Akin Gump Secures ITC Win; Named Among Law360’s Pro Bono Firms of the Year; Advises Alliance Data Systems In $2.3 Billion Acquisition

Friday, October 17, 2014 - 11:52

Akin Gump obtained a 5-1 decision at the International Trade Commission on behalf of Shikoku Chemicals Corporation and Shikoku International Corporation in which the Commission ruled there is no injury or threat of injury from chlorinated isocyanurates (swimming pool chemicals) from Japan. The Commission, at the same time, determined that there is a threat of injury from China.

Bernd Janzen, a partner in Akin Gump’s international trade practice, led the team that represented the Japanese exporter Shikoku and its affiliated U.S. importer. He was joined by partner Valerie Slater, counsel Nazak Nikakhtar, associate Henry Almond, consultant Phyllis Derrick and staff attorney Yun Lee.


Akin Gump is pleased to announce it has been named one of Law360’s Pro Bono Firms of 2014. This is the second straight year Akin Gump has received this honor, which recognizes law firms that “went above and beyond for their pro bono clients” during the past 12 months.

As part of its reporting, Law360 cited several of Akin Gump’s cases from the past year. They include:

  • A case in Texas, in which partners Barry Chasnoff and Neel Lane argued for the rights of two same-sex couples to marry. U.S. District Judge Orlando Garcia agreed and issued an injunction prohibiting the state from enforcing a constitutional ban against such marriages.
  • On behalf of the Inter-Tribal Council of Arizona, the firm defeated an Arizona voter registration law that disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters. Arguing before the U.S. Supreme Court, former partner Patricia Millett (currently a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals) and senior counsel Michael Small secured a 7-2 decision striking down Arizona’s evidence of citizen requirement, which the Court said was preempted by the National Voter Registration Act.
  • Litigation partner Mark MacDougall convinced a South Carolina jury to unanimously recommend life imprisonment over the death penalty for a man convicted of a 2009 double murder. The result was South Carolina’s first unanimous verdict of life imprisonment in more than 12 years.

Steven Schulman, Akin Gump’s pro bono practice head and president of the Association of Pro Bono Counsel, tells Law360 the firm handles as many as 800 pro bono cases per year, which are referred to the firm by its many legal aid partners across the country. The firm’s latest major project involves work with Central American women and children detained by the Department of Homeland Security in Karnes City, Texas.


Akin Gump advised Alliance Data Systems Corporation in the execution of a definitive agreement whereby it will purchase Conversant, Inc. for approximately $2.3 billion in cash and stock.

Alliance Data is a leading provider of loyalty and marketing solutions. Conversant is a digital marketing company. The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of the two companies, is subject to regulatory approval and customary closing conditions and is expected to close by the end of the year.

Joseph L. Motes III, a partner in Akin Gump’s corporate practice, led the team from the firm advising Alliance Data. He was joined by partners Jeffrey Kochian and Alan Laves, senior counsel Irina Maistrenko and associates Sophia Dwosh, Alyssa Dossick, Lech Wilkiewicz and Rachel Evans, all of the corporate practice; tax partner Dan Micciche and senior counsel Michael Gerald; antitrust and unfair competition partner Paul Hewitt and associate George Laevsky; and intellectual property senior counsel David Lee. This transaction was featured as Texas Lawyer’s “Deal of the Week” for the week of September 15.