation and Government practices. He has focused on creative solutions to clients’ most challenging regulatory and commercial issues. His practice has focused on cross-border commerce, including regulatory investigations, trade and export controls, and anti-corruption due diligence.

Zolandz also advises clients on cross-border transactions and regulations related to international commerce, including inbound foreign investment reviews under the jurisdiction of CFIUS. He has developed and enhanced compliance programs and conducted regulatory investigations and remediation of trade control and anti-corruption matters for many of the Firm’s largest clients, as well multinational companies across industry sectors throughout Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and US.

“Mike is an outstanding lawyer and strong leader whose collaborative team-oriented approach to client service will be a tremendous asset to our strategy in the Washington, DC market and serve as a model to the lawyers in that office,” said Mike McNamara, Chief Executive Officer of Dentons US. “DC is a key office in the US region, and the exceptional lawyers here are working on some of the most complex and exciting projects of the Firm. Mike is a highly-regarded leader inside the Firm and in the global legal community, and under his guidance the office will continue to flourish.”

Zolandz has also counseled on campaign finance and ethics law, lobbying disclosure requirements and pay-to-play restrictions, including the formation and management of federal and state political action committees, Securities and Exchange Commission and Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board rules related to investment advisors, and compliance programs for both lobbying disclosure and political activity. His experience also includes advising and counseling US technology developers and software companies, a Global 500 insurance company, leading financial institutions, an international cellular conglomerate, Indian and Chinese corporations, and a multinational energy company.

A prolific writer he has written articles for Law360, Global Trade, WorldECR Report and Westlaw Journal. He has also given presentations for the American Bar Association, the Economic Sanctions and Financial Crime Forum (London), the Annual CLE Seminar for In-House Counsel and Thomson Reuters Accelus. Zolandz earned his JD and BA from George Washington University, with high honors and cum laude, respectively.

Laka gears up for European expansion with latest $4.7m investment

Browne Jacobson’s corporate technology team has advised the founders of InsurTech startup Laka on raising $4.7m funding to fund the next stage of its growth strategy.

The round was led by leading venture capital firms LocalGlobe and Creandum, with Yes VC (the venture fund founded by Caterina Fake, co-founder of Flickr, and Jyri Engestrom, co-founder of Jaiku and Ditto) and prominent angel investors, Nick Evans (Chairman of Rapha) and Oren Peleg (former CEO of Fitness First), amongst others, also investing.

The investment will be used by founders Ben Allen, Jens Hartwig and Tobias Taupitz to grow its footprint across Europe, establish its EU base in the Netherlands later this year and further develop its product portfolio. This will include a recovery and health product designed specifically to help cyclists who have experienced injury or accident to access the right services.

Founded in 2017, Laka specialises in insuring high-end bicycles in the UK and has developed a unique insurance model in which the cost of claims is split fairly between customers, with premiums capped at market rate for customer protection. Fewer claims lead to lower costs. On average Laka’s users have saved more than 80% compared to market prices.

Browne Jacobson’s London based team comprised corporate technology partner Jon Snade, associate Harry Pearson and senior associate Nicole Judah. Jon also led the team that advised Laka on its last successful seed round in 2018 which raised $1.5m.

Tobi Taupitz, CEO of Laka, said: “Cyclists should be able to completely trust their insurance providers – through our community-based approach, we are bringing our customers, many of whom have previously been ill-served by legacy players, a product that ensures fair treatment, trustability and transparency.

“We’ve seen a fantastic response from the British cycling community, who have become our greatest advocates, and we’re looking forward to launching Laka across Europe and beyond.”

Remus Brett, partner at LocalGlobe, added: “The beauty of Laka is it returns insurance to its pure, mutual heritage. Laka’s members and their shared interests incentivise positive behaviour which in turn benefits the entire community.

“These principles are over 300 years old, the difference being technology and increasing consumer awareness that traditional insurance models, with complex clauses, excesses and a painful claims process are fundamentally broken.”

Carl Fritjofsson, partner at Creandum, commented: “The word disruption is used all too often in the world of entrepreneurship, but with Laka it actually fits very well. This is a fundamentally unique and different approach that turns the old business model of insurers upside down.

“Laka truly improves the user experience 10x as well as lowers costs for its policyholders, all while providing a fair and transparent insurance coverage. What’s not to love?”

Jon Snade, concluded: “We are once again delighted to have used our extensive market knowledge and sector expertise to help Laka secure investment towards realising its growth ambitions outside the UK. Its business model is genuinely market disrupting and it’s a pleasure to support businesses that are truly innovative.”

Browne Jacobson has built a reputation for its innovative approach to delivering legal services to startups following the launch of the Grow programme in 2017 and which is tailored specifically for high-growth companies at any stage of the start-up journey. The firm works with over 100 high-growth businesses across a broad range of sectors but notably in InsurTech and FinTech.

Norton Rose advises consortium of banks on $500m bond issuance

Global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright has advised Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Citigroup Global Markets Limited, Emirates NBD Bank PJSC, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, Dubai (DIFC) Branch, J.P. Morgan Securities plc and Société Générale as joint lead managers on a US$500 million bond issuance by Emirates NBD Bank PJSC.

The notes are due February 2025 and were issued off Emirates NBD Bank PJSC’s $12,500,000,000 Euro Medium Term Note Programme, which was updated in July 2019 and on which Norton Rose Fulbright also advised.

The Dubai-based Norton Rose Fulbright team was led by head of debt capital markets for the Middle East, Gregory Man, with assistance from senior associate, Ganna Vlasenko.

Gregory Man commented: “We are proud to have been involved in this transaction. This deal builds on Norton Rose Fulbright’s track record of advising on notable bond transactions in the region and once again provided us with the opportunity to represent many of our leading financial institutions clients.”

About Norton Rose Fulbright

We provide the world’s preeminent corporations and financial institutions with a full business law service. We have more than 3,700 lawyers and other legal staff based in Europe, the United States, Canada, Latin America, Asia, Australia, the Middle East and Africa.

Recognised for our industry focus, we are strong across all the key industry sectors: financial institutions; energy; infrastructure, mining and commodities; transport; technology and innovation; and life sciences and healthcare. Through our global risk advisory group, we leverage our industry experience with our knowledge of legal, regulatory, compliance and governance issues to provide our clients with practical solutions to the legal and regulatory risks facing their businesses.

Wherever we are, we operate in accordance with our global business principles of quality, unity and integrity. We aim to provide the highest possible standard of legal service in each of our offices and to maintain that level of quality at every point of contact.

Norton Rose Fulbright Verein, a Swiss verein, helps coordinate the activities of Norton Rose Fulbright members but does not itself provide legal services to clients. Norton Rose Fulbright has offices in more than 50 cities worldwide, including London, Houston, New York, Toronto, Mexico City, Hong Kong, Sydney and Johannesburg.

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Dentons Boekel migrates name and brand to Dentons

The partners of Dentons Boekel have decided to transition the name to Dentons, with effect from January 1, 2020. Dutch law firm Boekel combined with Dentons in 2017.

“Dentons Boekel has had a rich legacy of serving clients for more than 60 years in the Dutch market. We are delighted to have benefited from the brand and goodwill and are excited about Dentons’ next chapter in the Netherlands,” said Elliott Portnoy, Global Chief Executive Officer of Dentons.

“Connecting our new talent to colleagues and clients around the world is a key element of our global strategy,” said Joe Andrew, Global Chair of Dentons. “As the partners of Dentons Boekel have decided to transition from Dentons Boekel to Dentons, we are remarkably pleased with the success of the combination in the Netherlands, which is just one example of the uptick we are experiencing across so many of our markets around the world.”

Since joining Dentons in May 2017, the Amsterdam office has doubled in revenue growth. It has grown from 16 to 29 partners, adding new teams, and/or significantly enhancing capabilities in Banking and Finance, Corporate and M&A, Energy, Private Equity, Intellectual Property and Technology, Tax and Real Estate.

Wendela Raas, Managing Partner in Amsterdam said: “We are delighted by the way this combination has played out, which is one of the reasons we decided to transition the name to Dentons at this time. We are fully committed to Dentons’ vision to always be the law firm of the future and look forward to continuing to work with our colleagues around the world under the Dentons brand.”

“The last two years have been transformative for our Amsterdam office,” said Marien Glerum, Benelux Managing Officer at Dentons. “Not only have we attracted top talent and strengthened our service offering, but we have also gained numerous new client relationships. At the same time, our existing clients have benefitted from the unmatched global coverage of the world’s largest law firm.”

Dentons has more than 100 lawyers in the Netherlands, and employs more than 10,000 lawyers in 181 locations and 73 countries around the world.