Akin Gump Project Finance, Environment Attorneys Named As Law360 Rising Stars

Monday, April 23, 2012 - 10:20

Akin Gump attorneys David H. Quigley and Daniel P. Sinaiko have been honored by Law360 as among its “2012 Rising Stars,” which recognizes attorneys under the age of 40 with accomplishments in major litigation or transactions.

David Quigley, honored in the “Environmental” category, is a partner in the firm’s Washington, D.C., office in the environment, natural resources and land practice. He handles an array of environmental matters, including transactional, enforcement litigation, regulatory compliance, lobbying and legislative development. Law360 featured his work on behalf of the U.S. division of French steel pipemaker Vallourec, his victories in representing former owners of power plants in Clean Air Act litigation and his role in valuing environmental liabilities on behalf of the unsecured creditors in Chemtura Corp’s bankruptcy proceedings.

Daniel Sinaiko, honored in the “Project Finance” category, is a partner in the firm’s Downtown Los Angeles office in the global project finance practice. He primarily represents developers, sponsors, lenders and investors in development, debt finance, equity finance, merger and acquisition transactions for capital and infrastructure projects in the renewable energy sector. Law360 spotlighted his work on behalf of North America’s largest wind and solar farms, including Shepherds Flat, the largest wind farm in North America, for Caithness Energy LLC; Ivanpah Solar Energy Generating System, slated to be the largest utility-scale solar power plant in the world, for BrightSource Energy Inc.; and the California Valley Solar Ranch for NRG Energy Inc. and SunPower Corp. 

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A team of Akin Gump attorneys achieved a unanimous decision from the U.S. Supreme Court in favor of firm client Steve Filarsky in the case Filarsky v. Delia, an important case concerning qualified immunity from suit for private individuals retained by the government to carry out its work.

Mr. Filarsky, an attorney in private practice, was retained by the city of Rialto, California, to conduct an internal investigation of firefighter Nicholas Delia. Delia later sued, claiming a violation of his constitutional rights during the investigation. The court of appeals granted immunity to all of the government officials involved in the investigation, but held that Filarsky was not entitled to qualified immunity because he was not an employee of the city.

A team of Akin Gump attorneys was brought in to argue the case before the Supreme Court. In its unanimous decision, the Court reversed and held that private individuals temporarily retained to perform governmental work are equally eligible for qualified immunity.  The Court reasoned that such immunity ensures that talented individuals are not deterred from providing public representation or service by the threat of personal damages liability.

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Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP is advising long-standing client ExxonMobil in its ongoing multibillion-dollar joint venture agreement with Rosneft.

The two companies signed agreements on April 16 in New York to implement the long-term Strategic Cooperation Agreement, which was initially signed in August 2011, to jointly explore for and develop oil and natural gas in Russia and to share technology and expertise.

These latest agreements form joint ventures to manage an exploration program in the Kara Sea and Black Sea. Exploration began in the Tuapse licence block in Russia’s Black Sea in September 2011, and drilling of the first exploration well is planned for 2014-2015. Seismic and environmental programs are also planned for the Kara Sea’s Prinovozemelsky Blocks later in 2012, with drilling to begin in 2014. The two companies will also work jointly to develop technologies for oil production in Western Siberia.

International corporate transactions partners Richard Wilkie and Alexey Kondratchik in Akin Gump’s Moscow office are leading the team advising ExxonMobil, supported by counsel Oleg Isaev (corporate) and associates Ivan Meleshenko (tax) and Alexander Shalaev (antitrust) in Moscow and senior counsel Ned Barlas (intellectual property) in New York.

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Weil has announced a substantial expansion in its Hong Kong office, following continued growth in its private equity and M&A practices.  Weil is moving to new premises in Alexandra House in Hong Kong’s Central business district.  This will more than double Weil’s current office space and will accommodate all its current lawyers in Hong Kong as well as expected future growth. 
This move follows continued momentum and accolades for Weil as one of the leading private equity and M&A practices in Asia.  Weil was recently awarded Private Equity Team of the Year in Asia by the International Financial Law Review for the second year running, and also awarded Private Equity International Firm of the Year in China by Chambers Asia.  This follows a highly successful year for Weil in Asia representing leading private equity sponsors, financial institutions and global and regional corporations in their most complex and important transactions. 
“The Hong Kong office has seen significant growth over the last few years.  We have not only outgrown our current offices but we expect continued growth in our existing market leading practice. This move will give us the space to further expand our team to meet the demands of our growing client base in Asia,” says Akiko Mikumo, Asia Managing Partner and head of Weil’s Hong Kong office.