Business & Practice

Wake Up Call: Big Firms Advise in SoftBank Joint Venture for Japanese Internet Giant

Nov. 19, 2019, 12:51 PM
  • SoftBank Group Corp. and South Korean search group Naver Corp. announced a joint venture aimed at creating a Japanese internet champion to take on global giants such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon.com. (BN) An SEC document for the deal lists Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton advising Naver, and Simpson Thacher & Bartlett advising SoftBank. (Securities and Exchange Commission) The complex deal, which requires Japanese regulatory approval, calls for combining Softbank’s Yahoo Japan internet business with messaging app Line Corp., which is 73% owned by Naver, into an approximately $30 billion company. (Financial Times)

  • Cooley is advising Kylie Jenner’s cosmetics company Kylie Cosmetics on its joint venture with multinational beauty brand company Coty Inc., which is buying a 51% equity stake in Kylie Cosmetics for $600 million. (BN) In October, Coty got advice from K&L Gates for its deal with television and film star Lili Reinhart in which Reinhart will be the face of makeup brand CoverGirl. (BLB)

  • Royal Dutch Shell said its general counsel of global litigation, Richard Hill, is taking over as general counsel of its downstream sector and will be based in London. Hill replaces Martin Bambridge, who left the group for health reasons. Houston-based in-house lawyer Kimberly Phillips will take over as general counsel of global litigation. She was previously associate general counsel of global litigation for the Americas. (Corporate Counsel)

  • Dentons, the world’s biggest law firm by headcount, is in talks with several Florida firms as a key part of its plan to build a “national” U.S. law firm, using regional firms as building blocks. Dentons’ global chairman Joe Andrew talked recently to American Lawyer about the plan. (American Lawyer)

  • DLA Piper hired former Amazon.com in-house lawyer John Maselli as a corporate partner in San Francisco. He arrives most recently from Goodwin Procter and advises private equity clients on domestic and cross-border M&A deals. (DLAPiper.com)

  • The University of Pennsylvania Carey School of Law will continue to be known informally as “Penn Law” but only until 2022, the school’s dean said. The announcement followed a week of criticism from students and alumni unhappy with the school’s rebranding after it got a $125 million donation from the W.P. Carey Foundation. (Law.com)

  • News publisher The McClatchy Co. has hired Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom as it mulls filing for bankruptcy within the next year. The California-based company, which has 29 newspapers including the Miami Herald, The Charlotte Observer, and The Kansas City Star, has hundreds of millions of dollars in pension obligations and debt. (BN via BLAW)

U.S. Supreme Court

  • U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts temporarily blocked a House panel’s subpoena for President Trump’s financial records while the Supreme Court considers a request for a longer delay. (BN via BLAW)

  • The Supreme Court refused to hear “Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli’s appeal of his fraud conviction. (CNN)

Lawyers, Law Firms, Deals

  • The Justice Department’s top antitrust lawyer, Makan Delrahim, criticized the American Bar Association’s “unqualified” rating of a federal appellate nominee, Lawrence VanDyke. (BLAW)

  • The University of Cincinnati College of Law renamed its Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice in honor of retired federal appeals court Judge Nathaniel R. Jones, a “civil rights leader” whose past jobs include federal prosecutor and top lawyer at the NAACP. Jones is now of counsel at Blank Rome, where he was the first chief officer for diversity and inclusion. (UC.edu)

Laterals, Moves, In-house, Promotions

  • Latham & Watkins hired Gibson Dunn investment funds lawyer Edward Nelson as a partner in New York. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Duane Morris hired corporate lawyer Sam Pearse as a partner in its London office, recruiting him from Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Kirkland grabbed Latham & Watkins M&A partner Debbie Yee for its Houston office, which has about 200 lawyers. Yee advises energy companies in deals and also advises on capital markets. (Texas Lawyer)

  • Carlton Fields hired the general counsel of Hillsborough County’s Environmental Protection Commission, Richard T. Tschantz, in Tampa as of counsel in its government law and consulting practice. (CarltonFields.com)

  • McGuireWoods elected 12 lawyers to partner effective Jan. 1, 2020, including five women. (McGuireWoods.com)

Legal Actions, Bankruptcies, Decisions

  • A federal shareholder class action against Boeing Co. over statements the company made about the safety of its troubled 737 MAX aircraft will be led by the Public Employees Retirement System of Mississippi, an Illinois federal judge ruled. Bernstein Litowitz Berger & Grossman is lead counsel for the retirement system, which claims it lost $2.5 million, while Boeing is advised by Kirkland & Ellis. (BLAW)

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at rMitchell@correspondent.bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebekah Mintzer at rmintzer@bloomberglaw.com; Jessica Coomes at jcoomes@bloomberglaw.com

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