Twitter Logo Youtube Circle Icon LinkedIn Icon

Publishing firms

Press releases and law firm thought leadership

This page is dedicated to keeping readers informed of the latest news and thought leadership articles from law firms across the globe.

If your firm wishes to publish press releases or articles, please contact Shehab Khurshid on +44 (0) 207 396 5689 or shehab.khurshid@legalease.co.uk

 

World first for Guernsey litigation team in successful application to place PCC in administration

May 2005. Press Releases by Carey Olsen (view listing).

13 May 2005

Carey Olsen was at the heart of a team of UK and Guernsey lawyers in a successful landmark application to the Royal Court of Guernsey on 11 May 2005 placing a Protected Cell Company (PCC) into administration and to have partners from Ernst & Young LLP in London and Guernsey appointed as administrators.

The application for administration, originally brought by the directors of Messenger Insurance PCC Limited, nominated the administrators of Messenger?s UK-based parent company InsCom Group Limited which, along with some of its directors, is the subject of current High Court proceedings in London alleging breaches of fiduciary duty, misappropriation and fraud. The proposed nomination was strongly opposed by a number of corporate creditors of the PCC who believed the appointment would lead to conflicts of interest between the competing administrators, shareholders and directors of the two companies.

Two teams from Carey Olsen, separated by Chinese-walls, spearheaded the Guernsey legal teams acting for Messenger?s creditors. John Greenfield, partner and Head of Commercial Litigation, along with senior lawyer Tim Corfield, a UK qualified Solicitor-Advocate, acted for Zurich Insurance Company, Switzerland, whilst partner Mark Dunster and Advocate Karen Le Cras acted for QBE International Insurance Limited. John Greenfield described it as the first case in the world involving an application to place a PCC into administration.

Advocate Greenfield lead the advocacy for the successful combined creditors? teams, including lawyers from Clifford Chance LLP, Baker & McKenzie, Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, Barlow Lyde & Gilbert and Kendall Freeman. In preparing for the application, the lawyers from Carey Olsen were instrumental in preparing submissions based on the locus standi of creditors to be heard before the Guernsey Court in such an application, the weight to be attached to creditors? submissions in comparison to those of the board of directors and shareholders of the PCC and in alleging conflicts of interest on the part of the proposed nominees.

John Greenfield added:

?This was a significant judgment and illustrates the strength and depth of expertise that this firm has in managing complex commercial cases, especially multi-party disputes such as this, in which a number of the major London law practices were also represented?.

Ends

For more information please contact John Greenfield, Mark Dunster, Karen Le Cras or Tim Corfield, Carey Olsen, P.O. Box 98, 7 New Street, St Peter Port, Guernsey. Telephone: 01481 727272

Read more…

WHITE & CASE BOOSTS GERMAN FINANCE PRACTICE WITH TWO NEW ARRIVALS

May 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

WHITE & CASE BOOSTS GERMAN FINANCE PRACTICE WITH TWO NEW ARRIVALS

May 13, 2005

White & Case?s Frankfurt office welcomes two new arrivals, adding further strength to the key practice area of finance.

The Firm has appointed Dr. Thomas Flatten as partner in the finance practice of its Frankfurt office. Dr. Flatten adds to the team?s strength in depth and its expertise in real estate and acquisition finance as well as in restructurings.

Stephen Hodgson, finance partner in Frankfurt commented, 'We are delighted to welcome Thomas to our growing finance team. With the additional expertise in international financings, we will be even better placed to serve our client?s needs in Frankfurt in all areas of the finance market, particularly the real estate finance sector.'

The Firm has also appointed J?rg Liesenfeld as an associate in the capital markets team in Frankfurt. J?rg comes to the Firm with three years? experience in debt capital markets as well as a one-year secondment at a leading US investment bank in London.

'J?rg is a great addition to our capital markets team in Frankfurt. His arrival is illustrative of the robust growth of our practice and supports our commitment to expanding further in the leading German financial centre of Frankfurt,' said Jochen Artzinger-Bolten, capital markets partner in Frankfurt.

White & Case?s capital markets practice in Germany will now be headed by Frankfurt partner Jochen Artzinger-Bolten as well as Dr. Volker Land, partner in Hamburg, enabling the previous head of the capital markets practice, Markus Hauptman, to further concentrate on M&A and private equity transactions as well as his managerial role as Executive Partner of the Frankfurt office.

About White & Case ? Worldwide

White & Case is a leading global law firm with nearly 1,900 lawyers in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms. White & Case has also been named Best US Law Firm in London, Eastern Europe Law Firm of the Year and Eastern Europe corporate/M&A Firm of the Year by leading legal benchmark publications.

In January 2005 White & Case received the banking and finance team of the year award at the Legal Business awards, and in March 2005 was named Law Firm of the Year, 2005, in both Russia and Hungary by IFLR magazine.

Contact:

James Martin

Media Relations Manager, EMEA

White & Case LLP

44 0 20 7532 2853/ 44 0 7939 012 011

jmartin@london.whitecase.com

Barbara Gruber

Media Relations Manager, White & Case LLP

Jungfernstieg 51 (Prien-Haus)

20354 Hamburg

Germany

49 40 350 05 384

bgruber@whitecase.com

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS ADVISES IP2IPO GROUP ON LAUNCH OF LIFEUK AND FURTHER FUNDRAISING

May 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

UK law firm, Pinsent Masons is acting for IP2IPO Group plc on a placing to fund the launch a new life science intellectual property business designed to help researchers unlock the capital potential of their work.

The proceeds from the placing of 2,157,837 ordinary shares of 10p each at ?6.37 per share, which is expected to raise approximately ?13.75m before expenses, will be used to launch a new business within IP2IPO - LifeUK.

LifeUK will in-license life science intellectual property created by medical researchers at universities with which IP2IPO already has partnerships, other universities in the UK and similar academic and charitable research institutions. LifeUK aims to develop further the intellectual property which it in-licenses with a view to creating substantial value either by subsequently licensing these development programmes to the pharmaceutical industry or by creating new ventures.

The Placing Shares have been placed by Lehman Brothers International (Europe), as sole bookrunner, and KBC Peel Hunt Ltd, as joint lead manager, and have been placed conditional on admission to trading on AIM. Dealings are expected to commence on 16 May 2005.

The Pinsent Masons team was led by London Corporate Partner Russell Booker.

David Norwood, Chief Executive Officer commented, 'The launch of LifeUK represents a significant strategic move for IP2IPO and considerably strengthens and diversifies our business. In the academic arena, UK academics produce ground-breaking medical research, while within industry, pharmaceutical companies are increasingly looking for new sources of drug candidates to augment their pipelines. LifeUK has been created to provide a channel from the lab bench to industry which builds on the success that IP2IPO has already experienced creating spin out companies under its long term university partnerships.'

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32 or mobile: 07884 110173.

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with more than 260 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

IP2IPO is an intellectual property (IP) company that specialises in commercialising university technology. The company was founded in 2001 and listed on AIM in October 2003. It has forged a number of long-term commercial partnerships with universities in the UK.

To date, four spin-out companies from the IP2IPO portfolio have listed on the AIM: Offshore Hydrocarbon Mapping plc, Synairgen plc, VASTox plc and Proximagen Neuroscience plc. For further information visit - www.ip2ipo.com

Read more…

EMPLOYMENT LAWYER SHARON PARELLA JOINS WHITE & CASE AS PARTNER

May 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

EMPLOYMENT LAWYER SHARON PARELLA JOINS WHITE & CASE AS PARTNER

May 11, 2005

White & Case today announced that Sharon Parella has joined as a partner in the Firm?s Executive Compensation, Benefits and Employment Law (ECBEL) practice in the New York office.

Parella counsels on all aspects of employment law. Her practice includes defending employers against discrimination, compensation and other employment claims before both state and federal courts, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, fair employment agencies and in proceedings before the New York Stock Exchange and the National Association of Securities Dealers. Her work also focuses on employment issues related to mergers and restructurings.

Parella has extensive experience in drafting and negotiating employment, consulting and settlement agreements and releases. In conjunction with foreign counsel, Parella advises clients regarding US employees abroad and the application of US employment laws to expatriate employees in the US

In addition, Parella counsels clients on issues of discrimination, employee misconduct and sexual harassment and provides training seminars on these and related issues for senior management, executives, human resources professionals, in-house legal counsel and employees. She regularly gives advice on investigations of employee complaints of misconduct.

'In today's litigious workplace environment, employment is an area of the law that is growing in importance,' said Kenneth Raskin, head of the Firm?s Executive Compensation, Benefits and Employment Law Practice Group. 'An employment law practice that also provides in-house training is something that is highly valued by clients, which is why we are so glad to have Sharon join us. If clients have information and are trained about how to handle issues such as harassment, discrimination and other employment law issues, it reduces the risk of liability.'

Raskin added: 'As companies continue to consolidate the number of their outside law firms, our ability to provide full-service employment litigation services will enhance our ability to provide the full range of services that are sought. My goal of having the pre-eminent global ECBEL practice, and the firm's goal of growing our New York office, are both well served by having Sharon join White & Case.'

Parella joins the Firm from the New York office of a prominent law firm, where she was an Employment Law partner.

'White & Case will provide my practice a platform with global breadth,' said Parella. 'Since so many of my clients have significant offices outside of the US, the Firm?s network will allow me to expand and strengthen my client relationships abroad. My clients are extremely excited about my joining a firm with such a strong employment practice group, and the opportunity of having the full services of White & Case.'

About White & Case LLP

White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with more than 1900 lawyers practicing in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms. With more than 90 specialists located in New York, London and 21 other cities throughout the world, White & Case provides both local and global perspectives to compensation and benefits issues.

Contact:

Josh Karlen

Media Relations Manager

White & Case

1 212 819 8519

jkarlen@whitecase.com

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS HELPS PUT RBS IN THE MEDIA

April 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

The London Banking Team at Pinsent Masons has advised The Royal Bank of Scotland in its backing with 3i of a buy-in/buy-out ('BIMBO') team in the ?17.7 million acquisition of Knight-Banner Information Limited. Knight-Banner Information Limited, which is being renamed Knight-Banner Business Information Limited ('KBBI'), is one of the leading media monitoring agencies with a market share of 25%.

Pinsent Masons advised The Royal Bank of Scotland's Corporate and Structured Finance team in relation to its provision of ?9,325,000 of Senior Debt facilities (including ?1,500,000 of factoring facilities provided by The Royal Bank of Scotland Commercial Services Limited) to the buy-in vehicle and various companies in the KBBI group. KBBI operates under the brand names of Precise, EDS, EPCA, Clipability and Media Report and provides high speed press cuttings, editorial and evaluation services to its clients from approximately 5,000 media titles, web sites and news wires.

This was the second deal completed by Pinsent Masons' Banking Team in London for the Corporate and Structured Finance team at RBS in a little over two months. The Pinsent Masons' team advising RBS was led by Head of Banking in London, Martin Bishop, assisted by Tony Anderson, Frances Mallender and Hannah Bleakley (Banking), Jonathon Reardon and William Bankes (Corporate) and Ian Clark and Shane Foley (Property).

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, Head of Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32 or mob: 07884 110173

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS ADVISES MANAGEMENT ON ACQUISITION OF CROWN MEDIA

April 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

A team of lawyers from Pinsent Masons led by London private equity partner, Jonathan Reardon, has advised a management team led by David Elstein, the former chief executive of Channel Five, on the US$242 million acquisition of the international business of the Hallmark Channel.

The acquisition includes the international versions of the Hallmark Channel distributed outside the USA to approximately 60 million subscribers in 152 countries, the non-US rights to over 500 titles in the Crown Media library and the broadcast facility based in Denver, Colorado, which will continue to distribute the channels throughout the world.

The deal was backed by 3i and Providence Equity Partners (advised by Ashurst and Debevoise & Plimpton respectively) with debt finance provided by ABN Amro Bank, Barclays Bank and Societe Generale.

Commenting on the deal, Jonathan Reardon said:

'We are delighted to have had the opportunity of working with such a high calibre team of managers on this complex transaction, which adds to our already significant track record of advising management on large private equity buy-outs. We congratulate David Elstein's team and wish them every success in growing the business over the coming years.'

The deal was introduced to Pinsent Masons by its by tax and share schemes specialist, David Pett. The Pinsent Masons team led by Jonathan Reardon comprised Gareth Rees and Olivia Phalippou on corporate, Mark Cawthron on tax and Wyn Lewis on employment.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32 or mob: 07884 110173

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS ADVISES COPPER RESOURCES CORPORATION ON AIM ADMISSION

April 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Pinsent Masons' position as a market leader in advising companies coming to AIM has been further consolidated with the admission of Copper Resources Corporation. It is the 4th AIM flotation in three months where Pinsent Masons has acted for the company.

Copper Resources is the ultimate holding company of a group of companies with the operating rights to the Hinoba-an Porphyry Copper Project in the Republic of the Philippines. The shares in Copper Resources were admitted to AIM on 21 April. Copper Resources raised ?4 million (before expenses) in a placing of shares to institutional shareholders, giving it an initial market capitalisation of approximately ?27.8 million.

Pinsent Masons' lead corporate partner on the float, Russell Booker said: 'Once again, the combination of our hallmark 'right first time' approach and process management skills have proved invaluable. The team was able to call on its experience and knowledge of the AIM process to make sure that everything was dealt with smoothly and efficiently. It has been a pleasure to help bring Copper Resources to the market'.

Christopher Jordinson, the CEO of Copper Resources, commenting on the flotation, said: 'The Pinsent Masons team added real value to the Copper Resources Corporation AIM process. Pinsent Masons were effective and pragmatic throughout and helped CRC complete the AIM admission process on time and without any fuss. CRC are now eager to advance the Hinoba-an Project to the next stage of Bankable Feasibility Study and prove up its potential to become a long-term copper feedstock source for the Philippines and the world copper market.?

In addition to Russell Booker, the Pinsent Masons team advising Copper Resources included senior corporate associates Nicola Marrin and Dominic Travers.

Nabarro Wells & Co. Limited, the Nominated Adviser, and ODL Securities Limited, the Broker, were advised by Faegre & Benson LLP.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32 or mobile: 07884 110173.

Note to Editors:

In the past year, Pinsent Masons has acted for the company on 14 AIM flotations and for the broker on a further four admissions. The firm advises some 40 AIM companies. So far in 2005, the firm has advised Voller Energy, Neutrahealth and Sarantel Group on their respective AIM admissions.

In December Pinsent Masons crowned its first week as a newly merged firm by advising on two significant AIM admissions, including the prized 1,000th admission. Educational programmes and solutions provider, AEC Education plc (AEC), became the landmark 1000th AIM company. The firm also advised oil exploration company Equator Exploration Limited (EEL) on its ?113.4 million admission to AIM. The company ranks in the top 50 of AIM companies by value. The deal is the fifth largest IPO fundraising on AIM this year, with a ?60 million IPO and circa ?30 million pre-IPO placings.

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with 240 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Read more…

WHITE & CASE BOOSTS FRENCH AND REAL ESTATE PRACTICES IN WARSAW WITH ARRIVAL OF TWO PARTNERS

April 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

WHITE & CASE BOOSTS FRENCH AND REAL ESTATE PRACTICES IN WARSAW WITH ARRIVAL OF TWO PARTNERS

April 21, 2005

Highly experienced partners Jean Rossi and Jolanta Kaleci?ska-Porucznik join White & Case in Warsaw together with a team of four other lawyers, significantly strengthening the Firm?s French practice, as well as its real estate capabilities.

Rossi advises clients in real estate acquisitions and project financing and has extensive experience in finance, corporate and insurance matters. He is vice president of the French Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Poland, responsible for the Chamber?s external relations. He is also president of the Union of French Citizens Abroad (Union des Fran?ais de l??tranger) in Poland. He graduated from Universit? Paris II Assas.

Kaleci?ska-Porucznik focuses on real estate matters, including acquisitions, development, construction and project financing. She also represents clients in litigation and arbitration proceedings in cases involving indemnities, IP and anti-monopoly issues. She graduated from the Warsaw University School of Law.

Both join White & Case from another law firm in Warsaw and they bring with them a four other lawyers: Ms. Ma?gorzata Gajewska, Mr. ?ukasz Chojniak, Ms. Magdalena Baliszewska and Mr. Marcin Walczy?ski.

The arrival of Rossi and Kaleci?ska-Porucznik is illustrative of the continued growth of White & Case in Poland: they are respectively the fifth and the sixth new partners to join the Firm during the last two-and-a-half years. Their arrival not only enhances White & Case?s overall capabilities in the country, but also adds to the Firm?s strengths in its real estate and French practices across Central and Eastern Europe.

'Jolanta and Jean?s arrival is a direct response to increased client demand for services from French-speaking investors in Poland,' said Witold Dani?owicz, executive partner for White & Case?s Warsaw office. 'We?re delighted to have such high calibre players on board.'

About White & Case

White & Case is a leading global law firm with nearly 1,900 lawyers in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms. White & Case has also been named Best US Law Firm in London, Eastern Europe Law Firm of the Year and Eastern Europe Corporate/M&A Firm of the Year by leading legal benchmark publications. In January 2005 White & Case received the Banking and Finance team of the year award at the Legal Business awards, and in March 2005 was named Law Firm of the Year, 2005, in both Russia and Hungary by IFLR magazine.

White & Case has been present in Poland since 1991, and is one of the largest international law firms in the country, with more than 50 lawyers based in its Warsaw office, qualified in jurisdictions including Poland, France, Germany and the U.S. The firm provides the full scope of legal advisory services, offering comprehensive support for all business matters, including transactions, litigation, as well as legal assistance in day-to-day company operations. Chambers Global 2003-2004 named White & Case the top law firm in Poland. In November 2004, for the second year in a row Businessman Magazine, a leading Polish business monthly, listed White & Case as the law firm most recommended by competitors in Poland.

Contact:

James Martin

Media Relations Manager, EMEA

White & Case LLP

44 0 20 7532 2853/ 44 0 7939 012 011

jmartin@london.whitecase.com

Mariusz Kowalski

PR & Communication Specialist

White & Case

W. Dani?owicz, W. Jurcewicz i Wsp?lnicy

- Kancelaria Prawna sp.k.

ul. Marsza?kowska 142

00-061 Warszawa, Poland

48 22 5050 225

48 22 5050 400

mkowalski@whitecase.com

Read more…

M&A LAWYER THOMAS S. HEATHER JOINS WHITE & CASE AS PARTNER IN MEXICO CITY

April 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

M&A LAWYER THOMAS S. HEATHER JOINS WHITE & CASE AS PARTNER IN MEXICO CITY

April 15, 2005

White & Case today announced that one of Mexico's leading lawyers, Thomas S. Heather, has joined as a partner in the Firm. Heather will be based in the Firm's Mexico City office.

Heather has ample experience in the areas of restructurings, mergers and acquisitions, banking, securities and corporate governance, in which he has actively participated for more than 20 years. In addition, Heather has been at the forefront of significant alternative dispute resolution and trade-related initiatives.

The addition of Heather will further strengthen the Firm's position in the increasingly important Mexican market and his experience and perspectives will contribute to the excellence for which the Firm is recognized.

White & Case opened its office in Mexico City in 1991, becoming the first international law firm to practice under its own name in the country. Since then, the Firm has continued to grow, and now has a satellite office in Monterrey, the country's prosperous northern industrial center.

About White & Case

White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with 1,900 lawyers practicing in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms.

Contact:

Josh Karlen

Media Relations Manager

White & Case

1 212 819 8519

jkarlen@whitecase.com

Read more…

WHITE & CASE ACTS ON $4.5B OF EMERGING MARKET SECURITIES ISSUES

April 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

WHITE & CASE ACTS ON $4.5B OF EMERGING MARKET SECURITIES ISSUES

Capital Markets Team Predicts Bumper Year Ahead Following White Hot 2004

April 15, 2005

White & Case?s Capital Markets team closed no less than twelve emerging market deals in the Europe, Middle East and Africa region in February and early March 2005, illustrating continued investor appetite for emerging markets securities. In 2004, the Capital Markets team advised on more than 40 transactions in Russia, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Turkey and Israel alone, building upon its long-standing reputation for excellence in emerging markets to become the firm of choice for investment banks active in the emerging capital markets, as well as for major issuer clients.

The twelve deals closed to date in 2005 confirm that the team is firmly on course to beat last year?s strong performance. In these deals, which had an aggregate value equating to approximately $4.5 billion, White & Case:

Represented the Republic of Hungary on its global issue of $1.5 billion 4.75% Notes due 2015. Offers and sales of the Notes into the United States were registered under the Republic's shelf registration statement on file with the US Securities and Exchange Commission. The transaction was lead managed by Deutsche Bank Securities and Morgan Stanley. The White & Case team was led by partner Mike Dlouh?;

Represented UBS on the $1 billion regulatory capital offering by Sberbank, the second largest ever Regulation S dollar denominated lower tier 2 issue, the largest from Central and Eastern Europe and the first international lower tier 2 issue approved by the Central Bank of Russia. The White & Case team was led by partner Rachel Hatfield;

Represented Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan and ABN AMRO as joint arrangers of a ?1 billion 15-year Eurobond by the Czech Republic. The White & Case team was led by partner Mike Dlouh?;

Represented Citigroup as lead manager in a $200 million Regulation S debut Eurobond offering by JSC Bank CenterCredit of Kazakhstan. The White & Case team was led by partner Francis Fitzherbert-Brockholes;

Represented JSC Lebedyansky, the leading Russian juice producer, in a $150 million offering of ordinary shares. The Company's shares were listed on two of Russia's primary stock exchanges, the RTS and the MICEX. Deutsche UFG acted as lead manager and bookrunner. The White & Case team was led by partner Sven Krogius.

Represented UBS and Merrill Lynch on a $150 million bond issue by Russian bank Alfa Bank. The White & Case team was led by partner Rachel Hatfield;

Represented UBS Limited on a $150 million Rule 144A/Regulation S tap issue for Kazkommerts International B.V. of Kazakhstan. The White & Case team was led by partner Francis Fitzherbert-Brockholes;

Represented Dresdner Bank and UBS Limited as lead managers on a $100 million tap issue, following on from a $150 million Regulation S issue of loan participation notes, due 2009, to fund a loan to Ukraine-based Ukreximbank. The White & Case team was led by partner Francis Fitzherbert-Brockholes;

Represented Israeli fruit preparations business, Frutarom Industries Ltd., in its $91.5 million international Rule 144A IPO of shares and GDRs. The shares are listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and the GDRs are listed on the London Stock Exchange. The White & Case team was led by partner Josh Kiernan;

Represented CSFB and Merrill Lynch on a $75 million tap issuance, following on from an earlier $225 million Regulation S structured receivable note issue by Russia International Finance S.A. The tap will become fungible with the original note issue after the first payment date. The notes represent the first ever future flow deal in Russia and the first ever credit card receivables deal for a Russian bank (Rosbank). The White & Case team was led by partner Tim Jeveons;

Represented Merrill Lynch on the $60 million international IPO of GDRs by online broker Indiabulls Financial Services Ltd. The GDRs are listed on the Luxembourg Stock Exchange. The White & Case team was led by partner Tim Jeveons; and

Represented UBS as sole bookrunner in the $40 million SEC-registered secondary offering of Aladdin Knowledge Systems Ltd., an Israeli security software company listed on Nasdaq. Aladdin is a global provider of security solutions that reduce software theft, authenticate network users and protect against unwanted Internet and email-borne content, including spam and viruses. Last year White & Case was mandated on a total of 12 Israeli capital markets transactions; more deals than any other international law firm. The White & Case team was led by partner Joshua Kiernan.

In recent years White & Case?s Capital Markets team has acted on the majority of eurobond transactions for Russian financial institutions, including representing UBS on the largest-ever Russian bank deal, in 2003, for Sberbank, as well as advising on securities issues made by almost every second tier bank that has come to market. In addition, the Rosbank securitisation in late 2004 and subsequent tap issue, and this year?s Sberbank lower tier two offering, on both of which White & Case advised the underwriters, were two of the most innovative deals to emerge from Russia in recent months. White & Case was named Russian Law Firm of the Year, 2005 at the IFLR awards on 16 March 2005.

Furthermore, White & Case is the only law firm to have acted on bond offerings for the top six banks in Kazakhstan, as well as advising on every transaction completed by a financial institution in the Ukraine. In the Czech Republic, White & Case last year acted for Merrill Lynch on the IPO of Zentiva; the first ever listed on the Prague Stock Exchange.

About White & Case

White & Case is a leading global law firm with nearly 1,900 lawyers in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms. White & Case has also been named Best US Law Firm in London, Eastern Europe Law Firm of the Year and Eastern Europe Corporate/M&A Firm of the Year by leading legal benchmark publications.

In January 2005 White & Case received the Banking and Finance team of the year award at the Legal Business awards, and in March 2005 was named Law Firm of the Year, 2004, in both Russia and Hungary by IFLR magazine.

Contact:

James Martin

Media Relations Manager, EMEA

White & Case LLP

44 0 20 7532 2853/ 44 0 7939 012 011

jmartin@london.whitecase.com

Read more…

HOMESERVE PLC ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON CHEM DRY ACQUISITION

April 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

A corporate team from UK law firm, Pinsent Masons, has acted for home emergency company, Homeserve plc, on its ?18.9 million acquisition of Chem Dry, the UK's leading franchise fire and flood disaster restoration business.

The acquisition will allow Homeserve to broaden its services to insurers and place it in a strong position to offer a complete solution to insurers commencing with home emergency repairs at Home Hotline through to permanent repairs by the recently acquired Sergon network.

Chem Dry currently has over 230 franchisees covering the UK with over 640 licences and has commercial arrangements with seven leading household insurers. The business, headquartered in East Yorkshire, employs 210 people. As part of the deal, Homeserve has also acquired Chem Dry's related carpet and upholstery cleaning businesses.

The Pinsent Masons team advising Homeserve comprised corporate partners Alan Wood and Paul Finlan, assisted by Nicole Kirkham, with specialist assistance from Carl Scott and Pippa Kempson (property); Max Creighton (tax); Paul McClenaghan (IP) and Gavin Paul (pensions). John Pratt of Hamilton Pratt advised on the franchising aspects of the deal.

The individual sellers were advised by Gosschalks in Hull and 3i plc, an exiting investor, was advised by Addleshaw Goddard.

Devere International Inc, the worldwide Chem Dry franchisor, was advised by DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32 or mobile 07884 110173.

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS ADVISES BROKER ON UTEK CORPORATION AIM ADMISSION

April 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

The top performing AIM team at law firm Pinsent Masons has advised Shore Capital and Corporate Limited on the admission to AIM of UTEK Corporation, a US-headquartered AMEX-listed technology transfer company.

Trading commenced in UTEK shares on AIM this week. The company has a market capitalisation of ?44.82 million. UTEK, which has operations in the US, UK and Israel, forms strategic alliances with client companies and finds suitable technologies which can be licensed to universities and research laboratories. It has completed more than 40 technology transfer deals to date.

This is the fourth AIM float upon which Pinsent Masons has advised this year. The firm was ranked in the UK top 10 of advisers on AIM admissions in 2004 by volume by deal monitor, and ranked second most popular choice of adviser to the company.

The team advising Shore Capital and Corporate Limited has been led by London corporate partner, Jon Harris, assisted by Sean Page.

UTEK Corporation has been advised by S J Berwin led by Delphine Currie.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32 or mobile 07884 110173.

Notes to Editors

In the past year, Pinsent Masons has acted for the company on 10 AIM flotations and for the broker on a further four admissions. The firm advises some 40 AIM companies. So far in 2005, the firm has advised Voller Energy, Neutrahealth and Sarantel Group on their respective AIM admissions.

In December Pinsent Masons crowned its first week as a newly merged firm by advising on two significant AIM admissions, including the prized 1,000th admission. Educational programmes and solutions provider, AEC Education plc (AEC), became the landmark 1000th AIM company. The firm also advised oil exploration company Equator Exploration Limited (EEL) on its ?113.4 million admission to AIM. The company ranks in the top 50 of AIM companies by value. The deal is the fifth largest IPO fundraising on AIM this year, with a ?60 million IPO and circa ?30 million pre-IPO placings.

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with 240 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as a series of strategic joint ventures and alliances in Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the USA.

Read more…

NEW HIRES BOLSTER WHITE & CASE'S WHITE-COLLAR DEFENSE PRACTICE

April 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

NEW HIRES BOLSTER WHITE & CASE'S WHITE-COLLAR DEFENSE PRACTICE

Former SEC Assistant Regional Director G. William Currier and Assistant US Attorney Maria N. Lerner Join Firm

April 13, 2005

White & Case today announced that former SEC Assistant Regional Director and Senior Trial Counsel G. William Currier has joined as a partner, and former Assistant US Attorney Maria N. Lerner has joined as an associate in the Firm?s Washington, DC office. Former federal prosecutor Fernando L. Aenlle-Rocha also joined as a partner in White & Case?s Los Angeles office in mid-January.

'The addition of Bill, Maria and Fernando serves to enhance our depth and capabilities,' said partner George Terwilliger, who heads White & Case?s Corporate Defense and Special Litigation Practice Group, and previously served as Deputy Attorney General of the United States. 'Large, complex cases presenting multiple issues in multiple fora require depth on a client?s legal team. Corporate defense clients turn to White & Case because it can field a team of lawyers with both experience as prosecutors and private counsel, possessing the knowledge, judgment and credibility needed by businesses and business leaders in this challenging enforcement environment.'

Currier was an associate with White & Case before moving to the SEC?s Trial Unit in Washington, DC, where he was Assistant Chief Litigation Counsel for the Commission. In 2001, Currier served as Senior Trial Counsel and later became Assistant Regional Director with the SEC?s Northeast Regional Office in New York, where he handled all aspects of complex, federal court securities litigation, investigations and administrative law matters for the Commission?s Enforcement Division. He also previously served as Assistant US Attorney for the District of Columbia and as a law clerk for The Honorable Federick H. Weisberg with the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.

Currier holds a JD from Antioch School of Law in Washington, DC, and is a past recipient of The Thurgood Marshall Award, an honor given by the Association of Bar of the City of New York for his pro bono work on a death penalty case.

'I am pleased to be back at White & Case and look forward to using my experience as an SEC litigator and former federal prosecutor to help protect our clients? rights and interests,' said Currier.

Lerner was an Assistant US Attorney at the United States Attorney?s Office in Washington for the last four years. She has conducted numerous complex investigations and prosecutions in federal and local court and served as lead attorney in fifteen jury trials. She also served as a law clerk to the Honorable Gladys Kessler of the US District Court of the District of Columbia. Lerner holds a JD from Georgetown University Law Center, where she was Books & Symposia Editor of the Georgetown Law Journal.

Aenlle-Rocha also brings extensive prosecutorial and private practice experience to White & Case. From 1990 through 1999, Aenlle-Rocha served as a federal prosecutor in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney?s Office in the Central District of California (Los Angeles) and the Southern District of Florida (Miami). During his nine years as an Assistant US Attorney, Aenlle-Rocha conducted numerous trials and directed complex federal grand jury investigations. Prior to joining White & Case, Aenlle-Rocha was a white-collar defense partner in McDermott, Will & Emery. Aenlle-Rocha holds a JD from Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California, Berkeley.

White & Case?s Corporate Defense and Special Litigation Practice Group provides clients around the world the judgment and expertise of highly experienced counsel in dealing with government investigations, enforcement matters and related civil litigation. Most recently, the group has represented Cr?dit Lyonnais and the defeasance entity Consortium de R?alisation in connection with multibillion dollar civil and criminal fraud claims; the board of a Fortune 20 company in connection with shareholder demands for claims arising from alleged false financial reporting; and a major energy producer in an administrative and antitrust enforcement matters. The group also regularly conducts domestic and international investigations, including worldwide inquiries concerning Foreign Corrupt Practice Act issues, suspect internal operations, investigations in support of due diligence projects and fact gathering for affirmative claims or litigation. The team also provides knowledgeable consultation on such sensitive issues as remedial actions and the advisability of voluntary disclosures to government agencies.

About White & Case

White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with 1,900 lawyers practicing in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms.

Contact:

Sandi Sonnenfeld

Media Relations Manager

White & Case

1 212 819 8299

ssonnenfeld@whitecase.com

Read more…

WHITE & CASE ACTS ON ?3.3 BILLION TELECOMS REFINANCING

April 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

WHITE & CASE ACTS ON ?3.3 BILLION TELECOMS REFINANCING

Firm?s Telecoms Financing Work Totals ?10.3B Since Beginning of 2004

April 13, 2005

White & Case acted for UPC Broadband Holding B.V. on the latest refinancing of its existing debt. The refinancing comprised three facilities that took the form of sub-tranches under the existing credit documentation. They include: a self-syndicated term loan facility for ?1 billion; a redrawable term loan facility for ?500 million; and a term loan facility (institutional tranche) consisting of a ?550 million tranche and a US$1.25 billion tranche. This new institutional tranche, when coupled with the existing one, now represents the largest in total for a European non-investment grade company and the largest ever tranche raised in euros.

The latest UPC refinancing means that White & Case has now advised on the four largest telecoms financings since the beginning of 2004, with the others being:

the recent ?1.8 billion refinancing of Telewest, where the Firm advised Barclays Capital, BNP Paribas, Citigroup, Credit Suisse First Boston, Deutsche Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland as mandated lead arrangers;

the provision of ?2.45 billion of senior credit facilities to NTL Investment Holdings Ltd, where the Firm acted for the mandated lead arrangers, CSFB, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley; and

advice to UPC on the raising of a new institutional tranche of its existing bank facility, where it raised approximately US$2 billion, split into dollars and euros.

The Firm has won market recognition for its work on these deals, specifically the NTL and Telewest transactions, when it was named Bank Finance Team of the Year at the Legal Business Awards in January this year.

'Following a downturn in the market in 2000-2002, the global telecoms industry has now firmly bounced back and the major players are seeking finance to fund the expansion of their business. We therefore expect to see further such refinancings in the market during the next 18 months,' said lead partner Maurice Allen.

The other member of the White & Case London team advising on the deal was Tania Bedi.

About White & Case

White & Case is a leading global law firm with nearly 1,900 lawyers in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms. White & Case has also been named Best US Law Firm in London, Eastern Europe Law Firm of the Year and Eastern Europe Corporate/M&A Firm of the Year by leading legal benchmark publications.

In January 2005 White & Case received the Banking and Finance team of the year award at the Legal Business awards, and in March 2005 was named Law Firm of the Year, 2004, in both Russia and Hungary by IFLR magazine.

Contact:

James Martin

Media Relations Manager, EMEA

White & Case LLP

44 0 20 7532 2853/ 44 0 7939 012 011

jmartin@london.whitecase.com

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS COMPLETES MAJOR INSURANCE DISTRIBUTION DEAL FOR AVIVA PLC

April 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Pinsent Masons has advised Aviva plc on a series of contracts whereby Aviva group companies, including Norwich Union Insurance, the UK's largest general insurer, have become the primary providers of household, motor and travel insurance products to Barclays' 14 million strong UK retail customer base.

The products are to be distributed through Barclays' network of 2,000 branches, via the telephone and through on-line banking, which alone has more than five million users. The new arrangements also involve the outsourcing of Barclays' existing insurance sales and services centre in Croydon to Norwich Union.

The transaction was led by the Pinsent Masons' London insurance team, with partner and Insurance Sector head, Martin Membery, leading the insurance distribution aspects of the deal with support from Alexis Roberts. Corporate insurance partner, Matthew Griffith, led the corporate aspects of the transaction, assisted by Robert Moir. Support from other practice areas was provided by Bob Mecrate-Butcher (employment); John Christian (tax); Louise Fullwood (IT); Raj Sharma (pensions); John Trevethan (property) and Giles Warrington (competition).

Lovells (Tim Goggin and Victor Fornasier) acted for Barclays.

Commenting on the deal, Martin Membery said: 'We are delighted to have been involved in this market-leading transaction for Aviva, which adds to our already significant track record of acting for leading insurers on joint ventures with their corporate partners.'

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 3232 or mobile: 07884 110173

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons' Insurance & Reinsurance Group is rated as a leading non-contentious insurance practice.

Partner and Insurance Sector head, Martin Membery, is rated in Chambers 2005 as a leading individual in non-contentious insurance. Partner, Matthew Griffith, is an experienced corporate insurance specialist and joined Pinsent Masons from Ashurst in November 2004.

Read more…

DATA SECURITY BREACHES NO LONGER DIRTY SECRET

April 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

DATA SECURITY BREACHES NO LONGER 'DIRTY SECRET' SAYS WHITE & CASE LAWYER

April 12, 2005

Today's announcement of a massive theft of personal data from the LexisNexis computer systems, and numerous similar recent announcements, may suggest that computer security breaches are on the rise. But in reality, it is simply that new data privacy laws in California have begun forcing companies to disclose and respond to breaches that previously would have not been made public, says a noted privacy lawyer with White & Case.

'While this latest news and other breaches recently announced involving established, reputable companies have captured growing attention, there's no evidence that the overall number of security breaches is on the rise. Rather the increasing crescendo of security breach disclosures is a consquence of the California statute requiring database owners to notify California residents, essentially one out of every eight Americans, of breaches involving their data. The era characterized by the industry's 'dirty little secret' - that only a tiny percentage of breaches are ever disclosed - is over,' said White & Case privacy and intellectual property lawyer David Bender, author of the four-volume Computer Law: Software Protection and Litigation.

Bender added that while the enhanced disclosure requirements may shine perhaps an unwelcome spotlight on the disclosing companies and the problem of data theft in general, the statute actually fits in well with the way businesses operate in the United States.

'The statute does not create a heavy bureaucracy or set forth a long list of detailed rules. Instead it invokes Adam Smith's 'invisible hand' and works by indirection. Most of all, it makes it in the company's interest to tend adequately to security,' said Bender.

Moreover, the California statute, and the subsequent disclosures on the part of companies, is prompting the federal government to begin moving in a similar direction.

'Currently, the US lacks a comprehensive national law regarding data privacy, though numerous privacy bills are pending before Congress. However, while we anticipate that some sort of federal legislation will be enacted, it remains to be seen what the final form will be,' said Bender.

The latest news concerning a security breach of personal data came just as Bender and several of his White & Case colleagues were addressing a group of privacy officers and other business executives at White & Case's 5th Annual Global Privacy Symposium in New York and London (for more information on the Symposium, please visit www.whitecase.com/privacy).

At the symposium, Bender said many security breaches involve highly sensitive personal identification such as names, addresses, social security numbers, drivers license numbers and credit reports being stolen. The hackers who break into computer systems and take information often use it to raid consumer bank accounts, obtain false passports and drivers licenses and generally 'assume' the victim's identity. In one case, a major US bank reported that data on some 1.2 million federal employees - including some US Senators - was stolen apparently from back-up tapes being shipped to storage.

Current government estimates said identify theft costs US consumers and businesses $50 billion annually, and that doesn't include the costs of security breaches and any subsequent litigation that may arise.

'Public companies that experience a privacy breach also need to consider the disclosure implications under federal securities laws,' said Bender. 'Failure to disclose a privacy breach while trading in company stock could trigger liability and even spark an investigation by the SEC.'

In the meantime, Bender recommends that the best way for companies to protect themselves from liability is to familiarize themselves with current data privacy laws in the United States, the European Union and other jurisdictions in which they do business to ensure compliance with those laws, and work closely with security experts to explore more effective ways to restrict break-ins.

White & Case's privacy lawyers counsel clients on all aspects of privacy law, including cross-border data transfer, compliance with laws in various jurisdictions, privacy policies, the right to monitor employee electronic communications and specific procedures that may be helpful in avoiding privacy-related litigation. The Firm's privacy practice pioneered a proprietary methodology for conducting privacy data protection audits, which identifies and analyzes, in detail, the client's collection, use, disclosure, and cross-border transfer of personal information and provides advice as to necessary modifications to the company's policies and practices.

About White & Case

White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with 1,900 lawyers practicing in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms.

Contact:

Sandi Sonnenfeld

Media Relations Manager

White & Case

1 212 819 8299

ssonnenfeld@whitecase.com

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS' LONDON BANKING TEAM COMPLETES SECOND MAJOR RESTAURANT DEAL

April 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Banking law specialists at Pinsent Masons in London are dining out after the successful completion of the second high profile restaurant chain financing in recent months with the bid to take private Paramount PLC by Craftbutton Limited.

The team took the lead on advising HSBC Bank plc on the provision of term and overdraft facilities to Craftbutton to fund its ?28.9 million bid for the quoted group which includes the Chez Gerard restaurant chain, Bertorelli's, Livebait and Caf? Fish.

The deal comes on the back of the Pinsent Masons' team acting for The Royal Bank of Scotland plc on its provision of senior debt facilities for the management buyout of the restaurant operator, The Gaucho Grill from the Lewis family for ?23.5 million. Gaucho Grill has seven restaurants in the UK, as well as one in Amsterdam and a franchise business in the Middle East.

The latest deal reinforces Pinsent Masons experience in two of its Chosen Market sectors ? Financial Services & Insurance and Services.

The Pinsent Masons' team advising HSBC was led by banking partner Judith O'Shea, assisted by Kate Myles (banking), Tom Leman (private equity), Jeremy Phillips, Darius Lewington, Sean Page and Dominic Travers (corporate), Gemma Walker (property), Helen Farr (employment) and Elizabeth Cook (intellectual property).

Craftbutton Limited was advised by Lawrence Graham. Their financial adviser and broker was Dawnay Day.

Bircham Dyson Bell acted for Paramount PLC, whose financial adviser and broker was Evolution Beeson Gregory.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, Head of PR & Communications,

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32 or mobile 07884 110173.

Read more…

?1.1B LANDMARK EUROPEAN RAIL DEAL REACHES FINANCIAL CLOSE

April 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

?1.1B LANDMARK EUROPEAN RAIL DEAL REACHES FINANCIAL CLOSE

White & Case Advises Consortium of Five Banks on Financing for Key Infrastructure Project

April 6, 2005

White & Case acted for Royal Bank of Scotland, ING Bank N.V., Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria, Banco Espanol de Credito SA and Caja Madrid as lead arrangers on the financing of the high speed rail link being built between Perpignan in France and Figueras in Spain. Spanish law firm Garrigues, working in partnership with White & Case, advised on the Spanish legal aspects of the financing of the rail link.

The international concession for the delivery of the project had been previously granted by the French and Spanish governments to a consortium consisting of Eiffage and ACS/Dragados, called TP Ferro Concesionaria. The financing contracts between the five banks and TP Ferro Concesionaria were signed on 10 February and the first tranche of funding advanced on 15 February, in line with the timetable agreed between the French and Spanish governments.

The total cost of construction will be approximately ?1.1 billion, financed by a ?540 million subsidy from the French and Spanish governments, with an additional ? 410 million of debt financing provided by the banks. The balance, in the form of equity and Sponsors subordinated debt, will be divided equally between Eiffage and ACS/Dragados. The initial tenor for the debt financing is 10 years, with a bullet repayment. The banks provide further VAT and Subsidy prefinancing lines and a stand-by credit line during operation. The project concession length is 50 years.

The project is one of the key priorities outlined in the European Commission?s Trans-European Transport (TEN) report, which provides a blueprint for the development of the EU?s transport infrastructure between now and 2020 and estimates that ?225 billion of funding will be required for the recommended mix of rail, road and waterway development. Of the recommended projects, ?112 billion is required for high priority projects that either need to be started or completed before 2010. The Perpignan-Figueras rail link is one of only five of these projects that is scheduled to be completed before 2010.

Aside from its place in the TEN plan, the project also stands out because it is an international scheme requiring close co-operation between two countries and necessitated expertise in French, Spanish and EU law, in the fields of project finance, concessions, construction and tax and regulatory matters.

'We won the mandate to advise on the financing last summer and work really started in September 2004, so we had a tight timetable to adhere to,' explained Paris-based White & Case partners Paule Biensan and Jacques Bouillon. 'Furthermore the international nature of the project raised a number of complex legal issues. For example, the law applicable to the financing was Spanish law. However, there were significant differences between French law and Spanish law for example, in respect of the security interest.'

The construction of the rail link started in February 2004 and will take five years. The Perpignan-Figueras section will be part of a longer high-speed rail link, which will join Perpignan and Barcelona by 2009.

The leaders of the White & Case team acting on the deal were Paris partners Paule Biensan and Jacques Bouillon, working in conjunction with partners Lluis Cases and Jose Guardo Galdon from Garrigues.

About White & Case

White & Case is a leading global law firm with nearly 1,900 lawyers in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms. White & Case has also been named Best US Law Firm in London, Eastern Europe Law Firm of the Year and Eastern Europe Corporate/M&A Firm of the Year by leading legal benchmark publications.

White & Case is an acknowledged world-leading law firm in the field of Energy, Infrastructure, Project and Asset Finance (EIPAF). The Firm?s EIPAF practice recently advised on the groundbreaking Qatargas II project and continues to represent as common counsel, the export credit agencies, multi-lateral lenders and commercial bank lenders in connection with the US$11.3 billion project financing of the Sakhalin II (Phase 2) LNG Project in Russia. The practice has particularly strong Russian, Middle Eastern and African experience and consists of more than 180 lawyers in the EMEA region.

Contact:

James Martin

Media Relations Manager, EMEA

White & Case LLP

44 0 20 7532 2853/ 44 0 7939 012 011

jmartin@london.whitecase.com

Read more…

CODEMASTERS SECURES INVESTMENT FROM BENCHMARK CAPITAL EUROPE

April 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Codemasters, the leading developer and publisher of critically acclaimed computer and video games, has secured a significant investment from Benchmark Capital Europe, the top-tier venture capital firm.

The largest privately owned video games publisher in Europe, Codemasters has a successful track record with more than 60 No. 1 hits and a distribution network covering over 70 countries worldwide. Its major video game brands include Colin McRae Rally?, Brian Lara Cricket?, TOCA/DTM/V8 Race Driver? and LMA Manager?.

The investment by Benchmark will be used to accelerate Codemasters? programme of new game development, target new distribution formats, strengthen the company?s sales and marketing activities and for acquiring third party licenses and game titles. Additionally, Codemasters will continue its expansion into new territories for its international publishing operations.

Codemasters were advised by technology sector specialists at Pinsent Masons. Andrew Hornigold, who led the Pinsent Masons team assisted by Jonathan Snade, commented: ?We aim to provide superior service to our clients through having a better understanding of a particular industry and the issues facing businesses within it. Our technology sector practice comprises 17 partners and 52 additional fee earners representing a variety of software, hardware, services, telecoms, ecommerce and new media businesses.

?For Codemasters, we were able to bring a strong track record of experience in the computer games market, having advised a number of key players in the industry on all aspects of corporate finance and commercial contract law. For example, we advised Rare Limited on the $375m sale to Microsoft, which was Microsoft?s largest ever UK acquisition, and Mobius on the sale of its business to Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc as well as having a dedicated team of specialists working on development, licencing and distribution contracts for games sector clients.?

Benchmark Capital, which has taken a 40% share in Codemasters, aims to help talented entrepreneurs to build great technology companies focused on long-term growth. Its portfolio includes companies such as Betfair, eBay and Juniper Networks.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Sue Murdoch, PR & Communications Manager, Pinsent Masons

Tel: 0845 300 3232

Mob: 07884 110174

Email: sue.murdoch@pinsentmasons.com

Notes to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with 240 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as a series of strategic joint ventures and alliances in Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the USA.

The range of work for the computer games market includes:

? Rare Limited in its $375m sale to Microsoft

? Advising the shareholders of Mobius on the sale of the business to Take-Two Interactive Software Inc

? Advising Global Games Limited in the MBO/MBI of the company

? Advising the Braveheart business angel syndicate in its investment in 4Cyte Limited

? Advising AOL in drafting a range of contracts including network agreements and content agreements

? Advising Steel Monkeys on games development and publishing contracts.

Codemasters employs 400 people and is headquartered in Warwickshire, UK. The company also maintains European operations in Germany, France, Spain and Benelux and has its US headquarters in New York.

Read more…

THE RESTAURANT GROUP AND LIVING VENTURES IN DUAL TRANSACTIONS

April 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

The Restaurant Group to acquire a 40% shareholding in Living Ventures for ?7.7 million

Living Ventures to purchase Est Est Est business for ?16.4 million

The Restaurant Group plc, owner of Frankie & Benny?s, Garfunkel?s, Caffe Uno and other outlets, and Living Ventures Limited, owner of a string of restaurants and bars across the country, have today announced a complex dual transaction to put the two companies on a strong footing for the future.

The Restaurant Group (?TRG?) will acquire a 40% shareholding in Living Ventures Limited (?Living Ventures?) for ?7.7 million in cash and preference shares in Living Ventures for ?2.2 million. The deal also represents an exit for 30% stake holder Bowmark Capital Limited.

Simultaneously, Living Ventures will purchase Est Est Est Restaurants Limited from TRG for a consideration of ?16.4 million.

Living Ventures was advised by a team from Pinsent Masons led by corporate partner, Joanne Ellis, assisted by Lee Clifford.

Living Ventures, which was set up in 1999 by Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts, currently operates 15 units, 11 trading as The Living Room in major cities across the UK, two as Prohibition in Leeds and Manchester and two as Bar & Grill ? its latest restaurant concept ? in London and Liverpool. The company?s expansion plans include four more Living Room restaurant/bars to be opened shortly.

Joanne Ellis commented: ?Pinsent Masons has worked with Tim and Jeremy for over 10 years now. It is very rewarding to be involved with a business which continues to go from strength to strength'

Living Ventures were also advised by Grant Thornton, Deloitte, Bond Pearce and McClure Naismith.

HBOS, debt providers to Living Ventures, were advised by Eversheds

LSE-listed The Restaurant Group plc is one of the largest independent restaurant groups in the country with around 250 restaurants and bars nationwide. Its portfolio currently comprises Caff? Uno, Chiquito, Frankie & Benny?s and Garfunkel?s as well as Concessions currently operating in 5 airports across the UK.

The Restaurant Group were advised by Maclay Murray Spens and BDO Stoy Hayward

Bowmark were advised SJ Berwin.

Tim Bacon, Chief Executive of Living Ventures said:

?The addition of Est Est Est is a transformational deal for Living Ventures providing great opportunity for the Company to expand its product range and become even more food led. We believe that we can redefine Est Est Est as an aspirational, high quality brand. We will be focussed on delivering performance and on expanding an already successful business.?

Andrew Page, Group Managing Director of The Restaurant Group plc, said:

?This is a great fit for both companies. Living Room is one of the most successful new restaurant and bar concepts of recent years. It has a unique atmosphere created by the mix of its customers, design and ambience. We believe that its customer base is complementary to that of Est Est Est.?

Ends

For further information please contact:

Sue Murdoch, PR & Communications Manager, Pinsent Masons

Tel: 0845 300 3232

Mob: 07884 110174

Email: sue.murdoch@pinsentmasons.com

Notes to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with 240 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as a series of strategic joint ventures and alliances in Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the USA.

Read more…

WHITE & CASE OBTAINS RECORD-SETTING ICSID ARBITRATION AWARD FOR LEADING CZECH BANK

April 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

WHITE & CASE OBTAINS RECORD-SETTING ICSID ARBITRATION AWARD FOR LEADING CZECH BANK

April 1, 2005

In an important victory for White & Case client ?eskoslovensk? obchodn? banka, a.s. (?SOB), an international arbitration tribunal issued a record-setting award of nearly 24.8 billion Slovak Crowns (approximately US$867 million or ?640 million) in damages against the Slovak Republic in addition to an award of US$10 million in costs, expenses and counsel fees.

The arbitration took place under the auspices of the World Bank?s International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID), the principal forum for the resolution of disputes between sovereign States and foreign investors.

The dispute arose out of the breach by the Slovak Republic of a contract concluded in 1993 among the Czech Republic, the Slovak Republic and ?SOB in relation to the Bank?s financial restructuring in advance of its then planned privatization. Like many other financial institutions in formerly non-market economies, ?SOB required financial restructuring in order to remain solvent and competitive as the Czech and Slovak economies evolved from to a market system. To this end, in accordance with the parties? agreement, the Czech Republic and the Slovak Republic each established a special-purpose collection company to which ?SOB assigned certain non-performing loans. In addition, ?SOB extended a loan facility to each of the collection companies in an amount equal to the nominal value of the non-performing loans that had been assigned. The respective ministries of finance of each of the Czech and Slovak Republics provided security to ?SOB to ensure performance of the loans to the collection companies.

The Slovak Republic thus had agreed that it would 'cover any losses' of the Slovak collection company, as the non-performing loans assigned to that company were not expected to generate revenues sufficient to satisfy the collection company?s loan obligation to ?SOB. The Slovak Republic, however, failed to establish any mechanism 'to cover the losses' of the Slovak collection company. The Slovak collection company consequently defaulted on its loan obligations to ?SOB and later was declared bankrupt by a Slovak court.

This case demonstrates that complex financial disputes can be resolved successfully through international arbitration and is the most recent example of White & Case?s ability to help our clients achieve their objectives. The White & Case team represented ?SOB both before ICSID and in those aspects of the dispute that were addressed in the Slovak courts. With a team of attorneys working together in Washington, D.C., Prague and Bratislava, White & Case was able to achieve this important victory for its client building upon its track record of success before ICSID tribunals. The team was led by Charles N. Brower, Abby Cohen Smutny and Francis A. Vasquez, Jr. in Washington, D.C., and Jan Matej?ek and Monika Rutland in Prague. It included in addition Anne D. Smith, Lee A. Steven, Karie Jo Barwind, Heather Van Slooten, Petr Polasek, Eckhard R. Hellbeck and Peter J. Carney in Washington, D.C.; Tomas Zagar, David Plch, Ivo Janda and Jan Vild in Prague; and Marek Staron in Bratislava.

About White & Case

White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with 1,900 lawyers practicing in 38 offices in 25 countries. GlobalCounsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms.

Contact:

Roger Cohen

Worldwide Director, Media Relations and Communications

White & Case LLP

1 212 819 8732

rcohen@whitecase.com

Read more…

NOTED TAX LAWYER GERALD ROKOFF JOINS WHITE & CASE AS PARTNER

April 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

NOTED TAX LAWYER GERALD ROKOFF JOINS WHITE & CASE AS PARTNER

April 1, 2005

White & Case today announced that Gerald Rokoff has joined as a tax partner in the Firm?s New York office. Rokoff, 54, has vast experience advising multi-national corporations and financial institutions on tax-related issues, with a particular focus on structured finance transactions and tax/commercial integration of the delivery of products and services for global businesses.

'Jerry Rokoff has a wealth of high-end tax experience, especially with cross-border matters, working with industry leaders such as British Gas, Barclays Capital, Morgan Stanley, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse First Boston,' said J. William Dantzler, head of White & Case?s Global Tax practice. 'His tax knowledge and knowhow will be of great value to our clients, given our multinational reach.'

Formerly a partner with Shearman & Sterling, Rokoff joined KPMG LLP in 2000 to start an investment banking advisory practice. Throughout his career, Jerry has regularly advised CEOs, CFOs, Treasurers and Directors of Tax, as well as investment bankers, on a variety of multinational projects that combine tax and commercial considerations. He has been the lead tax lawyer on a number of public and private acquisitions and financing transactions. He also has been elected to Euromoney?s Guide to the World?s Leading Tax Lawyers.

A graduate of Yale Law School, Rokoff was Editor of the Yale Law Journal and was selected by the Faculty as an Assistant in Instruction. He clerked for Irving R. Kaufman, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. He also is a graduate of State University of New York at Stony Brook, where he was the Valedictorian.

'Thankfully for investors, tax issues are increasingly on the radar screen in the boardroom,' said Chris Andersen of Andersen & Company, who is currently the Non-Executive Chairman of Millennium Cell and serves on several boards of publicly traded companies. 'Every company has a duty to its shareholders to be certain that legal opportunities to reduce costs and enhance earnings are properly considered. Rokoff has the experience, expertise and seasoned judgment to assist boards and management of taxpaying multinationals in reaching informed judgments on these issues. He has the people skills necessary to get change implemented where appropriate. Jerry?s talents and the worldwide resources of White & Case make for a powerful combination.'

Universal Music Group?s Ron Reman said, 'I have worked with many tax professionals worldwide and there are only handful I would characterize as elite; Rokoff is clearly one of them.'

White & Case?s Global Tax practice has more than 125 dedicated tax lawyers throughout its network to provide clients with the most innovative and effective tax-related legal representation available, including tax advice relating to mergers & acquisitions, financial products, partnerships, joint ventures and investment funds; project, facility, and equipment financings; transfer pricing and tax controversies.

'I am excited about joining White & Case, as I was particularly drawn to the combination of first quality tax advice and corporate lawyering that the Firm offers in so many jurisdictions around the globe. White & Case has the exceptional talent and energy to effectively serve clients,' said Rokoff.

About White & Case

White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with 1,900 lawyers practicing in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms.

Contact:

Josh Karlen

Media Relations Manager

White & Case

1 212 819 8519

jkarlen@whitecase.com

Read more…

Pinsent Masons Named as Legal Adviser for New Health Partnership

March 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Quality of service and attention to client needs were named as key features in winning a major client for law firm Pinsent Masons. The firm beat off stiff competition to be named as sole legal adviser to The Liverpool & Sefton Health Partnership (?the L&SHP?), a Local Improvement Finance Trust (?LIFT?) company.

Peter Gillespie, the Chief Executive of L&SHP, commented on Pinsent Masons' approach to its clients:

'The value of tenders received for legal services was not very different but the service and attention we received during and following the bidding process from Pinsent Masons set them apart from the competition.'

The L&SHP is a complex procurement vehicle that committed to assist and better enable the Liverpool & Sefton Health Community to provide outstanding health and social care in Liverpool & Sefton. This will be achieved through innovative joint working and integrated partnership with a range of public and private sector organisations.

The type of legal services required by the L&SHP include construction and engineering, property, corporate, employment, intellectual property and data protection. Pinsent Masons' team combine expertise in these areas with a unique strength in LIFT experience: they have acted on over 25% of the current LIFT schemes.

Pinsent Masons has developed a LIFT product specifically tailored to LIFT companies' needs. Michael O'Shea, who heads the Pinsent Masons' team, said:

'We believe that our knowledge of the structures and practical issues which will arise for LIFT companies is unrivalled and was a key factor in winning the work. This, combined with our sector focus, will enable us to deliver a unique product to LIFT companies which will provide them with added value at minimum cost.'

The Pinsent Masons' team comprises Michael O'Shea, Georgina Reynard, Barry Francis, Rowena Jones, Steven Chalcraft, Rosemary Jay, Simon Masters and Sara Sawicki.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Sue Murdoch, PR & Communications Manager, Pinsent Masons

Tel: 0845 300 3232

Mob: 07884 110174

Email: sue.murdoch@pinsentmasons.com

Notes to Editors:

1. Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with 240 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London and all the major cities across the UK.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as a series of strategic joint ventures and alliances in Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the USA.

Read more…

COPPER RESOURCES CORPORATION ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON ?4+ MILLION PLACING

March 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

AIM-quoted Copper Resources Corporation (CRC) is being advised by law firm Pinsent Masons on a placing which is expected to raise ?4.4 million to fund the planned restart of work at the Kinsenda copper mine in the Katanga province of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

CRC now holds a 75% stake in the company operating Kinsenda where mining was halted because of problems with flooding. Following a feasibility study, CRC believes with its dedicated engineering experience the ore-rich mine could be reopened within 18 months.

The company is placing 8,000,000 units with investors at a price of 55 pence per unit, with each unit comprising one common share plus one-half of one warrant exercisable over a two-year period at a strike price of 75 pence. Two half-warrants convert into one common share. The common shares are to be admitted to AIM on or about 4 April.

CRC is being advised by Pinsent Masons Corporate Finance Partner and AIM specialist, Russell Booker.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with over 250 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 and is in the Global 100 of law firms. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as strategic alliances with firms in Dubai, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, India, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the USA.

Pinsent Masons is independently-ranked as one of the UK's top AIM advisers acting for some 50 AIM companies and has advised on well over 40 flotations.

Read more…

WHITE & CASE ADVISES ON LARGEST RUSSIAN CONSUMER SECTOR IPO SINCE 2002

March 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

WHITE & CASE ADVISES ON LARGEST RUSSIAN CONSUMER SECTOR IPO SINCE 2002

Russian Equity Markets in Good Health

March 30, 2005

White & Case acted on the largest Russian consumer sector Initial Public Offering (IPO) since 2002, representing JSC Lebedyansky, the leading Russian producer of fruit juices, in an offering by several of the company?s shareholders of more than four million ordinary shares. The offering was priced at $37.23 per share and raised more than $150 million. JSC Lebedyansky?s shares were listed on two of Russia?s primary stock exchanges, the RTS and MICEX. Deutsche UFG acted as lead manager and book runner for the flotation.

The transaction bodes well for Russian consumer goods companies intending to raise funds via the Russian public equity markets. According to JSC Lebedyansky, the transaction was more than three times oversubscribed, and shares were sold to more than 100 Russian and international investors. The last IPO of this magnitude in the Russian consumer goods sector was an offering by Wimm-Bill-Dann in March 2002.

Commenting on the deal, White & Case partner Sven Krogius said, 'The Lebedyansky offering was a success by any measure: it was priced at the top of the expected range and its size was increased to satisfy investor demand. This not only shows the attractiveness of Lebedyansky as an investment proposition, but also the strength of investor confidence in the Russian equity markets in general. During the next few months, we?re expecting further forays into the equity markets by companies in the Russian consumer goods sector, as well as increasing levels of activity across the board.'

The White & Case team advising on the deal was led by partner Sven Krogius with associates Natalia Anisimova, Suren Gortsunyan, Alexey Konovalov, Maria Shlyapina, Andrew Sandgren and professional support lawyer Evgenia Ishimova, all based in Moscow.

About White & Case

White & Case is a leading global law firm with nearly 1,900 lawyers in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms. White & Case has also been named Best US Law Firm in London, Eastern Europe Law Firm of the Year and Eastern Europe Corporate/M&A Firm of the Year by leading legal benchmark publications.

In January 2005 White & Case received the Banking and Finance team of the year award at the Legal Business awards, and in March 2005 was named Law Firm of the Year, 2004, in both Russia and Hungary by IFLR magazine.The Moscow office of White & Case was established in 1991 and is now one of the largest global law firms in Russia.

Contact:

James Martin

Media Relations Manager, EMEA

White & Case LLP

44 0 20 7532 2853/ 44 0 7939 012 011

jmartin@london.whitecase.com

Natalia Baryshnikova

External Communications Coordinator

White & Case, Moscow

7 095 787 3073

nbaryshnikova@whitecase.com

Read more…

WHITE & CASE AN M&A LEADER IN 2004

March 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

WHITE & CASE AN M&A LEADER IN 2004

Firm Ranked Second Globally in Number of Deals Closed Last Year

February 28, 2005

White & Case?s fast-growing M&A practice ranked second worldwide among all law firms in the number of completed M&A deals in 2004, according to an updated compilation by Thomson Financial issued February 9, 2005.

White & Case earned its ranking by successfully closing 280 M&A transactions in 2004, or approximately one deal every business day of the year.

'As one of the world?s most active law firms in M&A transactions, White & Case regularly takes the lead in devising creative deal structures and planning and implementing strategies for both acquirers and potential acquisition targets,' said John M. Reiss, co-head of the Firm?s Global M&A practice. 'Clients also benefit from our global reach and vast cross-border capabilities when it comes to going private transactions and private equity matters.'

Among the M&A transactions the Firm handled in 2004 were:

Bacardi Acquisition of Grey Goose Vodka. White & Case advised Sidney Frank Importing Co., Inc. on its sale to Bacardi of the Grey Goose Vodka business, which consists of the Grey Goose brand, its manufacturing centre in Cognac, France, and the land on which this is situated.

NUI Sale to AGL Resources. White & Case advised New Jersey gas utility NUI in its sale to AGL Resources for $827 million.

Recapitalization of Associated Materials. White & Case represented Harvest Partners, Inc. and Associated Materials, a Harvest portfolio company in connection with a $975 million recapitalization of AMH and sale of a 50 percent equity interest in AMH to affiliates of Investcorp International Inc.

Shinsei Bank Ltd. Acquisition of Aplus Co. White & Case represented Shinsei Bank Ltd., Japan's eighth-largest bank, in its successful $592 million bid for Aplus Co., a Japanese consumer finance company.

Warner Chilcott Sale. White & Case advised the management team of pharmaceuticals company Warner Chilcott in its $3.1 billion acquisition by an investment group led by funds managed or advised by Bain Capital Partners LLC, DLJ Merchant Banking III, Inc., J.P. Morgan Partners, LLC and Thomas H. Lee Partners, L.P.

'Despite the weak American dollar, US companies have been investing heavily overseas, particularly in Asia, and we expect that to continue in 2005. That makes our cross-border experience particularly attractive to corporations, private equity firms and other investors,' said Timothy B. Goodell, co-head of White & Case?s Global M&A group.

White & Case?s Global M&A practice consists of more than 300 lawyers throughout its network who advise multinational industrial and service businesses, private equity firms and major commercial and investment banks in structuring and completing domestic and cross-border mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, joint ventures and equity investments. The Firm has vast experience advising clients on complex, multi-jurisdictional transactions.

About White & Case

White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with 1,900 lawyers practicing in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms.

Contact:

Sandi Sonnenfeld

Media Relations Manager

White & Case

1 212 819 8299

ssonnenfeld@whitecase.com

Read more…

WHITE & CASE ADVISES NEWMONT MINING ON $600 MILLION NOTE OFFER

March 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

WHITE & CASE ADVISES NEWMONT MINING ON $600 MILLION NOTE OFFER

March 23, 2005

White & Case advised US mining giant Newmont Mining Corp. on its sale of $600 million of 30-year notes.

The sale of the 5.875% notes due 2035 was completed on Tuesday.

Newmont will use the proceeds for capital investments and for general corporate purposes.

The White & Case team consisted of partners Maureen Brundage, John Narducci and Kenneth Raskin in New York, counsel Mark Hamilton and associates Martin Glass, Maryanne O?Connor and Steven Brine. Paul Milmed, of counsel, also advised on the transaction.

The offering was made in the US under Newmont's existing shelf registration statement.

Citigroup Global Markets Inc. and J.P. Morgan Securities Inc. were the joint book-running managers for the offering and UBS Securities LLC was the lead manager for the offering.

About White & Case

White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with 1,900 lawyers practicing in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms.

Contact:

Josh Karlen

Media Relations Manager

White & Case

1 212 819 8519

jkarlen@whitecase.com

Read more…

WHITE & CASE STRUCTURED FINANCE DEALS SCOOP TRIO OF AWARDS

March 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

WHITE & CASE STRUCTURED FINANCE DEALS SCOOP TRIO OF AWARDS

March 22, 2005

Three deals on which White & Case?s international Capital Markets team was a key legal adviser have been named as 'Deals of the Year' by leading publications for the structured finance and securitisation industry. The three award-winning deals are:

International Securitisation Report 2005 Awards: European Corporate Deal of the Year ? FCC Eurotruck Lease. White & Case represented Fraikin (the issuer) on the ?420 million securitisation of truck leases using a French FCC structure. The transaction was insured by MBIA. This 'whole business' transaction was one of the first of its kind in France. The White & Case team was led by partners Gilles Peigney and Gavin McLean, working with associates Pierre Brochet, Nicolas Huet and Moustapha Mourahib.

International Securitisation Report 2005 Awards: European CDO Deal of the Year ? SVG Diamond Private Equity. White & Case advised Nomura International PLC as arranger in one of only a handful of Collateralised Fund Obligation (CFO) deals, pooling interests in private equity (predominantly private equity funds) as the underlying assets, to ever take place in the European market. In the deal SVG Diamond Holdings Limited issued ?140 million of preferred equity and an unspecified sum of private debt. SVG Diamond Private Equity Limited, an SPV incorporated in Ireland, purchased the debt offered by SVG Diamond Holdings Limited, funding the purchase via the issue of approximately ?260 million of Notes (or equivalent: the Notes offered were denominated in both Euros and US dollars). The Notes were listed on the Channel Islands Stock Exchange. The transaction?s dual SPV structure and its mixed debt and equity offering both set precedents in the European market. The White & Case team was led by David Barwise, working closely with senior associate Josh Parbhu.

Structured Finance International 2005 Awards: Most Innovative Asset Backed Deal (Joint Winner) ? Rosbank. White & Case acted for Merrill Lynch and Credit Suisse First Boston as Lead Managers of the first ever securitisation of credit card receivables in Russia, in a US $225 million international bond issue made by Rosbank, one of Russia?s largest privately owned banks. The deal established a successful template for structured bond issues in Russia and is expected to act as a catalyst for growth in the market for transactions of this type.

About White & Case

White & Case is a leading global law firm with nearly 1,900 lawyers in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms. White & Case has also been named Best US Law Firm in London, Eastern Europe Law Firm of the Year and Eastern Europe Corporate/M&A Firm of the Year by leading legal benchmark publications. In January White & Case received the Banking and Finance team of the year award at the Legal Business awards.

The Firm?s Capital Markets practice has a well-established reputation. An independent legal benchmarking publication recently named a large number of White & Case lawyers as leaders in capital markets, and cited the Firm as having 'a brilliant emerging markets practice'. Our lawyers represent major financial institutions and corporations in the full range of debt, equity and structured financing transactions around the world using local, US and English finance law techniques.

The European Emerging Capital Markets team, which comprises lawyers from offices in Almaty, Ankara, Bratislava, Budapest, Istanbul, Moscow, Prague, Turkey and Warsaw, supported by a specialist team in London, offers clients an unparalleled experience in debut international offerings and other groundbreaking deals. Building upon the success in recent years, particularly in Russia and the former CIS region, the Firm is the leading law firm for financial institutions work in the former CIS region, having acted on the majority of eurobond transactions for Russian financial institutions, as well as dominating the markets in Kazakhstan, Ukraine and the Czech Republic. In addition, the Firm has been active in the capital markets in other sectors of the economy in such countries and has executed numerous transactions in other countries throughout the region.

Contact:

James Martin

Media Relations Manager, EMEA

White & Case LLP

44 0 20 7532 2853/ 44 0 7939 012 011

jmartin@london.whitecase.com

Read more…

PRIVATIZATION OF US TOLL ROADS GAINS SPEED

March 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

PRIVATIZATION OF US TOLL ROADS GAINS SPEED

March 21, 2005

After privatization of US infrastructure slowed significantly in the 1990s, the concept is rapidly gaining speed now that several international private-public toll road projects have proven successful, according to a project finance lawyer with White & Case.

'US states and municipalities are taking a look at many of the structuring and financing techniques and newer tolling technologies employed by overseas transportation projects to see if such techniques can be applied to US projects. Some of those techniques include shadow tolls, managed lanes, free-flow tolling technologies and innovative lease structures that combine public and private financing sources,' said project finance lawyer Ned Neaher, who has advised on numerous toll road projects in Latin America and Europe. 'Public-private partnerships are now viewed by states and municipalities as an attractive method to obtain budgetary support while ensuring first-class transportation infrastructure is provided to their citizens.'

Neaher says that throughout the country, state governments and municipalities are making the decision to privatize toll roads, bridges and other vital infrastructure in an effort to combat state funding shortages and reduce procurement costs. California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger recently unveiled a three-prong plan to reduce traffic congestion, including legislation that would allow private construction of toll roads. To offset its $100 billion transportation deficit, Colorado?s state legislature is considering privatized toll roads to pay for the construction and maintenance of its 953-mile highway system. And New Jersey?s Acting Governor Richard Codey is studying the possibility of leasing one or more toll roads, including the 148-mile New Jersey Turnpike.

In fact, at least 19 states have enacted some kind of public-private partnership program for the transportation sector.

'Public-private partnerships in toll road projects like the Chicago Skyway, where the City of Chicago granted a 99-year lease to Cintra Concesiones de Infraestructuras de Transporte (Cintra) and Macquarie Infrastructure Group to operate, maintain, manage, rehabilitate and toll the Skyway, infused $1.83 billion into that city?s coffers,' said Neaher, who represented Cintra and other developers and financiers in various toll road projects in Chile. 'Given the financial crunch that many local and state governments are facing, it?s not surprising that US states and municipalities are giving privatization a serious look again.'

White & Case has one of the foremost project finance and infrastructure practices in the world, with significant experience advising on toll road projects including the AKA M5 Motorway in Hungary (Europe, Middle East and Africa Infrastructure Deal of the Year by Project Finance International); Autopista del Maipo refinancing (Latin America Refinancing Deal of the Year, Project Finance Magazine); Mexico?s Autopista de Nuevo Le?n toll road (Americas Infrastructure Deal of the Year, Project Finance International) and Chile?s Costanera Norte toll road financing in Chile (2003 Latin American Deal of the Year, Project Finance International).

About White & Case

White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with 1,900 lawyers practicing in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms.

Contact:

Sandi Sonnenfeld

Media Relations Manager

White & Case

1 212 819 8299

ssonnenfeld@whitecase.com

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS ADVISES MAYBORN ON ACQUISITION OF TUBE PLASTICS

March 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

A team of lawyers from Pinsent Masons led by Roger Fink, London corporate partner, has advised Mayborn Group PLC, the AIM-traded babycare and household products group, on the acquisition of Tube Plastics Limited for a price of up to ?10.55 million. Tube Plastics, which trades under the ?TP? brand, is the UK market leader in high quality children?s outdoor play equipment.

The acquisition completed just before Mayborn?s preliminary announcement of results on 15 March 2005 which reported pre-tax profits of ?8.7 million, exceeding market expectations, and saw Mayborn?s shares rise to an all time high.

Negotiations for the acquisition were led by Mayborn?s Managing Director, Michael Samuel and Finance Director, Ian Hartley. Financial due diligence was carried out by Solomon Hare and market due diligence by AMR.

Guy Green led the Eversheds team which advised Tube Plastics? selling shareholders.

Commenting on the deal, Roger Fink said: ?We are delighted to have had the opportunity of working closely with Mayborn and its other advisers on this acquisition. Mayborn is a highly valued client of Pinsent Masons and we wish Mayborn and Tube Plastics continuing successes.?

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications, Pinsent Masons, on:

T: 0845 300 32 32 or M: 07884 110173

Read more…

Mannheimer Swartling voted Sweden Law Firm

March 2005. Press Releases by Mannheimer Swartling (view listing).

International Law Review (IFLR) has voted Mannheimer Swartling Sweden Law Firm of the Year for 2004.

Each year IFLR organises the IFLR Awards, at which prizes are awarded to the best law firms in Europe. The honours go to the firms giving the best legal advice in the transaction sector and carrying out the most innovative legal transaction in each country during the year.

'We at Mannheimer Swartling are delighted to have received this award and are pleased that our lawyers have gained recognition in this way for their outstanding work and depth of experience. The award also reflects our strong international standing,' says Jan Kansmark, Executive Partner at Mannheimer Swartling.

IFLR's choice of Mannheimer Swartling for the award was based on deals including the OMX - Copenhagen Stock Exchange merger and Nordea's sale of property in Finland, Norway and Sweden. IFLR was also impressed with Mannheimer Swartling's all-round excellence in property finance and the quality advice it has given to financial institutions.

The IFLR Awards

The IFLR Awards are based on numerous interviews with lawyers, in-house counsel and other purchasers of legal services in Europe. Respondents are asked which firms are the key players in the various markets and which deals have been the most successful during the year. The ultimate recipients of the awards are decided by IFLR.

More information

Jan Kansmark, Executive Partner, Mannheimer Swartling, tel: +46 709 777 809

or jka@msa.se.

You can also visit our website at www.mannheimerswartling.se.

Read more…

TOP FIVE GLOBAL AGROCHEMICAL COMPANY, UNITED PHOSPHORUS LIMITED, ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON ?100 M

March 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

India's largest agrochemical company, United Phosphorus Limited (UPL), has been advised by lawyers from Pinsent Masons London Corporate Group on the ?100 million acquisition by one of its subsidiaries of the Dutch seeds technology company, Advanta Netherlands Holdings NV.

UPL acquired Advanta in an all cash transaction from the US-based private equity firm, Fox Paine & Company, LLC. Advanta is a leading supplier of seeds and seed technologies to major markets globally including Australia, India, Thailand and Argentina, providing added value to farmers, downstream industries and consumers by combining superior genetics with essential technologies and techniques.

UPL Executive Director, Mr Jai Shroff, said: 'The acquisition of Advanta allows UPL to jump start our entry in the high end of the seeds business where the future of agriculture growth lies. This transaction not only makes us the largest player in some segments but also gives us a leadership position in many important products.'

UPL is financing the transaction with funds raised through its recent foreign currency convertible bond (FCCB) issue and from bank borrowings. YES Bank provided financial and strategic advice to UPL on the transaction.

This is the second corporate acquisition upon which Pinsent Masons has advised UPL and underscores the strength and attraction of the firm's combined UK and Asian corporate capabilities to global companies based in the Far East.

The Pinsent Masons team advising UPL has been led by Corporate Finance Partner, Jeremy Phillips and IP Partner, Martyn Hann, assisted by Louise Haworth (competition).

The vendors were advised by Freshfields Corporate Partner, Frank Miller.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with over 250 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 and is in the Global 100 of law firms. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as strategic alliances with firms in Dubai, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, India, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the USA.

United Phosphorus Limited (UPL), which is listed in India, is the largest Indian agrochemical company and among the top five generic companies globally in this industry. It is engaged in research, manufacture and distribution of agrochemicals and specialty chemicals across the globe. The Company?s revenue?s for the last 12 months ending Dec 2005 were in excess of USD 375 mm.(Rs. 1661 Crores)

Through acquisitions, strategic alliances and network of over 36 subsidiaries, UPL has built a marketing network across the globe and its international revenues account for over 70% of its total revenues. It exports to over 100 countries, with primary markets in Europe and North America.

UPL has over 2400 employees and has 10 operating plants (8 in India and 1 in UK and Argentina) all of them are ISO compliant to the highest standards of Quality, Safety, Environment and Occupational Health.

Read more…

APPEALS COURT FINDS FOR WHITE & CASE CLIENT UPSHER-SMITH IN KEY ANTITRUST CASE

March 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

APPEALS COURT FINDS FOR WHITE & CASE CLIENT UPSHER-SMITH IN KEY ANTITRUST CASE

Decision Critical of FTC For Challenging Upsher-Smith?s Settlement with Schering-Plough Over Drug Patents

March 15, 2005

In a landmark victory for White & Case client Upsher-Smith Laboratories, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit recently ruled that Upsher-Smith and Schering-Plough acted lawfully in settling patent litigation between them in 1997. The decision vacated an order by the US Federal Trade Commission that claimed the settlement was unlawful under the federal antitrust laws.

'This case has been closely watched by the legal and pharmaceutical communities alike given the uncertainty regarding the rules for settling disputes related to pharmaceutical patents. This decision helps clarify these rules,' says White & Case partner Christopher M. Curran, who led the legal team representing Upsher-Smith.

In its 2001 complaint, the FTC alleged that the Upsher-Smith/Schering settlement violated the antitrust laws by delaying generic competition to Schering?s brand-name drug K-Dur 20. The FTC's own administrative law judge ruled in favor of Upsher-Smith and Schering-Plough in 2002, dismissing the complaint. But the FTC Commissioners reversed this ruling. The 11th Circuit ruled, in a unanimous decision, that the administrative law judge was right and the Commissioners were wrong.

The 11th Circuit found that the FTC had no evidentiary basis for concluding that a $60 million payment from Schering to Upsher-Smith was to induce Upsher-Smith to delay the launch of its generic competition to Schering?s brand-name drug. Instead the evidence showed that the payment represented fair value for rights to certain Upsher-Smith products in a bona fide licensing transaction. The Court also found that there was no evidence that Upsher-Smith could have achieved any earlier date for market entry through litigation or settlement. The Court also emphasized the benefits of settlement generally, as reducing the costs of litigation and providing certainty.

Stating that the FTC?s decision was 'not supported by law or logic,' the Court found that FTC decision was 'contradict[ed]' by 'overwhelming evidence.' The Court added: 'It would seem as though the Commission clearly made its decision before it considered any contrary conclusion.'

Under the 1997 Upsher-Smith/Schering settlement, Upsher-Smith won the right to introduce its Klor-Con M20 product on September 1, 2001, even though Schering-Plough?s patent does not expire until September 5, 2006. In the three-and-a-half years since introducing the generic drug, millions of consumers have benefited from Klor-Con M20 due to the settlement.

'The settlement got two generic drugs onto the market as soon as possible while minimizing the time and expense of a patent infringement trial for the parties. Consumers and the FTC should applaud,' said White & Case antitrust chair J. Mark Gidley, who also had a lead role in representing Upsher-Smith.

White & Case represented Upsher-Smith throughout the proceedings, from trial through appeal. In addition to Curran and Gidley, the other White & Case members advising Upsher Smith were partners Robert D. Paul and Peter J. Carney, as well as associates Jaime Crowe, Rajeev K. Malik, and Gregg A. Hand.

White & Case is among the leaders in advising pharmaceutical companies on a wide range of issues, including antitrust matters, patents disputes and cross-border licensing.

About White & Case

White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with 1,900 lawyers practicing in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms. The Global Competition Review survey of 140 law firms also consistently lists White & Case among the Top Ten competition practices.

Contact:

Sandi Sonnenfeld

Media Relations Manager

White & Case

1 212 819 8299

ssonnenfeld@whitecase.com

Read more…

THREE IP LAWYERS JOIN WHITE & CASE'S PALO ALTO OFFICE

March 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

THREE IP LAWYERS JOIN WHITE & CASE'S PALO ALTO OFFICE

Team Joins Former Colleague William Coats

March 15, 2005

White & Case LLP today announced that one of Silicon Valley?s most prominent intellectual property teams has joined the Firm's Palo Alto office as part of its ongoing expansion in Northern California.

The team, two partners and a senior associate, all from Orrick, Herrington and Sutcliffe, join former colleague William Sloan Coats who moved to White & Case last month as a partner.

'With the addition of these four high-profile IP lawyers, White & Case is sending the powerful message that our technology and IP practices in Northern California are unsurpassed in terms of experience, service and a thorough knowledge not only of the law, but also the unique, complex workings of the technology sector. Many of these lawyers worked in the high-tech and science fields before coming to the law, and have experienced first-hand the business and IP challenges that our clients in Northern California and throughout our global network face every day,' said Bill Wynne, Chairman of White & Case?s Management Board.

The new lawyers are:

Heidi L. Keefe, partner. Keefe, a registered patent attorney with extensive trial experience, focuses her practice on patent disputes for technology and life science companies. Keefe holds a JD cum laude from Santa Clara University School of Law and a BA cum laude in Astrophysics from Wellesley College. At Orrick, she was co-chair of Training and Development for that firm?s IP practice and was instrumental in helping open its Taipei office.

Mark R. Weinstein, partner. Weinstein focuses on patent and trade secret litigation for technology companies. He holds a JD magna cum laude from the University of San Diego School of Law and a BS from the University of California, San Diego. Prior to joining Orrick, Weinstein served as law clerk to the Honorable Thomas J. Whelan, United States District Court for the Southern District of California and was a professional software engineer.

Mark F. Lambert, senior associate. Lambert?s litigation practice includes representation of technology clients in trade secret, patent and copyright disputes. He also has extensive experience with licensing disputes, unfair competition and business tort litigation. He holds a JD from the University of California, Hastings College of Law, an MA from Middlebury College and a BA from the University of California, Berkeley.

'White & Case differs from most other firms in Silicon Valley because it has a global reach and tremendous experience protecting clients' IP rights in numerous jurisdictions, often handling litigations on multiple fronts simultaneously. Yet our lawyers also know Silicon Valley intimately and have forged very strong local relationships. Given this combination, White & Case is the natural choice for global high tech companies,' said Coats, who has nearly 25 years of experience advising clients on cases involving software copyrights and patents, copyrights for movies and music, trademark and trade secret disputes and bankruptcy issues.

About White & Case

White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with 1,900 lawyers practicing in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms.

The Firm's Palo Alto and San Francisco offices advise clients in a wide range of industries, including technology, energy, telecommunications, consumer products and consulting companies, as well as banks, broker-dealers and mutual fund companies, in six major areas, including: intellectual property; banking and financial services; international equities and global compensation; international employment and benefits; energy, infrastructure and project finance; private equity, and mergers and acquisitions.

Contact:

Sandi Sonnenfeld

Media Relations Manager

White & Case

1 212 819 8299

ssonnenfeld@whitecase.com

Read more…

WHITE & CASE ADVISES ON LANDMARK RESTRUCTURING DEAL IN MEXICO

March 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

WHITE & CASE ADVISES ON LANDMARK RESTRUCTURING DEAL IN MEXICO

Corporaci?n Durango Completes Largest Restructuring Under New Mexican Bankruptcy Law

March 15, 2005

White & Case client Corporaci?n Durango, S.A. de C.V., the largest paper company in Mexico, recently completed its restructuring of more than $800 million of unsecured debt, constituting the largest reorganization to date under Mexico's new Business Reorganization Act.

The Durango reorganization, which was completed on February 23, 2005, also heralds a significant development in Mexico-US cross-border insolvency law, according to partner Emilio J. Alvarez-Farr?, who led the White & Case team. The transaction will 'serve as an important precedent and model for Mexican companies seeking to restructure their financial debt,' he said.

Under the terms of the restructuring, holders of Durango's unsecured debt received 85% of their aggregate outstanding principal amount in the form of new bonds or amended bank loans together with shares representing approximately 17% of Durango's aggregate share capital and a cash payment at closing.

Durango's plan of reorganization, which was approved by a substantial majority of its registered financial creditors, was confirmed by the Durango District Court. The local court's order confirming the plan was recognized and given full force and effect by the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York in Durango's ancillary proceeding filed under Section 304 of the US Bankruptcy Code. In connection, the US Bankruptcy Court entered an order permanently enjoining creditors from challenging Durango's restructuring in the United States.

White & Case partner John K. Cunningham, who represented Durango in the US ancillary proceeding, noted that the Durango reorganization marked the first time that a US bankruptcy court has recognized and extended comity to a Mexican court order confirming a reorganization plan under the Business Reorganization Act.

'The restructuring demonstrates to the international capital markets the flexibility and efficacy of the Act in allowing the successful balancing of the objectives of a Mexican debtor and its financial creditors, ' commented Cunningham.

In addition to Alvarez-Farre and Cunningham, the White & Case team consisted of partner Thomas E. Lauria, counsel Mark O. Bagnall and associates John L. Murphy, Pedro A. Jim?nez, A. Lizbeth Flores and Michael J. Schefer in Miami. Partner Craig Averch in Los Angeles also advised on the transaction.

About White & Case

White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with 1,900 lawyers practicing in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms.

Contact:

Josh Karlen

Media Relations Manager

White & Case

1 212 819 8519

jkarlen@whitecase.com

Read more…

ITC SEMICONDUCTOR CASE TERMINATED

March 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

ITC SEMICONDUCTOR CASE TERMINATED

$175 Million Settlement for White & Case Client Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co.

March 15, 2005

Today, US International Trade Commission (ITC) Administrative Law Judge Sidney Harris issued a decision terminating (based on a settlement agreement) an action by White & Case client Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) against Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corp. (SMIC) under 'Section 337' of the 1930 Tariff Act alleging that Shanghai-based SMIC had stolen TSMC?s trade secrets and infringed its patents. TSMC is the world?s largest producer of custom-made chips.

Under the settlement, SMIC will pay TSMC $175 million, the highest of any publicly disclosed ITC settlement agreement in the last five years, and among the highest US settlement payments involving trade secrets in any court in the past decade, according to White & Case partner Christopher Corr of Washington, DC, who represented TSMC in the matter, along with Steve Hemminger, IP partner in White & Case?s Palo Alto Office.

The non-confidential terms of the settlement agreement are described in the companies? press releases, and a public version of the settlement agreement was released with today?s initial determination by Judge Harris. The settlement includes a dismissal without prejudice of all pending legal action between the two companies in the ITC as well as in related cases in US District Court, California State Superior Court and Taiwan District Court.

White & Case was lead counsel in the ITC Investigation for TSMC, and Keker & Van Nest of San Francisco was co-counsel. Keker was lead counsel in the federal and state court cases, and White & Case was co-counsel in these actions. Haynes and Boone and Semiconductor Insights also assisted TSMC in the case.

Besides the magnitude of the settlement in value terms, 'the case is noteworthy because it highlights the emerging trend of non-US-based companies asserting their US intellectual property rights at the ITC against allegedly infringing imports by other foreign companies, in order to avail themselves of the ITC?s uniquely swift pace and procedural advantages,' said Corr.

Added Hemminger: 'The case highlights an often overlooked aspect of the ITC in bringing this action, namely its ability to protect against importation based on unfair acts. In addition to protecting patent rights, the ITC can protect trade secrets that were stolen overseas and used overseas to make products that are sold for importation into the US This allows a company, US or foreign, to protect its confidential information and investments in jurisdictions where it may be difficult to litigate and/or where there may be limited or no jurisdiction in US federal or state courts. We anticipate other companies will follow TSMC?s lead and take advantage of the ITC in protecting their trade secrets and confidential information.'

White & Case has one of the nation?s most active 337 practices, which is handled jointly by the Firm?s International Trade Group based in Washington, DC and its IP practice in Palo Alto. Over the past two years, the two practices have worked on more than five 337 cases. Earlier this year, White & Case enhanced its 337 capabilities further when it hired Delbert 'Chip' Terrill, a former Administrative Law Judge at the ITC with more than fifteen years experience. He is the only former ITC ALJ in private practice.

About White & Case

White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with 1,900 lawyers practicing in 38 offices in 25 countries. GlobalCounsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms.

Contact:

Sandi Sonnenfeld

Media Relations Manager

White & Case

1 212 819 8299

ssonnenfeld@whitecase.com

Read more…

APPELLATE VICTORY IN ARBITRATION AWARD ENFORCEMENT

March 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

APPELLATE VICTORY IN ARBITRATION AWARD ENFORCEMENT

Case Remanded to Arbitration Panel Almost a Decade Later

March 7, 2005

The United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit handed White & Case client RWE Nukem, Inc. a major victory in a long-running dispute against U.S. Energy Corporation regarding the enforcement of an arbitration award rendered almost a decade ago. White & Case had taken on representation in the case after two prior unsuccessful appeals and a new judgment entered against Nukem.

In U.S. Energy Corp. and Crested Corp. v. Nukem, Inc. and Cycle Resource Investment Corporation (Tenth Circuit, Feb. 24, 2005, Case No. 03-1444, 03-1451), the Court of Appeals vacated a $20 million District Court Judgment against Nukem and rejected U.S. Energy?s request for an additional $24 million plus unspecified damages. The Court then remanded the arbitration award to an arbitration panel for clarification as Nukem had requested.

'The day I received word of the decision was certainly one of the happiest days of my life. The Court of Appeals has fully vindicated Nukem?s position. U.S. Energy sought well over $44 million, and it received what it deserved, nothing. White & Case?s Carolyn Lamm and her team developed a brilliant appeals strategy and executed it in exemplary fashion,' said Jim Cornell, President and Chief Executive Officer of Nukem.

The appeal related to the enforcement of a 1996 Arbitration Award that considered disputes arising out of the Sheep Mountain Partnership established in 1989 by Nukem (together with its affiliate Cycle Resource Investment Corporation) and U.S. Energy (together with its affiliate Crested Corp.) to mine and market certain specified uranium.

The Award imposed a constructive trust and ordered Nukem to pay damages related to the grandfathering of five partnership contracts pursuant to a Department of Commerce Suspension Agreement with Uzbekistan. Nukem already paid over $15 million in damages by the time of the appeal. The Award did not explain clearly how to calculate the value, if any, of the constructive trust and whether it was separate from or consonant with the damage award.

The enforcement of the Award involved two prior appeals and a Special Master Report assessing data allegedly relevant to the calculation of the value of the constructive trust. The United States District Court for the District of Colorado ultimately entered a Judgment on August 1, 2003 purporting to enforce the award and value the constructive trust separate and apart from the damage award. Acting on the basis of 'extensive guesswork,' according to the Court of Appeals, the District Court awarded U.S. Energy an additional $20,044,183.50 over the amount Nukem had already paid. Nukem appealed and U.S. Energy cross-appealed.

The Court of Appeals vacated the entire $20 million Judgment against Nukem. The Court also granted Nukem?s request for a remand of the Award to the arbitration panel for clarification as to the proper calculation of the value, if any, of the constructive trust. The Court rejected U.S. Energy?s request for a total of $44 million plus other unspecified damages. Thus, Nukem now owes nothing to U.S. Energy.

The Court of Appeals held, 'the district court?s valuation of the constructive trust was based upon extensive guesswork. Therefore, a remand to the arbitration panel is necessary, despite the long and tortured procedural history of this case.' The arbitration panel was constituted under the auspices of the American Arbitration Association and will be reconstituted.

'This victory establishes that neither the passage of time after an arbitration award is rendered nor the death of an arbitrator give a court permission to guess about or go beyond the meaning of an arbitration award,' said Washington litigation partner Carolyn B. Lamm, who argued before the Tenth Circuit for Nukem.

'This case validates and extends a bedrock principle of federal arbitration law. When parties agree that their disputes should be settled by arbitration, courts have no place re-interpreting the outcome of the arbitration, or making educated guesses about what an ambiguously worded award means,' said White & Case partner Frank Vasquez.

The other attorneys for White & Case LLP were associates Jonathan C. Hamilton and Andrew G. Beshear in Washington, D.C.

White & Case?s International Arbitration practice is widely recognized as preeminent in the field with arbitration centers in Hong Kong, London, New York, Paris, Stockholm and Washington, D.C., and significant practices in Moscow, Tokyo and elsewhere. Chambers Global: The World?s Leading Lawyers for Business describes the practice as 'clearly the best in the business,' 'undoubtedly pre-eminent in the field,' 'extremely deep and extremely experienced' and 'widely admired for the ?depth and scope of its activities across the globe.?' The practice was also distinguished in American Lawyer?s first-ever survey of international arbitration with more matters mentioned than any other firm in the world.

About White & Case

White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with 1,900 lawyers practicing in 38 offices in 25 countries. Global Counsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms.

Contact:

Sandi Sonnenfeld

Media Relations Manager

White & Case

1 212 819 8299

ssonnenfeld@whitecase.com

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS HELPS SARANTEL HOME IN ON AIM MARKET

March 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

A leading edge technology company, Sarantel Group PLC, has been advised by UK law firm, Pinsent Masons, on its admission to AIM.

The Northamptonshire based company, which has developed a revolutionary miniature antenna for mobile phones and other wireless devices, has a market capitalisation of circa ?43 million following its admission. Trading in its shares commenced today (Wednesday). The float has been brokered by Arbuthnot Securities Limited and marks the third AIM admission that Pinsent Masons has advised on within a month.

Pinsent Masons has advised the Sarantel Group for over five years, acting originally for management in 2000 when they bought out the UK dielectric antenna division of US corporation, Symmetricom Inc.

The firm later advised Sarantel Limited as it raised funds for development through investment led by two of the UK's leading hi-tech venture capital investors, MTI Partners and VCF Partners, and supported by eTechnology VCT.

The company's innovations include miniature antenna technology applications used in global positioning devices. The company has ambitions to extend the use of technology in this field into mainstream mobile devices.

Pinsent Masons lead corporate partner on the float, Linda Crow, commented: 'It is heartening to see a revival in the quoted technology sector and to see the growth of a company whose quality product development has enabled them to carve out a niche place in a highly competitive market.'

The Pinsent Masons team advising Sarantel, comprised Linda Crow, Rob Sloan and Nicole Kirkham (corporate), with specialist advice from Cerys Wyn Davies (IT/IP) and William Franklyn.

Arbuthnot Securities were advised by Ashurst.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, Head of Communications, Pinsent Masons

on: 0845 300 32 32 or mobile 07884 110173

Notes to Editors

In the past year, Pinsent Masons has acted for the company on 10 AIM flotations and for the broker on a further three admissions. The firm advises some 40 AIM companies. So far in 2005, the firm has advised Voller Energy and Neutrahealth on their respective AIM admissions.

In December Pinsent Masons crowned its first week as a newly merged firm by advising on two significant AIM admissions, including the prized 1,000th admission. Educational programmes and solutions provider, AEC Education plc (AEC), became the landmark 1000th AIM company. The firm also advised oil exploration company Equator Exploration Limited (EEL) on its ?113.4 million admission to AIM. The company ranks in the top 50 of AIM companies by value. The deal is the fifth largest IPO fundraising on AIM this year, with a ?60 million IPO and circa ?30 million pre-IPO placings.

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with 240 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as a series of strategic joint ventures and alliances in Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the USA.

Read more…

Clare McConnell Gives Further Boost to Pinsent Masons Projects Team

March 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Highly experienced projects lawyer, Clare McConnell, is to join the leading projects firm Pinsent Masons as a partner.

Clare, who joins from Berwin Leighton Paisner, has advised on a wide range of PFI projects in the health, education and rail sectors and has been actively involved in policy development.

Barry Francis, Head of the Projects Group in London at Pinsent Masons, said: ?We are delighted to welcome Clare to the team. She has a wealth of expertise, particularly in the area of health, and is joining one of the largest projects team in the UK (now boasting 70 lawyers). The firm has closed more PFI projects than any other firm in the UK and is ranked number one in the Public Private Finance league tables, with 130+ projects.

?Clare?s health experience includes closing pathfinder health deals, and helping to develop the Retention of Employment model for Soft Services which she undertook whilst on secondment to the Department of Health?s Private Finance Unit in 2001.

?In addition, her background in advising the rail sector will bring a further boost to the strong Pinsent Masons rail practice which is already undertaking major work in South Africa and other overseas projects.'

Clare commented: ?I am looking forward to working alongside leading names in the projects arena. Pinsent Masons has a nationally and internationally acknowledged reputation for being at the forefront of developments in public/private partnerships and major infrastructure projects.?

Ends

For further information please contact:

Sue Murdoch, PR & Communications Manager, Pinsent Masons

Tel: 0845 300 3232

Mob: 07884 110174

Email: sue.murdoch@pinsentmasons.com

Notes to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with 240 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Pinsent Masons also has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as a series of strategic joint ventures and alliances in Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the USA.

Pinsent Masons was formed with the merger of Pinsents and Masons in December 2004. Projects is one of the teams which benefited most from the merger. Each firm had a strong reputation in the marketplace - together the two merged firms stand as number one nationally in terms of the number of PFI deals completed. Pinsent Masons is one of the top two firms in a number of sectors of PFI including waste, street lighting, housing and health and is active in all others.

Pinsent Masons' Projects Team core areas:

Pinsent Masons' projects and project finance practice has had a noteworthy year across a range of infrastructure sectors including health, roads, street lighting, waste, defence, education, airports and accommodation. The team has maintained a balanced practice in both the public and private sectors which has given us a clear understanding of issues that affect both public and private sector involvement in capital projects.

We remain at the forefront of exporting the UK's PFI model to the international community pioneering PPP programmes in South Africa, Cyprus, India and the Caribbean and securing new appointments to advise on projects in regions including Australasia and Eastern Europe.

The combined size, strength and expertise of the projects team makes it the largest in the country and the leading projects firm according to Public Private Finance league tables.

Health

We have maintained our market position as the leading advisor on health PFI Projects. On the 4th/5th Wave NHS Schemes the firm is advising on 5 Projects including the 2 largest at Birmingham and Leicester. Our health practice continues to broaden from main stream acute PFI projects to other areas affecting the NHS including acting for the NHS on the National Decontamination Programme and our involvement on LIFT Projects. In relation to LIFT we have acted for private sector consortia and funders and have advised on 25% of the current wave of NHS LIFT schemes.

Roads

The Roads Sector has continued to be key and a growth area in our PFI / PPP practice. We advised both the public and private sectors on more than 10 PPP / PFI road projects in the past year including some of the first road projects in EU accession countries which will form the model for future projects in these regions.

Street Lighting

In addition to Roads projects with associated street lighting requirements brought together the leading public and private sector practice in the general 'stand alone' street lighting sector ? the firm has advised on over 70% of street lighting projects for public and private sectors.

Waste

We continue to strengthen our dominant position as the pre-eminent law firm in the waste sector. We act for the public sector and major private sector players in this market (namely Onyx, Viridor, Cory and Cleanaway). As the waste market expands we have already secured appointments for the private sector in most of the known projects going forward. In addition, we have been involved in the development of waste policy having contributed to and drafted the legal section of the Waste Procurement Pack for DEFRA.

Airports

In 2004, we added to our extensive track record in providing legal advice on airport projects in the globally. In 2004 we advised on the financial close of Gatwick Airport Fuel Infrastructure Refinancing and Manchester Airport Fuel Hydrant Refinancings. We were appointed to act for a consortium developing the Mukalla International Airport in Yemen and continue to advise on the Larnaka and Pafos Airports in Cyprus and the New Hyderabad International Airport in India.

Defence

We continue to strengthen our relationship with the Ministry of Defence advising DSTL on its procurement of construction and FM related services as part of Project Inspire. We are proud to be advising on the largest PFI project undertaken in the UK to date which has a capital value of ?3.5 billion where we are acting for the Mowlem and KBR joint venture involving construction and maintenance of garrisons at Salisbury Plain and Aldershot.

Rail

We advised the Strategic Rail Authority on the extension of two rail franchises. We are advising the Irish Rail Procurement Agency on the Dublin Metro, the Government of the Republic of Gauteng Province on the on Gautrain Project, a high speed rail link between Johannesburg and Pretoria which is the largest transportation infrastructure project in Africa, and the preferred bidder on the Docklands Light Railway Lewisham extension. We were recently appointed to act for the Mumbai Light Rail Project in India.

Education

Our involvement in the Schools PPP market continues with us acting for both the public and private sectors. Notably in relation to the public sector we are acting for Sheffield City Council, Birmingham City Council and Kent County Council on their schools projects. On the private sector side, we are acting for the preferred bidder on the largest schools PFI project in the UK to date at South Larnarkshire. In 2004 we closed Barking and Dagenham Schools for NIB Capital and Dexia and are currently supporting HBG on their bid for Slough Grouped Schools Project. We have been appointed to the Partnerships for Schools panel for Building Schools for the Future work.

Accommodation

We have expanded our capabilities in the custodial sector with the financial close in 2004 of the Avon & Somerset Courts and Cheshire Police accommodation projects and our appointment to Norfolk County Council for their Three Counties Custodial PFI Project.

Project Finance

We continue to advise banks and other financial institutions which are funding project finance structures in PPP/PFI projects. Internationally, we brought the Jordanian Gas Transmission Project to financial close. In 2004 we were appointed to act for the arrangers for a processing plant in the Caribbean for whom we are also working with on a number of other project opportunities across the world. Closer to home, we have been advising on the financing of PFI/PPP throughout Europe.

ends

Read more…

SCOTT M. ZEMSER JOINS WHITE & CASE AS PARTNER

March 2005. Press Releases by White & Case LLP (view listing).

SCOTT M. ZEMSER JOINS WHITE & CASE AS PARTNER

March 1, 2005

White & Case today announced that Scott M. Zemser has joined the Firm as a partner in the New York office's Bank Finance and Capital Markets practices.

Mr. Zemser joins White & Case from Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP in New York, where he headed up the New York Banking and Institutional Finance group. Mr. Zemser concentrates his practice on domestic and international banking and finance, workouts and restructurings. Mr. Zemser has more than 15 years of extensive experience representing banks and investment banks in a broad range of secured and unsecured debt offerings, including acquisition, bridge and asset-based financings. He also has broad experience in the retail, chemical, manufacturing, automotive, health care and technology industries.

'Scott's addition further strengthens our premier banking and capital markets team and deepens existing relationships with our banking and investment banking clients,' said Eric L. Berg, head of the Firm's global Bank Finance Practice Group. 'We are delighted to welcome Scott to the Firm.'

Mr. Zemser is listed in the Euromoney/IFLR Expert Guide to the World's Leading Banking Lawyers.

'With its world-renowned bank finance and capital markets practices, White & Case offers clients an extraordinary depth of resources and experience,' said Mr. Zemser. 'White & Case has excellent long-standing relationships with the major banks and investment banks, including many of those which are existing clients of mine. I'm tremendously excited to be joining White & Case.'

About White & Case

White & Case LLP is a leading global law firm with 1,900 lawyers practicing in 38 offices in 25 countries. GlobalCounsel consistently ranks White & Case among the top global law firms.

Contact:

Josh Karlen

Media Relations Manager

White & Case

1 212 819 8519

jkarlen@whitecase.com

Read more…

BROKERS KBC PEEL HUNT ADVISED BY PINSENT MASONS ON BACK-TO-BACK PLACINGS

February 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Corporate lawyers at UK firm, Pinsent Masons, have advised brokers KBC Peel Hunt on back-to-back placings to fund acquisitions by companies in the investment banking and consumer electronics sectors.

KBC Peel Hunt has acted for Armour Group plc, the UK's leading consumer electronics group focused on home entertainment and in-car communication, on a ?6 million placing with existing and institutional investors to fund the acquisition of Alphason Designs Limited, a specialist designer and supplier of audio visual furniture to consumer electronics markets.

And, hard on the heels of this successful placing, KBC Peel Hunt, advised by Pinsent Masons, has raised ?12 million with a placing of new ordinary shares for AIM-quoted specialist investment bank and stockbroker, Corporate Synergy Group (CSG) plc.

The proceeds of the placing will be used to back the ?13.4 million recommended takeover by CSG of Rowan Dartington, a Bristol-based independent firm of stockbrokers focused on the smaller companies market. The takeover is conditional upon shareholder approval at an extraordinary general meeting on 13 March.

Pinsent Masons Corporate Finance Partner, Alan Wood, who with Corporate Associate Michael Lakin, advised KBC Peel Hunt on both placings, said: 'This is the first time a Pinsent Masons team outside London has acted for KBC and we are delighted to have been instructed on two jobs in quick succession. We hope to see the relationship develop further.'

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32

Email: clare.turnbull@pinsentmasons.com

www.pinsentmasons.com

Note to Editors:

Other advisers:

Armour Group plc was advised by Arnold & Porter LLP on the placing and acquisition

Corporate Synergy Group plc was advised by Stringer Saul LLP on the placing and acquisition.

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with over 250 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 and is in the Global 100 of law firms. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as strategic alliances with firms in Dubai, France, Germany, Spain, Holland, India, The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Eastern Europe, Scandinavia and the USA.

KBC Peel Hunt

KBC Peel Hunt Ltd is an integrated securities house focused on the small and mid-cap sector and a subsidiary of the Belgian bank, KBC Bank N.V. It is a leading market maker of small and mid-cap UK securities and advises over 100 companies from those looking for venture capital to companies quoted in the FTSE 250 index.

Read more…

HEALTHY RECORD ON AIM FLOATS CONTINUES FOR PINSENT MASONS

February 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Corporate lawyers at UK firm, Pinsent Masons, have continued their successful run of advising on AIM flotations with the launch today of specialist investment company, Neutrahealth PLC on to the alternative market.

Neutrahealth is a company created to acquire growing businesses in the vibrant nutraceutical industry, which has been boosted by the increasing demand among the public for vitamin and mineral supplements, organic foods and alternative remedies.

The company raised ?1,500,000 from a placing of 15,000,000 ordinary shares at 10p per share. Its intention is to identify and acquire burgeoning businesses in a promising but fragmented sector to supply products to pharmacies, supermarkets, drugstores, health food shops and mail order outlets. The broker and nominated adviser on the placing and AIM admission was KBC Peel Hunt.

The flotation, led by a London Corporate team for Pinsent Masons, follows hard on the heels of the float of Voller Energy, which saw lawyers in the firm's Leeds office advising the company. Both flotations continue an upward trend in AIM activity for Pinsent Masons, which has seen the firm advise on 13 floats in under 12 months, including in December the landmark 1,000th Aim flotation.

The Pinsent Masons team advising Neutrahealth PLC was led by Justine Howard and assisted by Hannah Brader and Lisa Patmore

Solicitors to the placing were Martin Thomas and Clare Metcalf of Hunton & Williams.

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, Head of Communications, Pinsent Masons

on: 0845 300 32 32 or mobile 07884 110173

Notes to Editors

In December Pinsent Masons crowned its first week as a newly merged firm by advising on two significant AIM admissions, including the prized 1,000th admission. Educational programmes and solutions provider, AEC Education plc (AEC), became the landmark 1000th AIM company. The firm also advised oil exploration company Equator Exploration Limited (EEL) on its ?113.4 million admission to AIM. The company ranks in the top 50 of AIM companies by value. The deal is the fifth largest IPO fundraising on AIM this year, with a ?60 million IPO and circa ?30 million pre-IPO placings.

In the past year, Pinsent Masons has acted for the company on 10 AIM flotations and for the broker on a further three admissions. The firm advises some 40 AIM companies

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with 240 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as a series of strategic joint ventures and alliances in Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the USA.

Read more…

UK Greetings advised on acquisition of Collage Designs Ltd

February 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

UK Greetings Ltd (UKG), the UK arm of American Greetings, has been advised by law firm Pinsent Masons on the acquisition of the entire issued share capital of gift packaging specialists Collage Designs Ltd (Collage), plus its Italian subsidiary manufacturing company Collage Italia Spa.

Suffolk based Collage was formed by Giuliano and Celia Scamponi and other existing members of its Board in 1991 to supply high quality giftwrap and related gift packaging products to the retail trade. The company has gained a reputation as an award-winning pioneer of design-led giftwrap and gift packaging producing the best giftwrap designs in the UK market. In 1999 the company invested in a brand new giftwrap factory in Italy forming Collage Italia Spa.

Collage?s market position complements that of UKG which is the market leader for greeting cards in the UK?s direct to retail sector. Collage will operate as an autonomous business within UKG from its existing premises in Suffolk and will retain its existing management team.

Partner Peter Wood led the Pinsent Masons team assisted by Michelle Kershaw.

The vendors were advised by Smith Law Partnership.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Sue Murdoch, PR & Communications Manager, Pinsent Masons

Tel: (DL) 0113 225 5460

Mob: 07884 110174

Email: sue.murdoch@pinsentmasons.com

Notes to Editors:

1. Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with 240 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as a series of strategic joint ventures and alliances in Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the USA.

Read more…

Northgate Information Solutions Powers Ahead with Acquisition Programme

February 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Leading supplier of software applications and outsourcing solutions, Northgate Information Solutions plc, has further strengthened its position as supplier to the UK Local Government market through the acquisition of MVM Holdings Ltd (?MVM?) from Morrison Plc (the support services group of AWG plc) for ?13 million in cash.

Hemel Hempstead-based Northgate is a leading supplier to the public safety, local government and human resources markets, employing more than 2,200 staff.

MVM specialises in the development and sales of software to the Local Government sector offering a portfolio of software applications which includes Spatial Planning, Health & Public Protection, CRM and Electoral Registration Systems. The company supplies approximately 330 Local Government clients. In addition, MVM is a niche supplier of Geographic Information Systems to the utilities sector. The company, which is based in Huntingdon, currently employs approximately190 staff operating from nine offices across the UK.

Andrew Kerr led the Pinsent Masons team advising Northgate assisted by Catherine Hemsworth. The firm has advised Northgate on its ongoing acquisitions programme which has included the purchases of CIM Systems Ltd, PWA Group Ltd (from Microsoft) and Hays Consulting & Solutions Group (from Hays Group) and Prolog Business Solutions.

The acquisition of MVM strengthens Northgate?s position in the Local Government market as well as providing cross-selling opportunities across the complementary portfolios.

Morrison plc were advised by Eversheds led by Lynette Lewis.

The acquisition provides yet more evidence of an upturn in M&A activity in the technology sector. Pinsent Masons has recently advised on the ?20 million management buyout of computer hardward supplier Stone Computers and the ?60 million merger of Synetrix Limited (broadband supplier to the public sector) with Equinox Converged Solutions.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Sue Murdoch, PR & Communications Manager, Pinsent Masons

Tel: (DL) 0113 225 5460

Mob: 07884 110174

Email: sue.murdoch@pinsentmasons.com

Notes to Editors:

1. Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with 240 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as a series of strategic joint ventures and alliances in Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the USA.

Read more…

Voller Energy Group plc advised on AIM admission

February 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Voller Energy Group plc, a manufacturer of portable fuel cell systems, has been advised by Pinsent Masons on its admission to trading on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange.

The company raised ?10 million on the placing which was arranged by Arden Partners Limited. Voller's opening market capitalisation was ?17 million.

The funds raised will be used by the Group, amongst other things, to finance the development and marketing of the Group?s existing and new products, satisfy the consideration for the acquisition of a German business and to finance the development of reformer technology as well as to provide working capital.

Hampshire-based Voller Energy was established in 2002 to design, develop, manufacture and market a range of portable fuel cell systems for use as mobile generators and battery re-chargers. The company has received two Smart Awards from the Department of Trade and Industry to develop its technology and has filed four patent applications to protect its technology.

In September 2003, Voller Energy launched the VE100, one of the world?s first hand-held portable fuel cell systems designed for commercial applications and using refillable hydrogen canisters as an energy source. The compact system is a self-contained portable power source that delivers ?mains? voltages.

Andrew Walker, Mike McGrath and Andrew Black led the Pinsent Masons team advising Voller Energy Group assisted by a team of corporate and specialist lawyers including Jo Hewlett and John Clegg.

Andrew Walker commented: ?We were very pleased to advise this exciting growth company on this important step in its development and we look forward to a long association with it. We have recently been involved with a notable number of stock market flotations and advised on the landmark 1000th company to be listed on AIM?.

Arden Partners Limited, nominated adviser and broker to Voller, were advised by Eversheds LLP. Pinsent Masons' German alliance partner, Hoffman Liebs Fritsch & Partner advised Voller on its German acquisition.

Ends

Ends

For further information please contact:

Sue Murdoch, PR & Communications Manager, Pinsent Masons

Tel: (DL) 0113 225 5460

Mob: 07884 110174

Email: sue.murdoch@pinsentmasons.com

Read more…

OFT to target healthcare sector

February 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

The healthcare sector has been identified as one of the top five target areas of the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) according to its draft business plan for 2005/06, warns international law firm Pinsent Masons.

According to the draft plan the OFT will focus on the healthcare sector due to its sheer size and importance - healthcare spend alone costing ?81bn in 2002. As a result the OFT recognises the need to watch carefully over the healthcare markets owing to its importance to the economy and its customers.

The OFT has the power to actively investigate any allegations of anti-competitive behaviour within the sector, such as price fixing cartels and market-sharing arrangements between competitors. The OFT may also launch dawn raids on any company suspected of involvement in these arrangements.

Companies who have high market shares in a particular product or service sector may come under the OFT's spotlight if they are suspected to have infringed competition law by abusing their dominant position.

'Many companies in the sector may be unaware that they might be dominant under competition law. The OFT has in the past defined markets narrowly. The OFT could determine dominance by reference to a single product or service. For instance, in 2003, Genzyme Limited was fined ?6.8 million (later reduced on appeal to ?3 million) for an abuse of a dominant position in respect of a drug for the treatment of Gaucher disease (Cerezyme)', says Giles Warrington, partner in the competition team at Pinsent Masons.

'Involvement in a breach of competition law can open a pandora's box of problems. The OFT may fine companies up to 10 per cent of their worldwide turnover. In addition individuals and companies are able to sue for damages they have suffered as a result of a breach of the competition rules. The effects of this can be seen in the high-profile price fixing vitamins case. In 2001, eight companies were fined by the European Commission a total of ?855 million for price fixing and market sharing. Some of these are now being sued in the UK by their customers for damages', warns Giles Warrington.

Any individuals directly involved in the most serious breaches could face the threat of criminal prosecution and directors of companies in breach risk being disqualified for up to 15 years.

The OFT can subject a market to scrutiny under its market studies regime by studying it more thoroughly as it is currently doing with the care homes market for older people. If it finds a market is not working well for consumers one of the options is a reference to the Competition Commission for an in-depth investigation. This can take up to two years, impose a significant information burden on those involved and result in the imposition of orders on market participants such as controls on future behaviour.

Giles Warrington concludes, ?Companies in the healthcare sector may need to take steps now to reduce their exposure to competition law risk. They may need to review existing arrangements and practices, if necessary adapting them, and establish competition law compliance programmes. Companies can also seek ways to reduce liability for past breaches including, in some cases, applying for leniency under the OFT's whistle blowing policy. Given the OFT's focus on the healthcare sector, many companies will need to take a proactive approach to competition law compliance.?

Ends

For further information, please contact

Elle Hill, PR and Communications, Pinsent Masons

DDL: 020 7418 7087

Mobile: 07748 321 769

Email: elle.hill@pinsentmasons.com

Notes to Editors:

1) Pinsent Masons has one of the biggest specialist competition groups comprising four partners and nine lawyers in the UK. It has been involved, and is currently involved, in several high-profile and complex cases. In the last five years the group has handled nine EU and UK dawn raids (with recent joiners to the group acting on a further five) and also acted on nine substantial cartel investigations. The group's considerable experience, expertise, strength in depth and national coverage is exceptional within the UK. This was recognised in the 2004 Chambers Guide to the Legal Profession, which described the group as 'a leading port of call for EU and UK competition law?.

2) Pinsent Masons has a thriving healthcare practice which encompasses all elements of the healthcare market including:

- Public Sector, where we are a leading firm for PFI work generally and the NHS in particular. The firm has advised the NHS since its inception;

- The medical devices manufacturing sector ? we advise some major players in this sector and are committed to developing our understanding of the sector, for example we are members of the Association of British Health Care Industries. Clients include Smith & Nephew and the Medlock Group;

- Medical services ? Pinsent Masons has a particularly strong practice in the care homes sector and has completed a numerous of transactions in this field.

Read more…

Ponden Mill advised on multi-million pound retail sale

February 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Ponden Mill, national vendor of linens and textiles to the retail and public sectors, has been advised by Pinsent Masons on its sale to Marston Mills. To meet the demands of all parties, the complex deal was effectively completed in three weeks from initial contract to final signing.

Ponden Mill was founded by Barry Brookfield, who began his career in 1968 selling linen from his stall in Skipton market in North Yorkshire. The Keighley-based store currently has 132 stores across the UK, employing over 1,000 staff. The ?50m turnover company has become a household name, supplying direct to the public through city centre and out-of-town stores as well as operating contracts to supply hospitals, prisons and schools.

Marston Mill is led by millionaire entrepreneur Trevor Hemmings who currently owns Blackpool Tower, its piers and Winter Gardens as well as many other leisure interests.

Andrew Kerr led the Pinsents team assisted by Catherine Hemsworth and Philip Goldsborough.

Gordons advised the company and shareholders in relation to UK property matters.

Ends

For further information please contact:

Sue Murdoch, PR & Communications Manager, Pinsent Masons

Tel: (DL) 0113 225 5460

Mob: 07884 110174

Email: sue.murdoch@pinsentmasons.com

Notes to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is a full service commercial firm with 240 partners, a total legal team of more than 900 and in excess of 1,500 staff in the UK and internationally. The firm ranks in the UK top 15 of law firms and is one of Europe's leaders. In the UK, the firm has offices in London, Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Manchester.

Internationally, Pinsent Masons has offices in Brussels, Dubai, Hong Kong and Shanghai, as well as a series of strategic joint ventures and alliances in Denmark, Dubai, Estonia, France, Germany, India, Poland, Sweden, Spain and the USA.

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS APPOINTED TO ADVISE ON ALLDERS PENSIONS SCHEME

February 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Pinsent Masons has been appointed by the trustees of the Allders Pensions Scheme to advise them following the placement of Allders into Administration.

Christopher Berkeley, head of the pensions team at Pinsent Masons, commented:

?The trustees are currently in regular discussions with the company?s administrators regarding the future of the company and the funding of the Allders Pension Scheme. We are working alongside the trustees to achieve a solution which is in the best interests of the scheme and its members. ?

Most recently the team at Pinsent Masons has acted for pensioners of the KPMG Staff Pension Fund, the trustees of the Dexion Group Pension & Assurance Scheme and the trustees of the Anglo United Pension Scheme.

Ends

For further information, please contact

Elle Hill, PR and Communications, Pinsent Masons

DDL: 020 7418 7087

Mobile: 07748 321 769

Email: elle.hill@pinsentmasons.com

Notes to Editors:

Pinsent Masons is the new force in the UK and international legal market which came into being on 6 December 2004 as a result of the merger between two complementary, strongly client and sector facing businesses ? Pinsents and Masons. The pensions team at Pinsent Masons comprises 42 pensions lawyers and dedicated independent trustee advisers, making it one of the largest specialist pensions teams throughout the UK. The team?s work is centred around four core strands: trustee services, corporate support, public sector & PFI advice, and its independent trustee practice.

Read more…

PINSENT MASONS ACTS ON ?20 MILLION COMPUTER COMPANY MBO

February 2005. Press Releases by Pinsent Masons (view listing).

Lawyers at Pinsent Masons have advised on their second technology sector disposal in a month supporting predictions of a resurgence of M&A activity in the sector.

Shareholders of computer hardware supplier, Stone Computers, including the principal shareholders James Bird, were advised by Pinsent Masons on the ?20 million management buyout of the company.

Just last month, the firm advised Keele-based Synetrix Limited, a leading supplier of broadband services to the public sector, on a ?60 million merger with South East-based Equinox Converged Solutions

Andrew Hornigold, Technology Chosen Market Group Head at Pinsent Masons, commented: 'Pundits have been predicting a return of M&A activity in the technology sector after the deal drought which followed the end of the dot.com boom. Our experience in the past few months demonstrates a return of confidence in the sector and a desire to do deals.'

Stone Computers, a Midlands-based business which assembles and distributes own brand desktop computers and other branded IT hardware, is a leading supplier in the public sector with key customers in local government, schools, further education colleges and universities.

Its buyout has been backed by Baring English Growth Fund (BEGF) with debt and working capital facilities from Barclays Leveraged Finance. The transaction was initiated by Catalyst Corporate Finance.

The Pinsent Masons team acting for the selling shareholders was led by corporate partners, Andrew Hornigold, assisted by Joanne Price and Richard Smith (corporate), Lisa Parisi (tax), Iain Saunders (property) and Jane Griffin (pensions).

The management team was advised by Gateley Waring (Paul Hayward and Chris Reed) and Catalyst Corporate Finance; BEGF was advised DLA Piper (Jim Lavery and Natalie Town) and Barclays were advised by Eversheds (Pat Johnstone and Will Sherwin).

Ends

For further information, please contact:

Clare Turnbull, National Head of PR & Communications,

Pinsent Masons, on: 0845 300 32 32 or 07884 110173.

Read more…

New Qualifying Investor Funds Regime in Guernsey (QIFs)

February 2005. Press Releases by Carey Olsen (view listing).

New Qualifying Investor Funds Regime in Guernsey (QIFs)

The Guernsey Financial Services Commission (GFSC) has launched a 3 day approval process for establishing ?qualifying investor funds? in Guernsey

? The streamlined authorisation process will reduce the authorisation time scales which currently apply from 4 to 6 weeks to less than 3 working days.

? QIFs can be established as open-ended funds or closed-ended funds under the existing regulatory regimes.

? QIFs can be established as single or multi-class unit trusts, investment companies, protected cell companies or limited partnerships.

? QIFs will only be offered to ?qualified investors?.

? The QIF?s Guernsey administrator must be able to certify compliance with the GFSC?s QIF requirements. Approval will be given by the GFSC on the basis of the administrator?s self-certification.

? The Guernsey administrator will have an ongoing responsibility to monitor compliance with the matters it has self-certified and to ensure its rationale for the self-certification is clearly documented.

? The GFSC will consider derogations in relation to the rules relating to the relevant classification of investment fund subject to it having sufficient notice before the QIF application.

GFSC Guidance Note

The criteria which must be met in order to establish a QIF in Guernsey is set out in a GFSC Guidance Note dated February 2005.

Application Form

The Guidance Note introduces a one page application form (Form QIF). The form is a one page confirmation from the administrator that the QIF complies with the requirements of the Guidance Note. The new application process also enables administrators to process applications from newly formed promoters.

Definition of a Qualified Investor

A ?qualified investor? is defined as a ?professional investor?, an ?experienced investor? and/or a ?knowledgeable employee?. Definitions of the different classifications of investors are referred to as including:

(a) a ?professional investor?: is a person whose ordinary business or professional activity includes underwriting, managing or acquiring investments whether as principal or agent or the giving of advice on investments. The definition also includes financial services businesses or financial service professionals associated directly or indirectly with the operation of the QIF;

(b) an ?experienced investor? is a person who has in any period of twelve months (or in the course of employment by another person) so frequently entered into transactions of a particular type in connection with investment funds or general securities and derivatives of a substantial size with, or through the agency of, reputable persons who carry on investment business, that he can reasonably be expected to understand the nature of, and the risks involved in, investments of that kind. Alternatively, this requirement is satisfied if an appropriately qualified investment adviser confirms that the investor has obtained ?independent advice?;

(c) a ?knowledgeable employee? is: any employee, director, partner or consultant of an appropriately qualified ?professional investor? or anyone who has fulfilled such a role within a period of 3 years up to the date of the application for investment in the QIF. The term ?employee? will not cover, inter alia, clerical, secretarial or administrative roles. A ?knowledgeable employee? will also include any employee, director, general partner, consultant or shareholder of an affiliate appointed by the QIF to advise, manage or administer the investment activities of the QIF and whose investment in the QIF is part of his remuneration or incentive arrangement or co-investment in the QIF.

The GFSC will expect a representation to be made by the relevant investors in the application form that the requirements described above in relation to the definition of a ?qualified investor? have been satisfied. These requirements are also set out in the Guidance Note.

Promoters and/or Investment Managers of QIFs

The administrator will also need to certify in relation to the promoter and/or investment manager of the QIF that it is of sufficient ?good standing?. Applications for newly formed promoters/investment managers will also be acceptable, provided that the administrator is also able to certify the track record of the relevant individuals forming the new company.

The GFSC will also require that promoters/investment managers are ?fit and proper?. The basis of how the relevant promoter/investment manager will qualify as ?fit and proper? is set out in detail in the Guidance Note.

Authorisation of the Fund

The existing 3 stage process which applies to non-QIFs is reduced to one. QIFs will be required to submit the relevant offer document, form QIF, its constitutional and third party documents, a cheque in payment of the GFSC?s fee, the appropriate form APC/A/B/Q and the certificate required for certain classifications of funds.

Immediate Effect

The new qualifying investor fund regime comes into effect immediately. Anyone in the process of establishing a Guernsey fund should therefore consider whether the fund meets the requirements of the new QIF regime and, if it does, it is likely to be more expeditious to lodge an application for authorisation as a QIF.

Further Advice

If further advice is required in relation to the new qualified investor regime, Ben Morgan or Graham Hall or any of the contacts below will be delighted to assist you.

Carey Olsen

7 New Street

St Peter Port

Guernsey

GY1 4BZ

T: +44 (0)1481 727272

F: +44 (0)1481 711052

www.careyolsen.com

February 2005

? Carey Olsen 2005

Graham Hall

graham.hall@careyolsen.com

Nigel Carey

nigel.carey@careyolsen.com

Ben Morgan

ben.morgan@careyolsen.com

Darren Bacon

darren.bacon@careyolsen.com

This note is intended to provide an outline of the QIF Guidance Note. It is not intended to be comprehensive and should not be acted or relied upon. Specific advice should always be sought.

Read more…

Legal Developments worldwide

Legal Developments and updates from the leading lawyers in each jurisdiction. To contribute, send an email request to