Venable Opens Second West Coast Office: Business of Law
Venable LLP opened a second West Coast office in San Francisco. It will be led by technology transactions and outsourcing partner Jim Nelson, who was previously based in the New York office.
Commercial litigator Tom Wallerstein, formerly of Colt Wallerstein, joins the newly opened office with two associates. Art Cirulnick, a Venable partner in the technology transactions practice, will also join the office, along with an of counsel from the practice.
Carlton Fields Merges With Jorden Burt: Business of Law
Carlton Fields PA is merging with the class-action defense boutique Jorden Burt LLP, creating a firm with 370 legal professionals at 10 offices. The new firm will be led by Carlton Fields Chief Executive Officer Gary Sasso and called Carlton Fields Jorden Burt.
Chinese Man Jailed for Life for Oil Made From Waste
A Chinese court sentenced a man to life in prison for the sale of cooking oil produced from the waste of meat processors as authorities crack down on food-safety violations.
Wang Chengkui, the legal representative for Kangrun Co., will also be deprived of his political rights for life and have all his assets confiscated, the Lianyungang Intermediate People’s Court said in a statement on its website yesterday. The oil Kangrun sold was produced using discarded materials such as skins, chicken buttocks and pig offal, the official Xinhua News Agency reported.
Biggest Danish Banks Need $15.4 Billion Buffer to Meet Rules
Denmark’s biggest banks need to hold 85 billion kroner ($15.4 billion) in additional capital to comply with European requirements and to meet national rules for systemically important lenders.
The number, which doesn’t take into account how much banks have already raised, is an estimate provided by the Business Ministry in Copenhagen, Social Democrat lawmaker and business committee spokesman Benny Engelbrecht said today. Denmark’s too-big-to-fail banks won’t be subject to the nation’s bail-in package, the accord showed.
Not All Voters Equal as States Move to Two-Tier Ballots
Arizona and Kansas, where top state posts come up for grabs next year, are creating two-tiered voting systems to bar some residents from casting ballots in all but congressional races unless they prove they’re U.S. citizens.
The dual methods are in response to a U.S. Supreme Court ruling in June that bars Arizona from rejecting federal voter-registration forms that don’t include proof of citizenship, which is required by both states. To comply, both plan to provide those voters with ballots listing just federal races.
Yellen Fed to Stick With Tougher Rules for Riskiest Banks
As Federal Reserve vice chairman, Janet Yellen played a supportive role in the biggest overhaul of financial regulation since the 1930s. As chairman, she will lead the drive for those policies while monitoring their costs for borrowers and banks.
Since Congress passed the Dodd-Frank Act in July 2010, the Fed has pursued a mission of boosting capital and liquidity standards for the largest, riskiest banks to make them more resilient against economic shocks and less reliant on taxpayer bailouts if they do collapse. Yellen, 67, became vice chairman in October that year and has supported the central bank’s initiatives.
Detroit Ex-Mayor to Be Sentenced as City Seeks to Rebuild
Ex-Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, convicted on 24 counts of public corruption, may get 28 years in prison at his sentencing as U.S. prosecutors seek to link his conduct to the city’s bankruptcy, which came almost five years after he left office.
The 43-year-old Democrat was found guilty in March of racketeering conspiracy, extortion, bribery and tax evasion. An associate, contractor Bobby Ferguson, was also convicted on multiple charges, and his father, Bernard Kilpatrick, was found guilty of filing a false tax return.
Rinehart Daughter Bianca Loses Bid to Manage Family Trust
An Australian judge rejected a request from Bianca Rinehart, daughter of the richest woman in the Asia-Pacific region, to be considered as a candidate to run a $4 billion family trust.
New South Wales Supreme Court Justice Paul Brereton today said Ginia Rinehart, who opposes her sister’s nomination, would need time to investigate Bianca’s suitability. That would require an adjournment of the trial that began in Sydney Oct. 8, Brereton said in “reluctantly” refusing the request.
Unpaid Intern Is Ruled Not an ‘Employee,’ Not Protected From Sexual Harassment
There’s plenty for unpaid interns to complain about—mainly, the lack of money—but apparently it gets worse. Because they’re not paid and don’t receive remuneration such as pension and life insurance, interns don’t always count as employees, which means they’re not always entitled to certain employee protections. For one former unpaid broadcasting intern at Phoenix Satellite Television U.S., that means not being able to bring a sexual harassment claim against her former supervisor, according to a Bloomberg BNA report.
Commodity Prices Wrong as Often as 27% of Time for Traders
Commodities traders who buy and sell as much as $5.67 trillion of raw materials a year say the benchmark prices for everything from oil to iron ore to gasoline are wrong as often as 27 percent of the time.
In a Bloomberg News survey conducted during the past eight weeks, 85 traders and analysts said they have little confidence in the assessed prices of crude, metals and iron ore. Regulators, including European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia, may examine commodities markets, having already increased investigations of manipulation of benchmarks for interest rates, derivatives, foreign exchange and oil.
Fallen Chinese Politburo Member Bo Appeals Graft Conviction
Ousted Chinese Politburo member Bo Xilai appealed his conviction for bribery, abuse of power and embezzlement, maintaining his innocence after a trial that resulted in a life prison sentence.
The Shandong Provincial Higher People’s Court agreed to hear the appeal, according to a statement posted on the court’s website today. Bo was convicted and sentenced Sept. 22, a month after his five-day trial ended.
RBS Said to Pass Currency Trader Chats to FCA Amid Probe
Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc has passed records of instant messages to U.K. regulators after concluding a former currency trader’s communications with counterparts at other firms may have been inappropriate, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.
Caribbean Med School Founder Didn’t Cheat IRS, Jury Told
A Florida psychiatrist never spent any of the millions of dollars that prosecutors claim she hid from the Internal Revenue Service, her attorney told jurors at the start of her tax trial in federal court in Fort Myers.
Patricia Hough, who helped her husband David Fredrick build two Caribbean medical schools, is accused of conspiring to use secret Swiss accounts to cheat the IRS. Prosecutors said the couple didn’t report $34 million they made when the schools were sold in 2007. After their May 15 indictment, Fredrick vanished.
Rinehart Conduct on Trial in Kids’ $4 Billion Trust Suit
Gina Rinehart, after a two-year court battle to strip her of control of her children’s $4 billion trust fund, capitulated last week. Her son and one of her three daughters now want a judge to determine who will replace her.
A trial began in New South Wales Supreme Court in Sydney today, after family talks over who should succeed the richest woman in the Asia-Pacific region as trustee failed. Gina Rinehart won’t be required to appear in court, with the case to be argued by lawyers on written submissions.
Boies Opens in London With Bingham Hire: Business of Law
Boies, Schiller & Flexner LLP is opening its first overseas outpost with a London office headed by securities and finance litigator Natasha Harrison from Bingham McCutchen LLP.
“Natasha is a distinguished English lawyer, with a leading practice in finance litigation and arbitration, areas in which our firm’s work is increasing globally each year,” Boies co-founder Jonathan Schiller said in an e-mail.
Apollo’s $2.5 Billion Cooper Offer in Jeopardy: Corporate India
Apollo Tyres Ltd. (APTY)’s $2.5 billion offer to buy Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (CTB) is nearing collapse after labor disputes in the U.S. and China led the Indian suitor to seek a lower price.
Apollo is seeking to reduce its $35-a-share offer to as low as $26 and is playing delay tactics to attempt to back out of the agreement, which expires Dec. 31, according to an Oct. 4 complaint from Cooper to the Delaware Chancery Court. Gurgaon, India-based Apollo didn’t respond to specific queries seeking comment on Cooper’s allegations, though it said in an Oct. 6 statement on the lawsuit that “the issue now is by how much” the offer should be lowered.
Falcone Banned at Fidelity for 7 Years by N.Y.’s Lawsky
Billionaire Philip Falcone was banned by New York state’s top financial watchdog from being an officer or director of Fidelity & Guaranty Life for seven years for using his hedge funds’ money for his personal taxes.
Falcone, 51, is also barred from “direct or indirect control over the management, policies, operations” and investment funds of Fidelity’s New York unit, the state’s Department of Financial Services said yesterday in a statement. The ban also applies to employees of his hedge fund, Harbinger Capital Partners LLC, which controls the insurance company.
Cuban Tells Jury He Thought He Was Free to Sell Stock
Billionaire Mark Cuban vowed that he wouldn’t be pushed around by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission as he finished two days of testimony in the regulator’s insider-trading case against him.
“I did nothing wrong and I refuse to be bullied,” the owner of pro basketball’s Dallas Mavericks franchise told a jury yesterday in federal court in Dallas.
Amazon Wins Ruling for $600 Million CIA Cloud Contract
Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) defeated International Business Machines Corp. (IBM)’s effort to reopen bidding for a $600 million Central Intelligence Agency cloud computing contract.
Judge Thomas Wheeler of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims in Washington granted Amazon’s request for judgment on the administrative record following a hearing yesterday, according to a minute order posted on the court’s electronic docket. A written opinion will follow, according to the order.
BP Well Dumped 4.2 Million Barrels Into Gulf, U.S. Says
BP Plc (BP/)’s doomed Macondo well dumped 4.2 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico in 2010, a lawyer for the U.S. told a judge who is assessing the size of the spill and how well the company reacted to the disaster.
The U.S. contends 5 million barrels of oil were released from the well, while agreeing with BP that 810,000 barrels were captured by a siphoning device at the wellhead before they could spill into the sea.