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Gray Plant Mooty Attorneys Named 2007 “Super Lawyers”
Gray Plant Mooty is pleased to announce that 25 attorneys were named 2007 “Super Lawyers” and recognized in the August issues of Twin Cities Business and Mpls./St.Paul magazines, as well as the August/September issue of Minnesota Law & Politics. The polling, researching, and selecting of “Super Lawyers” is designed to identify Minnesota lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Only five percent of Minnesota attorneys receive this honor.

07-20-2007

Reed Elsevier announces $4bn sale of Harcourt division
Reed Elsevier has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Harcourt US Schools Education business to Houghton Mifflin Riverdeep Group for a consideration of $4bn, with $3.7bn payable in cash and $0.3bn payable in common stock of Houghton Mifflin Riverdeep Group. The sale is expected to complete by the first half of 2008 following US regulatory review. International law firm Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer is advising Reed Elsevier on the sale.

On completion of the sale and the previously announced disposal of Harcourt Assessment and Harcourt Education International to Pearson plc in May 2007, Reed Elsevier will have sold the whole of its Harcourt Education division for total gross proceeds of $4.95bn, representing 20.8 x 2006 adjusted operating profit. Freshfields also advised Reed Elsevier on the May disposal.

The Freshfields team was led by London corporate partner Julian Long with partner David Crook and associate Michael Hilton, and included partners Edward Evans (finance), Jonathan Cooklin (tax), David Aitman (antitrust competition and trade), Mark Wheelhouse (real estate), Justin Watts (IP/IT), Dan Schaffer (pensions) and Nicholas Squire (employment).

Freshfields is also advising the client on the proposed return of proceeds to shareholders by the two parent companies Reed Elsevier plc and Reed Elsevier NV following the completion of the sale transactions. The team is led by Julian Long in London with corporate associate Jennifer Bethlehem and tax partner Jonathan Cooklin (partner, tax); and in The Netherlands by Robert ten Have (partner, corporate) with Machiel Lambooij (partner, tax).

07-20-2007

Transfomers - Not The Movie But A Successful Subrogation Recovery
The Firm recently successfully prosecuted a subrogation case handled by James M. Hoey and Paul Kerpan against a major electrical equipment supplier concerning a transformer failure in the Detroit, Michigan area.

The Defendants offered cost of defense to settle the case in an offer of judgment, at mediation, and during Michigan’s case evaluation hearing. However, after taking two of the defendants’ three expert depositions over three days, the case settled the next day for seven figures.

Several significant legal issues were litigated against three of defendants entities from U.S., Canada and Switzerland. The Defendants filed for summary judgment based upon several theories. Defendants claimed that under the economic loss doctrine the Plaintiffs were not entitled to pursue a negligence cause of action, but were limited to actions under contract and/or warranty. Although our negligence action was timely filed after the failure, the warranty, if it applied, had expired one year before the transformer failure. Therefore, under Defendants’ theories Plaintiff would have been barred from recovery under all theories.

In Michigan, where a Plaintiff seeks to recover an economic loss resulting from the commercial sale of “goods”, the exclusive remedy is provided by the UCC, and recovery cannot be had under negligence theories. Defendants maintained that the transformer was a “good” and, therefore, came under the UCC. The only damage was to the transformer itself. Because the transformer weighed 1.4 million pounds, was 30 feet in height, and rested on a six foot thick cement foundation, we argued that the transformer was not a “good”, but rather an “improvement to realty.” At the hearing, the Court ruled from the bench that it was a question of fact for the jury to determine whether the transformer was a “good” or an “improvement of realty”, allowing us to proceed under a negligence theory.

The second hurdle to overcome was that a purchase order from the original buyer had been issued to Defendant’s Canada entity. The purchase order referenced a standard warranty given in previous sales by another defendant entity, i.e. USA. However, because Canada did not have the capacity to build the transformer, a third defendant entity, located in Switzerland, agreed to build the transformer. The three Defendants argued that it was “obvious” that Canada issued the warranty for the transformer because the purchase order was directed to Canada and that purchase order referenced the warranty. If that warranty applied, it had expired one year prior to the failure.

We argued that Canada did not design, manufacture, install or receive the proceeds from the sale of the transformer. Because Canada did not in writing subcontract the work to Switzerland, did not in writing or by conduct accept the terms of the purchase order, did not build the transformer, and did not receive payment, then it could not be the contracting entity nor issue a warranty for a transformer for which it received no consideration. Because payment went to Switzerland, and because Switzerland itself did not issue a written warranty, we argued that there was no legally executed contract or warranty. Again, the Court found that it was a question of fact for the jury to determine who the parties to the contract were and whether a valid warranty had been issued.

After we presented experts who gave solid opinion testimony regarding how the transformer failed (design and manufacturing defects), and after the opinions of defendants’ experts were severely attacked in depositions, a successful settlement was reached. The Firm stands ready to prosecute your subrogation matters with the full resources of our creative and experienced subrogation practice group.

07-20-2007

Construction attorney Janet Kim Lin joins Bullivant
Bullivant Houser Bailey PC, a leading West Coast law firm, is pleased to announce the addition of Janet Kim Lin to its Seattle office. Ms. Lin is an associate practicing construction law.

Prior to joining Bullivant, Ms. Lin was an associate with a Seattle firm where she represented contractors in both counseling and litigation roles. Admitted to practice law in Washington and California, she earned her J.D. and M.B.A. from Boston University and her B.A. from the University of Washington.

Ms. Lin was selected as a 2007-2010 fellowship recipient of the American Bar Association Forum on the Construction Industry. She is also is active in the Korean American Bar Association and the Asian Bar Association of Washington, where she serves as a Board Member and past Vice President, respectively. She also currently serves as the Chair of the Joint Asian Judicial Evaluations Committee and sits on the Washington State Bar Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee.

07-20-2007

Greenberg Traurig Receives Three First Place Rankings for Trademark Work
The international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP is pleased to announce that its Trademarks and Global Brand Strategies Group has been recognized as the top ranking practice among law firms in three publications:

* IP Law360 gave the firm top rankings in its survey of the 250+ largest law firms most frequently hired for trademark litigation in 2006.
* Intellectual Property Today ranked the firm first in its annual listing of Top Trademark Firms. The ranking is a result of having the highest number of trademark applications issued in 2006.
* NameProtect Trademark Insider ranked the firm first for three consecutive years for
the number of USPTO trademark applications submitted. The ranking is a result of NameProtect’s annual reports from 2004, 2005 and 2006.

Between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2006 Greenberg Traurig’s Trademark and Global Brand Strategies Group handled 148 federal trademark lawsuits; more than triple that of the firm’s closest competitor and an 18 percent increase from the previous year.

"Every member of our team is diligent at keeping current with the issues that regularly face our clients,” said Rick Harris, Shareholder and National Co-Chair of Greenberg Traurig’s Intellectual Property Litigation Practice. "It’s great to receive this kind of positive feedback and reinforcement for our work."

In addition to these prestigious rankings, Greenberg Traurig’s trademark and global brand strategy attorneys have a significant international presence as they seek to position and protect clients’ valuable brands throughout the world.

Greenberg Traurig brings together a vast network of resources to obtain, monitor, enforce and leverage trademarks and trade dress worldwide. The firm offers a wide range of services in this area of intellectual property, including trademark clearance, licensing or acquisition, registration worldwide, and licensing of rights of publicity (using a name or persona for commercial purposes). Trademark attorneys also work with clients to develop trademark watch services and monitoring programs for their valuable brands, and counsel the clients on global anti-counterfeiting/antiinfringement, anti-parallel trade and other brand enforcement strategies.

Olswang, a London-based law firm with whom Greenberg Traurig has a strategic alliance, has also received similar praise for its trademark team, which is part of its leading Intellectual Property practice. Olswang was recently recognized as "the UK's most active law firm for UK trademark registry filings" by the Institute of Trademark Attorneys. In 2006 the firm increased its filings by 40 percent from the previous year.

Joel Barry, head of the trademark team and partner at Olswang, said, "Our team is going from strength to strength and making a serious impression on the UK legal market. In the last three years the team's size and turnover has more than quadrupled, and in 2006 we filed more UK registry trade mark filings than any other UK firm. Our achievements mirror the success of Greenberg Traurig. Working closely together we offer a truly unique integrated IP offering which appeals to clients and keeps us both ahead of the market."

"While it’s been exciting for us to receive this praise, the feeling has been magnified by the success of our business partners in London," said Roxanne Elings, a New York Shareholder and Chair of the Trademark Practice in New York. “Our alliance with Olswang has further strengthened our abilities to provide our clients with the resources and counsel they need."

"We’re delighted that both our trademark group and Olswang’s have received these well deserved accolades," said Richard Rosenbaum, National Operating Shareholder. "Their extensive knowledge of trademark matters is unparalleled and we wish the groups continued success."

07-20-2007

Venable Closes $500 Million in Deals Thus Far in 2007, Keeps Pace in Frenzied Government Contracts M&A Market
Venable LLP announced today that its Government Contractor Services Group has closed eight transactions involving companies in the government contracting industry since the first of the year. The transactions have a total announced value of $500 million.

Venable’s robust deal activity so far in 2007 demonstrates the firm’s leadership as the industry diversifies away from its traditional roots and the market for government contracting companies continues to grow.

“The most obvious sell-side trend we’ve observed recently,” said Joe Schmelter, co-chair of Venable’s industry-specific Government Contractor Services Group, “is the increased variety in the types of interested buyers. In addition to traditional strategic buyers, we are seeing more private equity groups and SPACs – special purpose acquisition companies – showing real interest in our clients. Of the four sell-side transactions we’ve closed so far this year, two have been to strategic buyers, one was to a private equity buyer and one was to a former SPAC,” Schmelter said. He noted that of the Group’s eight deals closed thus far in 2007, exactly half have been on the “buy side” and half on the “sell side.”

Wallace Christner, a partner at Venable and one of the firm’s leading M&A attorneys added: “The buy-side market remains very competitive, with buyers willing to pay significant premiums to complete transactions complementing existing strengths or providing access to new markets.”

Transactions Venable closed so far during 2007 include:

* RepresentedCritiCom, Inc.in its agreement to be acquired by Ultra Electronics Defense Inc., an indirect subsidiary of Ultra Electronics Holdings plc (UK: ULE) for $23 million (July 2007)
* Represented Swales & Associates, Inc. (Swales Aerospace) in its sale to Alliant Techsystems Inc. (NYSE: ATK) (June 2007; terms not disclosed)
* RepresentedManTech International Corp (Nasdaq: MANT) in its acquisition of SRS Technologies, Inc. for $195 million in cash (May 2007)
* RepresentedDataline Holdings, Inc. in the sale of its subsidiary , Dataline, Inc. toDLN Holdings LLC, an affiliate of the White Oak Group (April 2007; terms not disclosed)
* RepresentedSuntiva, LLCin its acquisition of the Professional Services Division ofC-Systems International Corporation (Apr.2007; terms not disclosed)
* RepresentedStanley, Inc.(NYSE: SXE) in its acquisition of Techrizon, LLC for approximately $30 million in cash (Apr. 2007)
* RepresentedReliable Integration Services, Inc. in its sale to ATS Corporation (OTCBB: ATCT) (Mar. 2007; terms not disclosed)
* Represented Perot Systems Corporation(NYSE: PER), and its subsidiary Perot Systems Government Services, Inc., in their acquisition of QSS Group, Inc. for $250 million in cash (Jan.2007)

In addition, Venable represented Advanced Concepts, Inc. in its agreement to be sold to L-1 Identity Solutions, Inc. (NYSE: ID) for $71.5 million in cash and the potential for an additional $6 million if key performance thresholds are attained. The transaction is expected to close upon completion of customary conditions.

Venable attorneys involved in the firm’s 2007 transactions include:

Mergers & Acquisitions: Wallace Christner, partner; Jimmy Dvorak, partner; Beth Hughes, partner; Joe Schmelter, partner; Erin Galper, associate; Monica Grande, associate; and Emily Murphy, associate

Government Contracts: Scott Hommer, partner; Bill Walsh, partner; Keir Bancroft, associate and Peter Riesen, associate

Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation: Andrea O’Brien and John Wilhelm, partners

Intellectual Property: Nora Garrote, partner; andAJ Zottola, associate

Tax: Norman Lencz, partner; and Brian Masterson, associate

07-20-2007

Shearman & Sterling Dominates Infrastructure Journal League Tables
Shearman & Sterling’s global leadership in the Projects sector has been recognized in Infrastructure Journal’s latest league table results, which monitor deals closed in the first six months of 2007.

The firm has dominated a number of the league table’s legal adviser categories and has been ranked as the top legal adviser for closed Power deals globally. The firm also ranked as the No.1 Projects Legal Adviser in the Middle East and North Africa.

Globally Shearman & Sterling is ranked in the top three overall for closed deals. The firm also features in the top five legal advisers for the North America and Petrochemicals categories and the top 20 legal advisers for the Transport, Mining, and Renewables adviser in the wind sector, categories.

Commenting on the firm’s ranking Nick Buckworth, head of the PDF team at Shearman & Sterling, said: “Playing a leading role in a Project which closes, is a true measure of a law firm’s performance in the sector. When you consider the much larger size of many of our competitors this is a truly extraordinary result for the Shearman & Sterling team and very much validates the ‘high end’ focus of the firm’s strategy.”

07-20-2007

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