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Wake Up Call: Big Law Advises on $2.4 Billion Real Estate Investment Deal

June 4, 2019, 11:59 AM
  • Hunton Andrews Kurth advised Hospitality Properties Trust in a $2.4 billion real estate investment trust deal in which HPT acquired a net lease portfolio from Spirit MTA REIT. The portfolio includes 774 service-oriented retail properties net leased to tenants in 22 different industries. Morrison & Foerster said it represented Bank of America Merrill Lynch in its role as financial advisor to HPT in the deal. (

  • Legal tech companies that gather and publish statistical data on judges’ decisions could face up to five years in prison under a new French justice reform law, a report says. The measure, potentially the first of its kind, aims to prevent companies focused on litigation prediction and analytics from publishing analytical information on specific judges’ court decisions. The report cites legal tech experts in France who said the measure grew out of judges’ desire to stay anonymous and fears about what artificial intelligence-powered analysis could reveal about their decisions. (Artificial Lawyer)

  • Former Williams & Connolly litigation partner and Pfizer top lawyer Allen Waxman has taken a job as CEO and president of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, a global nonprofit that promotes dispute prevention and resolution services and practices, the New York-based organization said. Waxman, most recently at Roivant Sciences, a start-up building biotech and healthcare technology companies, was also partner and life sciences group chair at Kaye Scholer, now part of Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer. He starts the new job Aug. 15, replacing Noah J. Hanft, who is a former Mastercard GC. (

  • As Crowell & Moring turns 40, it’s eying growth far beyond its Washington base. (BLAW via BLB)

  • McDermott Will & Emery grabbed Mayer Brown Supreme Court and appellate partners Paul W. Hughes and Michael B. Kimberly, who between them have argued 10 cases before the high court. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Mayer Brown and a Stanford Law School project won the release of a nonviolent offender who’d served 23 years of a life sentence under California’s three strikes law, for a conviction for “joyriding.” (

  • Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler added former Sotheby’s Inc. senior vice president and associate general counsel Anne-Laure Alléhaut as New York-based counsel in its art & museum practice. (

  • Hughes Hubbard added two lawyers to its Latin American practice. International disputes litigator Diego Durán de la Vega joined as partner in Washington, arriving from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan. Project finance lawyer James K. Alford joins as counsel from Stinson and will split his time between Washington and Miami. (

  • BakerHostetler’s federal policy team in Washington added a former chief counsel of the House Financial Services Committee, Kevin Edgar, who joined as counsel. (BLAW via BLB)

Lawyers, Law Firms

  • King & Spalding grabbed two financial restructuring partners from Latham & Watkins, with Roger Schwartz joining in New York, and Matthew Warren making the move in Chicago. (

  • Kirkland & Ellis hired Simpson Thacher & Bartlett associate Rustin Brown as a partner in the firm’s growing energy and infrastructure projects practice in Washington. (BLAW via BLB)

  • Hogan Lovells said its Northern Virginia office has moved to new premises on the 16th and 17th floors of the 20-floor Boro Tower in Tysons Corner. (

  • Midatlantic firm Archer & Greiner appointed shareholder Deborah A. Hays to become the first female chair of its board of directors, beginning Oct. 1. She’ll replace James H. Carll, who’s had the role for 17 years. (

Laterals, Moves

  • Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher added tax lawyer Edward S. Wei, who joins the firm as a partner in New York, arriving from Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft. (

  • Gibson Dunn also added real estate lawyer Kimberly Schlanger as a partner in Houston, getting her from Baker Botts. (Gibson Dunn)

  • Sidley Austin added Gibson Dunn restructuring partner Sam Newman to its global restructuring group as a partner in L.A. (

  • Sidley also added capital markets lawyer Nigel Wilson in London as a partner. Wilson, who joins from Maples Group where he was a partner, previously spent 12 years as a partner at Davis Polk & Wardwell. (

  • Eversheds Sutherland added 30-year real estate veteran John J. Busillo in New York as a partner. He arrives from Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer. (

  • Plantiffs firm DiCello Levitt Gutzler hired former Gibson Dunn lawyer Justin Nematzadeh from class action firm Pomerantz, as a partner in its New York office. (

  • Alternative dispute resolution services provider JAMS added retired Santa Clara County, California, superior court presiding judge Risë Jones Pinchon to its panel in Silicon Valley. (

  • Calibrate Legal Inc., a law firm management consulting and executive search firm, said it hired law firm marketing veteran Kathryn B. Whitaker as director of recruiting and consulting strategy. (


  • Texas-based Locke Lord promoted consumer finance litigator Brendan Herbert to partner, based in Miami and West Palm Beach, Florida. (


  • Wilson Sonsini expects to make “millions” from its new cloud-based app for helping companies comply with California’s new privacy law. (BLAW via BLB)

  • A New York- and Barcelona-based legal tech start-up that counts Facebook, Electronic Arts, Dropbox, and Fitbit among its customers said it closed an $11 million series A equity funding round. Onna Technologies said corporate legal departments use its platform for legal discovery, compliance, knowledge management, and enterprise search. (

To contact the correspondent on this story: Rick Mitchell in Paris at

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom P. Taylor at; Rebekah Mintzer at