October 23, 2009
Latham & Watkins won praise in a number of Legal Expertise categories in the 2009 Financial Times Innovative Lawyers awards, including:
"Standout" in the Dispute Resolution (non credit crisis) category for the firm's representation of RTL Group S.A. and Music Choice Limited against the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC) ending a 70-year pan-European cartel in music copyright licensing, with the Financial Times noting: "Challenging the accepted rule that music cartels were sacrosanct, the firm proved that a 1989 judgment does not apply in the digital age. Eight years of lobbying saw a decision overturning the cartels."
"Commended" in the US Financial Crisis category for private equity client Leonard Green & Partners' complex convertible preferred stock investment in Whole Foods Market, Inc., in what has become the industry model for highly designed structured PIPE investments and which the Financial Times described as establishing "a new standard of long-term PIPE investments."
"Commended" in the US Financial Crisis category for the firm's defense of Impac Mortgage Holdings, Inc. in securities fraud and ERISA class actions in the US District Court in Orange County, CA, with the Financial Times adding: "The firm defended Impac Mortgage Holdings from allegations of misrepresenting the risks of their real estate subprime loans to investors. Encouraged the US courts to strictly interpret the law and set a precedent which is being referred to in subsequent cases."
Latham & Watkins was also recognized in the Client Service category, receiving a "Highly Commended" ranking for the outsourcing team's Capture tool which provides for a faster, cheaper and better way for clients to capture their requirements for complex outsourcing contracts. The Financial Times stated: "It reduces expenditure while focusing clients on the key issues." Latham's sophisticated videoconference strategy was "Commended" in the Law Firm Management category. The videoconference strategy utilizes cutting-edge expertise and highly integrated communications technologies, including 'next generation' telepresence technologies, to "simulate the dynamics of real meetings … inter-connect with notebooks and has been used by their clients in negotiations."