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Ashurst appoints Global Sustainability Partner

International law firm Ashurst today announces the appointment of Anna-Marie Slot as the firm’s first Global Sustainability Partner, as part of an initiative to assist clients navigate the strategic challenges and opportunities of regional and multi-jurisdictional sustainability issues.

Dave Rome, Strategy Director in the Global Loans team, is supporting Anna-Marie with the initiative. They will work with sustainability advocates in each of the firm’s offices around the world to drive forward work on sustainability, both in terms of clients and the markets Ashurst operates in and also its own operations.

The initiative will focus on providing clients with an integrated approach to climate change risk, green finance and wider environmental issues, derived from the firm’s broad expertise on issues facing corporates, governments, financial institutions, funds and investors.

Anna-Marie Slot commented:

“Ashurst has been an active voice in the area of green finance and is a world leader in the power and renewables sector. Through our support of various sustainability-focused organisations worldwide, such as the Climate Bond Initiative, Ashurst has played a key role in this rapidly evolving area. And we are intending to leverage this expertise and focus to the benefit of all of our clients. I am really looking forward to working with Dave and the entire Ashurst community to accelerate our clients and our own approach to this strategically critical issue.”

Dave Rome added:

“As global climate change continues to advance at rapid levels, corporate sustainability has become even more critical. This initiative will draw together our expertise across practices and jurisdictions to assist our clients as they address the challenges of sustainability.”

Anna-Marie Slot has 20 years’ experience in finance across the US, Europe and Asia. She is recognised as a leading lawyer by Chambers and Partners, The Legal 500 and IFLR1000, as well as being named one of the world’s top 300 female transactional lawyers in banking and capital markets by IFLR1000 Women leaders in 2018 and 2019.

Dave Rome has over 31 years of experience in the finance and banking industry, having previously spent 28 years in corporate banking with NatWest/RBS, working across the UK and Europe as well as in Asia. He held a number of senior relationship management positions within the bank, before latterly heading up its market-leading syndicated loan business.

Food waste tech company Winnow raises $20 million funding

UK law firm Shoosmiths’ venture capital team has advised cutting-edge tech scale-up Winnow on its latest financing of $20 million to fund further expansion and put its artificial intelligence into the hands of more chefs to fight food waste.

Winnow’s smart commercial kitchen technology is used by companies in more than 40 countries such as Ikea and major hotel chains including Sofitel, Club Med, Novotel and Hilton.

Winnow raised a series B investment round of $12 million with backing from new investors Ingka Investments – part of the IKEA family – and The Ingenious Group as well as existing investors Mustard Seed, D-Ax and Circularity Capital. In addition, an $8 million loan facility from the European Investment Bank (EIB), with the help of the Juncker Plan which boosts investment to generate jobs and growth, is being made available to Winnow.

The company estimates that it saves 23 million meals from the bin every year and customers typically cut their food costs with Winnow by between three and eight per cent.

Corporate partner, Steve Barnett, has advised the scale-up on its journey since 2014 and led on the deal along with senior associate, Adam Meisels and trainee solicitor, Alex Friston. Senior associate, Kacey Brown and solicitor, Sophie King from Shoosmiths’ banking and finance team advised upon the loan facility from EIB.

Steve Barnett said: “Having worked with Winnow’s co-founders Kevin Duffy and Marc Zornes for over five years, it is great to see the rapid adoption of their technology in the market to provide a solution to the pressing issue of commercial food waste. We wish Winnow every success in the next stage of their journey. This work shows the strength and depth of our venture capital and banking and finance teams and expertise in handling complex, cross-border investments.”

Co-founder of Winnow, Kevin Duffy said: “We would like to thank Steve and his team for their pragmatic and commercial legal advice, as we continue our mission to have a meaningful impact around the world on the food waste problem.”

Headquartered in London and with offices in Singapore, Dubai, Eastern Europe, Shanghai and the USA, the company’s raft of awards includes the overall ‘Winner of Winners’ award at the World Economic Forum in Davos.

Special Education Partner Spotlight – McAndrews Law Offices

As our firm celebrates our new name of McAndrews, Mehalick, Connolly, Hulse, Ryan, and Marone, we are spotlighting our named partners and celebrating their numerous achievements. These individuals are highly accomplished in our profession and are deeply valued in our firm as a result of their long and successful tenure in our legal family. Previously known as “McAndrews Law Offices, P. C.,” the firm is nationally recognised in the fields of special education, special needs planning, estate planning, and elder law. The firm has become one of the largest law firms in suburban Philadelphia, and also maintains offices in Scranton, Wyomissing, Wilmington, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Alexandria (Virginia), and Georgetown (Delaware).

Michael Connolly: As stated by Dennis McAndrews, the Founder and Managing Partner of our firm, “Mike Connolly has proven himself to be an exceptional leader in the field of special education and is recognised in Pennsylvania, Delaware, and the mid-Atlantic region as an outstanding attorney whose skills are at the highest level of our profession. Michael assists in the strategic handling of our cases and the management of our Special Education Department with collegiality and professionalism, and he is universally trusted and respected by all stakeholders in the field of special education.”

Our firm’s CEO, Katie Ryan, states that: “Michael is an outstanding mentor, colleague, and friend to everyone in our firm. In addition to his oversight duties as the Supervising Partner for Special Education, Michael handles his own caseload and assists with our federal court litigation with skill, insight, and a complete understanding of the specialised field in which we work. We (and our clients) are fortunate indeed to have Michael as the Supervisor of our Special Education Department.”

With twenty years of experience, Michael represents parents of children with special needs in a variety of education matters at administrative hearings and state and federal court. He has assisted parents in disputes involving their public school related to issues such as eligibility and identification, programming and placement, tuition reimbursement, discipline, bullying, and discrimination. Michael frequently lectures across the state and nationally to parents, educators, and attorneys on special education and other education law related topics.

Dennis McAndrews states that: “Heather has been an outstanding member of our office since 1999, when she first began working for the firm as a law student while simultaneously pursuing a second Master’s degree in Psychology. After law school (and obtaining her second Master’s Degree in Psychology), Heather immediately stepped into a leading role in our firm representing children with disabilities and their families. From the start, Heather has handled special education cases with a high level of professional skill, insight, and compassion for the children and families we serve. After a few years in our Berwyn office, Heather sought to open an office in her hometown of Scranton, and Heather quickly developed a substantial clientele in North-eastern Pennsylvania, and Heather promptly began representation of these families with her usual degree of alacrity and competence. Heather has operated our Scranton office for over a decade and has developed a reputation among parents, advocacy groups, hearing officers, and judges which is second to none. We are grateful every day that Heather is a member of our team.”

CEO Katie Ryan indicates that: “Upon beginning my role as CEO at our firm, it became immediately apparent to me that Heather is a magnificent resource for children and families, and brings tremendous skill and dedication to her work. Every attribute that is necessary to be a successful special education attorney is part of Heather’s toolbox, as she possesses a strong understanding of education, psychological testing, and litigation strategy. She is a frequent resource to other attorneys in our office, who lean on her for her substantial wisdom and invaluable experience.”

UAE Tederal Tax Authority extends the Excise Tax

On the 1st of October 2017, the Federal Tax Authority (FTA) implemented an Excise Tax on certain products, including 100% on both tobacco-related products and energy drinks and 50% tax on carbonated drinks.

Due to the success of these taxes in reducing the consumption of these products, the FTA, as per Cabinet Decision No (52) of 2019, has chosen to extend this Excise Tax, as follows:

  • 100% on any liquids used in electronic smoking devices and tools, regardless of it containing nicotine, in accordance with the Customs Codes as determined by a decision issued by the Finance Minister;
  • 100% on any electronic smoking devices and tools, regardless of it containing tobacco or nicotine, in accordance with the Customs Codes as determined by a decision issued by the Finance Minister; and

50% on any sweetened drinks, including any products to which sugar or other sweeteners are added and produces:

  • ready-to-drink beverages;
  • concentrates, powders, gels, extracts or any form that can be converted into a sweetened drink;
  • any type of sugar determined under Standard 148 of the GCC Standardisation Organisation under the heading “Sugar”; and
  • any type of sweeteners determined under Standard 995 of the GCC Standardisation Organisation under the heading “Sweeteners Permitted in Food”.

Products which will be exempt from the definition of sweetened drinks and therefore not subject to the new Excise Taxes include:

  • ready-to-drink beverages containing at least 75% milk;
  • ready-to-drink beverages containing at least 75% milk substitutes;
  • baby formula, follow up formula or baby food;
  • beverages consumed for special dietary needs, as determined under Standard 654 of the GCC Standardisation Organisation under the heading “General Requirements for Pre-packaged Foods for Special Dietary Use”; and
  • beverages consumed for medical uses as determined under Standard 1366 of the GCC Standardisation Organisation under the heading “General Requirements for Handling of Foods for Special Medical Purposes”.

The expansion of the Excise Tax on the additional products shall take effect on the 1st of December 2019.

If you would like to find out more information, please visit: https://bsabh.com/

Retail body appoints legal advisory team

Leading Dublin firm Sherwin O’Riordan has announced a new partnership with Retail Excellence Ireland.

Sherwin O’Riordan will provide a legal advisory service to Retail Excellence Ireland’s 2000 members.

The service will take the form of a full employment, commercial and property consultation service to members and offer advice on legal queries by phone or email.

Business law

Established in 2002, Sherwin O’Riordan is a firm of highly-experienced solicitors specialising in advising growing SMEs in Ireland on commercial and business law, employment, commercial litigation, dispute resolution and commercial property.

Co-founding partner David O’Riordan said “We are delighted to have joined forces with Retail Excellence Ireland.

“This is what we specialise in and the service we’re providing will help the members of REI deal with their legal queries quickly and efficiently.”

Retail Excellence is a not for profit company which supports Irish retailers to be the best they can be.

Retail Excellence involves 2,000 leading retail companies who operate in the Irish market. Our members are the most progressive and innovative in the market. We make every effort to deliver activity which is wholeheartedly based on member needs. Retail Excellence is by far the largest retail industry body in Ireland.

Established in 1995, Retail Excellence is owned by the Members, for the Members and is the largest retail industry trade body in Ireland. Our aim is to enhance the consumer’s retail experience by developing top class retail standards and skills and promote a vibrant and competitive world class retail industry in Ireland.

If you would like to find out more information, please visit: https://www.retailexcellence.ie/

Steve Ryan Comments on Minneapolis Legal Market Growth

Steve Ryan was interviewed in a September 2019 Law.com article on trends in the Minneapolis legal market, in which he discussed the aspects that make Minneapolis an appealing location for firms to open new offices in.

Ryan cites access to a strong pool of talent and thriving business community as major draws for out-of-town firms.

“It’s a really underappreciated market when it comes to the economic dynamism of the geography,” said Steve Ryan. “It’s an incredible place for businesses to thrive. There’s incredible access to talent.”

Read the full article here.