Akin Gump Advises On Private Equity Deal Of The Year At The IFLR Europe Awards 2013; Welcomes Kim Koopersmith As Chair

Monday, April 15, 2013 - 10:38

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has announced that it advised on the Equity Deal of the Year at the International Financial Law Review (IFLR) European Awards 2013. The firm also advised on the Private Equity Deal of the Year at the IFLR Asia Awards 2013 held in Hong Kong in February. IFLR’s awards are the only awards that recognize legal innovation in international finance.

Akin Gump advised AF Telecom, as the majority shareholder in OAO MegaFon, in relation to MegaFon’s initial public offering (IPO) listed on the London Stock Exchange. The IPO raised $1.7 billion, and the company currently has a market capitalization of over $18 billion.

The IPO followed on from the $8.5 billion shareholder restructuring of MegaFon, announced in April 2012, on which Akin Gump also advised.

Varun Gupta, who co-led the Akin Gump team working on this transaction, commented, “This is a highly significant transaction for Russian corporates because it demonstrates that Russian companies can achieve tremendous results in the public markets, even in the current climate.”

He added, “We are proud of our role in the IPO and the pre-IPO shareholder restructuring, which was forward-looking and resulted in the streamlining of the corporate shareholder structure and the introduction of additional corporate governance provisions, both of which contributed significantly to the success of this IPO.”

The team advising AF Telecom was led by Akin Gump Moscow capital markets partner Varun Gupta and London corporate partner Artem Faekov, supported by a team of corporate and capital markets lawyers in the firm’s Moscow and London offices.

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On April 1, Kim Koopersmith assumed the role of chair of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, succeeding R. Bruce McLean, who had led the firm for 20 years and remains at Akin Gump as a partner.  Ms. Koopersmith, formerly the firm’s U.S. managing partner, is the first woman to serve as Akin Gump’s chair and one of few women at the helm of an Am Law 100 firm.

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In its survey of “The 100 Most Influential Lawyers in America,” The National Law Journal selected for recognition senior executive partner Joel Jankowsky of the firm’s policy and regulation practice and partner Patricia Millett, head of Akin Gump’s Supreme Court practice and co-head of its appellate practice.

In choosing attorneys for recognition on the list, the Law Journal selected those “who have shaped the legal world through their work in the courtroom, at the negotiating table, in the classroom or in government.” The publication considered qualities including political clout, legal results, media penetration, business credibility and thought leadership.

Mr. Jankowsky was spotlighted as being “at the center of the highest-grossing lobbying practice in Washington” and for his receipt of the Business-Government Relations Award from the Bryce Harlow Foundation, a nonprofit organization that promotes ethical lobbying.

Ms. Millett’s history-making 31st argument before the U.S. Supreme Court – at the time, the most ever by a woman – and her ongoing work on “high-profile, high-stakes cases” before the Court and on the appellate circuit were featured.

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Akin Gump was named to the inaugural Top 10 Clean Technology Firms ranking compiled by LMG Clean Technology & Renewable Energy, and two of its attorneys were recognized among the top 100 practitioners in the clean technology space.

The ranking notes, “The corporate team at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is the backbone of one of the most well-balanced clean technology and renewable energy practices in the market” and that “Edward Zaelke and Adam Umanoff” – two of the global project finance practice’s co-chairs, who were separately named to LMG’s “CleanTech 100” – “are two of the industry’s most accomplished practitioners.” Mr. Zaelke was noted by one attorney interviewed for the feature as “a leading figure and what young professionals should aspire to become,” while Mr. Umanoff was noted for his impressive list of clients and “knowledge of the industry and the marketplace.”

The Top 10 were selected on the basis of “[t]he breadth of their clean technology and renewable energy practices, their representative experience, and the recognition of their peers.” Interviews were conducted with, and surveys completed by, partners working in the field; clients were also consulted regarding their experience with attorneys and firms in this marketplace.