Akin Gump Wins Summary Judgment, Dismissal For Freeman In EEOC Case

Friday, July 26, 2013 - 11:49

An Akin Gump effort led by partner Don Livingston won summary judgment and dismissal of a suit brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against client Freeman, the leading global partner for integrated marketing solutions for live engagements.

In EEOC v. Freeman, the EEOC had claimed that Freeman’s use of job applicants’ credit histories and criminal convictions had a disparate impact on African-American, Hispanic and male job applicants.

Mr. Livingston said, “This case has far-reaching implications for employers across the country that have been under the EEOC’s scrutiny recently. This is a win not only for Freeman, but for the rights of U.S. companies to utilize reasonable and rational practices to safeguard their workplaces.”

Don Livingston is a former general counsel of the EEOC, where he was responsible for the federal government’s enforcement of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Equal Pay Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

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Akin Gump has been honored by The American Lawyer for its work on the Rosneft/TNK-BP transaction, which was selected as the “Global M&A Deal of the Year: Russia” in Am Law’s inaugural Global Legal Awards.

Akin Gump advised leading private business group Renova, a member of the Alfa-Access-Renova (AAR) consortium, in relation to the sale of AAR’s stake in TNK-BP to Rosneft for an all-cash consideration of $28 billion. The deal, signed in December 2012 and closed earlier this year, is the largest-ever corporate transaction in the history of modern Russia.

The Akin Gump team advising Renova in relation to corporate and other aspects of the transaction was led by Moscow corporate and tax partner Ilya Rybalkin and London partner in charge and corporate partner Steve Blakeley.

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Joe’s Jeans Inc. and Hudson Clothing Holdings, Inc. recently announced that they have signed a definitive stock purchase agreement under which Joe’s Jeans will acquire privately held Hudson. The total purchase price for Hudson will be approximately $97.6 million, subject to certain adjustments, and will be payable in cash and convertible notes issued by Joe’s Jeans.

The Akin Gump team that counseled Joe’s Jeans in this widely reported transaction comprised corporate partners Bruce Mendelsohn and Russ Parks, corporate senior counsel Erica McGrady Johnson and Jeffrey Werbitt, counsel Allison Miller and Frank Wilkosz, associate Ashleigh Hall, litigation partner Steve Pesner and tax partner Howard Jacobson.

This is the latest in a series of high-profile apparel industry deals in which Akin Gump has been involved.  In May, the firm represented True Religion Apparel in its merger agreement with TowerBrook Capital Partners.  

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Akin Gump has announced that Pratik A. Shah, most recently an assistant to the solicitor general at the U.S. Department of Justice, will be joining the firm as co-head of the Supreme Court practice and a partner in the national appellate practice in the firm’s Washington, DC office.

Mr. Shah had served in the Office of the Solicitor General since 2008, where he argued 13 cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and authored merits briefs in 10 others.  In that capacity, he handled some of the office’s most challenging cases, including those on issues ranging from same-sex marriage to securities law and from tax and ERISA law to Indian and environmental law.  Prior to his time in the Office of the Solicitor General, Mr. Shah worked at another large international law firm in its appellate and Supreme Court practice. 

Patricia Millett, who heads the firm’s Supreme Court practice and co-heads the national appellate practice, noted, “I could not be more pleased that Pratik will be joining Akin Gump.  He is a brilliant advocate with a rigorously analytical mind, and his broad experience and superb academic background will contribute materially to our provision of the highest-caliber appellate representation for our clients.”

An experienced Supreme Court advocate, both at the Office of the Solicitor General and in private practice, Mr. Shah was a Hugo Black Faculty Fellow at the University of Alabama School of Law, where he taught and wrote about constitutional law.  Prior to that, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer and Judge William A. Fletcher of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

Mr. Shah has received a number of recognitions for his advocacy before the Supreme Court, including the IRS National Chief Counsel Award for Hall v. United States (2012) and the Justice Department, Environment & Natural Resources Division, Special Commendation for United States v. Jicarilla Apache Nation (2011).

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Akin Gump has announced that Steven F. Reich, who, until recently, served as associate deputy attorney general at the U.S. Department of Justice, has joined the firm as a New York-based partner in the firm’s white collar defense and government investigations practice. 

Mr. Reich is a prominent trial and white collar defense lawyer whose practice at Akin Gump will focus on representing companies and individuals in significant matters involving criminal and civil litigation as well as in congressional and internal investigations.

At the Department of Justice, Mr. Reich was a senior advisor to Attorney General Eric Holder and Deputy Attorney General James Cole and supervised a staff of nearly two dozen lawyers responsible for defending the department and its leaders in investigations conducted by Congress and watchdog agencies.  Earlier in his career, Mr. Reich was senior associate counsel to President Bill Clinton, at which time he led a team responsible for defending the president and other senior White House officials in independent counsel and congressional investigations. 

Prior to his service at the Department of Justice, Mr. Reich was, for many years, the co-chair of the white collar defense practice group at a national law firm, where he represented clients in securities, health care, pharmaceutical and financial fraud matters. 

Mr. Reich also served on the staff of former Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle, and, before that, as deputy chief investigative counsel for the minority members of the House Committee on the Judiciary.  Previously, Mr. Reich was an assistant federal public defender for the District of Maryland, where he tried numerous federal criminal cases to juries.