Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP Announces 10 Successes

Monday, May 3, 2010 - 01:00

In the span of one month, in 10 marquee engagements, clients of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP achieved tremendous successes in matters ranging from billion-dollar mergers to high-stakes litigation.

Transactions

Akin Gump client FirstEnergy and Allegheny Energy, Inc. announced on February 11 their intention to combine in a stock-for-stock transaction valued at $8.5 billion, creating a leading regional energy provider with approximately $16 billion in annual revenues and $1.4 billion in annual net income.

High-Btu thermal coal producer Consol Energy Inc, represented by Akin's Jim Rice, entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the Appalachian exploration and production business of Dominion Resources, Inc. for $3.475 billion.

China's state-owned energy company CNOOC and Argentina's Bridas Corporation, whose representation was led by Akin Gump's Jim Langdon, announced on March 14 the formation of a 50-50 joint venture in which CNOOC will purchase half of Bridas for $3.1 billion.

Reinsurance giants Max Capital Group Ltd., advised by Kerry Berchem and Jeff Kochian, and Harbor Point Limited announced on March 3 that they would combine in a merger of equals valued at $3 billion.

Japanese trading giant Mitsui & Co. Ltd. signed a deal on February 16 with Akin Gump client Anadarko Petroleum Corp. to buy 32.5 percent of Anadarko's properties in the Pennsylvania portion of Appalachia's Marcellus Shale for $1.4 billion.

In one of the largest pending Chapter 11 cases in the United States, on March 11 a bankruptcy judge in the Southern District of New York approved a $450 million settlement to resolve litigation with creditors of Lyondell Chemical Co. over the company's 2007 leveraged buyout. Akin Gump's Danny Golden, Ira Dizengoff and Phil Dublin represented the largest creditor in the matter.

Akin Gump finalized one of the largest-ever out-of-court restructurings - that of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Companys - on March 9. Lisa Beckerman, Adam Weinstein and Brian Kim represented the Ad Hoc Crossover Lender Group (comprising a number of the world's largest investment management firms), which held $5 billion of the company's debt.

Litigation

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit granted, on March 24, the motion of Raj Rajaratnam, founder of hedge fund Galleon Group, to stay - in a case of first impression - the turnover of wiretap recordings in civil discovery pending an appeal. John Dowd leads the representation of Mr. Rajaratnam.

In two consolidated "reverse-FOIA" cases, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled on March 23 that the Department of Defense and its Defense Contract Management Agency had arbitrarily and capriciously ordered the release of documents evaluating the quality control, manufacturing and assembly processes at United Technologies Corporation's Sikorsky and Pratt & Whitney companies.Akin Gump's Robert Huffman and Patricia Millett represented United Technologies Corporation in the matter.

A federal court jury ruled on March 10 for Akin Gump clients Kinetic Concepts Inc. (KCI) and Wake Forest University, finding that a rival had infringed certain Wake Forest patents licensed to KCI. Larry Macon and Kirt O'Neill led the representation of KCI and Wake Forest at trial. The verdict follows a 2009 federal appeals court affirmation of Akin Gump's 2006 success in upholding the validity of the Wake Forest patents on a separate challenge by other defendants.