Latham & Watkins Names 18 New Partners, 21 New Counsel

New partners and counsel possess broad industry and practice expertise.

November 14, 2012

Latham & Watkins LLP1 is pleased to announce that 18 associates have been elected to the partnership, and 21 associates have been promoted to the role of counsel, effective January 1, 2013.

“The careers of these attorneys have been propelled by a commitment to client service, proven legal talent and important contributions to our firm’s business across a range of transactional, litigation and regulatory practice areas,” said Robert M. Dell, Chairman and Managing Partner of Latham & Watkins. “We congratulate the new partners and counsel on their many accomplishments, and we know they will continue to exhibit the collegial spirit and dedication to our clients that are hallmarks of Latham & Watkins.”

The attorneys elected to the partnership are:


Shaun D. Hartley is a corporate lawyer whose practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions for private equity firms and public and private companies. Hartley has worked on a broad variety of M&A transactions, including leveraged acquisitions, divestitures of business divisions, going-private transactions and other strategic acquisitions and dispositions, in the following industries: manufacturing, consumer products, hospitality, automotive, healthcare and technology, among others. His practice also includes joint ventures and general company representation matters. He received his JD from the University of North Carolina School of Law in 2003.


Christine Gärtner is a litigator with broad experience in complex commercial litigation, especially in banking-related litigation including in the context of the reorganization and liquidation of banks. In addition, she focusses on commercial arbitration and has particular experience in financial industry disputes. Her experience encompasses directors’ and officers’ liability as well as post-M&A disputes.  Gärtner represents clients before German courts as well as in domestic and international arbitrations. She completed the Second German State Exam at Higher Regional Court, Saarland, in 2003 and received her LLM from Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law, Dallas, in 2001.


Ross Anderson is a finance lawyer with extensive experience across a broad range of issues in banking law, with particular emphasis on matters relating to leverage finance and private equity finance deals. Anderson has particular experience in relation to cross-border acquisition financing transactions, where he acts for financial institutions, private equity sponsors and major corporations. He received his Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Edinburgh in 2001 and completed his LLB at the University of Aberdeen in 2000. He is qualified to practice in Scotland and England & Wales.

Mohamed Nurmohamed is a finance lawyer with experience across a broad range of issues in banking law. Nurmohamed’s practice covers complex finance transactions, with a particular focus on cross-border acquisition and leveraged finance deals. He acts for global financial institutions, private equity sponsors and major corporations. Nurmohamed completed his LPC at Cardiff Law School in 2001 and his LLB at the University of Wales in 2000.


Melanie M. Blunschi is a litigator who specializes in complex business litigation, including professional liability matters, securities class actions, shareholder derivative claims and other business disputes. Blunschi regularly represents professional services firms, public companies and utilities in their largest cases, and she has significant expertise in SEC and other regulatory investigations and enforcement proceedings. She received her JD from Stanford Law School 2004.

Duncan Joseph Moore is an environmental and land use attorney whose practice focuses on obtaining and defending project-siting and environmental approvals for major infrastructure, energy and development projects. He represents developers, land owners, institutions and utilities before local, state and federal agencies, and he defends project approvals in court. He has helped clients obtain and defend approvals for numerous projects across the development spectrum, including the two largest seawater desalination facilities in the Western Hemisphere, medical and scientific research facilities, urban skyscrapers, mixed-use and multi-family developments, hotels and sports and entertainment complexes, oil drilling and processing facilities, and power plants and major transmission lines. He received his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2004.


David Stewart is a corporate lawyer with a diversified Russia/CIS debt and equity capital markets practice. He regularly acts for issuers, underwriters and depositary banks with respect to public and private offerings of debt and equity, tender offers and liability management exercises. He also plays an active role in the firm’s Russia/CIS public and private M&A practice. He has been based in Moscow since 2006 and is a leading US-qualified capital markets attorney in the region. He received his JD from the University of Oklahoma School of Law and a LLM from New York University School of Law in 2004.


Stephen B. Amdur is a corporate lawyer with a broad practice representing public and private companies, including private equity and venture capital investment funds, in connection with mergers, acquisitions, spinoffs and other dispositions, public and private financings, tender offers, joint ventures and other general corporate matters. He has represented clients in transactions involving US and foreign companies across a wide range of industries, including media, chemicals, energy and telecommunications. He received his JD from the Columbia University School of Law in 2004.

Paul F. Kukish is a corporate lawyer with a broad mergers and acquisitions practice, encompassing both public and private acquisitions, dispositions, tender offers, co-investments, joint ventures and general corporate matters, including corporate governance and takeover defense. He has represented numerous public companies and private equity firms in transactions involving US and non-US companies across a wide range of industries, including energy, retail, commodities, telecommunications and manufacturing.  He received his JD from the New York University School of Law in 2004.

Amy C. Maloney is a project finance lawyer who represents commercial and investment banks, private equity firms, insurance companies and other financial institutions as well as sponsors and developers in connection with the development and financing of domestic and cross-border energy and infrastructure projects, including renewable energy assets, gas and liquids pipelines, natural gas and coal fired power plants, transmission assets, liquefied natural gas facilities and mining projects. She received her JD from Harvard Law School in 2004.

Graeme P. Smyth is a finance lawyer with experience in a variety of structured finance and securitization transactions, representing issuers, underwriters, placement agents, borrowers, lenders and others. His expertise in structured finance transactions ranges from the securitization of rental car fleet leases, aircraft leases and other esoteric assets to collateralized loan obligations and receivables financing. In addition, Smyth has considerable experience in aircraft and airline finance, including enhanced equipment trust certificate issuances and other financings secured by aircraft, aircraft related equipment and other assets.  Smyth received his JD from Georgetown University Law Center in 2004.


David C. Lee is a corporate attorney focused on mergers and acquisitions, private equity, capital markets transactions and public- and private-company representation. Prior to joining Latham & Watkins, Lee was a Certified Public Accountant and worked in the finance and accounting industry. In 2004, he received his JD from the Northwestern University School of Law and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.


Lionel Dechmann is a finance lawyer whose practice focuses on a broad range of finance transactions, including senior and mezzanine acquisition finance, banking and restructuring matters advising banks, investment funds and corporate clients. He graduated from HEC School of Management in 2003 and received a Postgraduate Law Degree and a Master in Laws at the University of Paris I in 2004.


Jake Ryan is a trial lawyer focused on intellectual property litigation, white collar criminal defense and government investigations and other complex business litigation. Ryan is a former federal prosecutor and has extensive experience as lead trial counsel in several high-profile jury trials. In addition to his jury trial work, Ryan represents technology companies in national and international arbitration proceedings, including patent licensing disputes, commercial contract disputes and other complex business disputes. He has also represented technology companies in patent litigation, trade secret misappropriation litigation and securities class actions and derivative litigation. Ryan received his JD from the University of Iowa College of Law in 1997.


James A. Metz is a tax lawyer focused on executive compensation and employee benefits matters. He specializes in equity incentive plans, employee stock purchase plans, health and welfare plans, mergers and acquisitions transactions, and federal and state securities laws issues. Metz is also involved in employment agreements and severance agreements for executives.  He received his JD from the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall) in 2004.


Sharon Lau is a corporate lawyer who represents issuers and underwriters in both US and international securities transactions, particularly initial public offerings, global equity and debt offerings, private placements, high-yield and investment grade debt offerings, convertible debt offerings, rights offerings and exchange offers. She also advises on mergers and acquisitions, public takeovers, joint ventures, privatizations and restructurings as well as regulatory compliance and corporate governance issues. Lau qualified to practice before the New York bar in 2010, was admitted to the Roll of Solicitors of England and Wales in 2002 and was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Singapore in 2000.


Manu Gayatrinath is a finance lawyer who represents borrowers in secured lending and other financing transactions, including acquisition financings, cash-flow and asset-based loans, subordinated debt facilities, private equity bridge loan facilities and secured notes offerings. She received her JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 2004.

Nathan H. Seltzer is a litigator and white collar criminal defense attorney focused primarily on government investigations and complex business litigation. He regularly represents individuals and corporations in internal and government investigations and litigation related to anti-corruption laws, securities and accounting fraud, insider trading, healthcare fraud and other federal and cross border criminal matters. He also advises clients around the world on compliance with US laws, and he has notable trial experience. He received his JD from the Boston University School of Law in 2004.


The attorneys promoted to counsel are:


Héctor Armengod focuses his practice on EU and Spanish competition law. He represents clients in merger control proceedings before the European Commission and the Spanish competition authority. He also represents clients in major European Commission cartel and Article 102 TFEU investigations. Armengod has particular expertise in the pharmaceutical sector, having counseled clients on the compatibility with competition law of complex licensing, joint venture, distribution, co-promotion, co-marketing and co-operation agreements.  He also advises clients on compliance with EU and Spanish regulations in the field of medicinal products and medical devices. He received his LLM in EU law at Leiden Law School in the Netherlands in 2000, and his Law Degree from the Universidad de Deusto in Spain in 1999.


Justin Cornish focuses his practice on complex technology transactions with a particular emphasis on outsourcing, including global IT and business process outsourcing transactions, major system integration projects, voice and data telecommunications transactions, cloud services and hosting arrangements and multi-national transactions for the sale of goods and/or services. Cornish provides legal advice to financial institutions and corporates across a wide range of industries including telecommunications, transport, consumer goods, media and entertainment, retail and pharmaceutical. He received an LPC and CPE from the BPP Law School in London in 2001 and completed his honours degree and LLB at Rhodes University, South Africa, in 1998.


Daniel Ehret focuses on insolvency and restructuring matters. He regularly advises investors, lenders and other creditors, distressed companies, their management and shareholders as well as insolvency administrators on national and international out-of-court and in-court restructurings, including refinancing of debt, rescue financing, debt-to-equity swaps, insolvency plan proceedings and distressed M&A transactions. Ehret also represents national and international banking and corporate clients on all aspects of German or cross-border insolvency proceedings, and he advises clients on corporate finance transactions. Ehret completed his Second German State Exam at the Higher Regional Court, Berlin, in 2005 and received his LLM from the University of Cape Town, South Africa, in 2003.


Panu Siemer practices in the field of commercial real estate law, focusing on real estate transactions and commercial leases, as well as on public building law. He typically advises institutional and corporate investors, family offices, developers as well as companies investing in self-used real property. He also represents institutions financing real estate investment. He completed his Second German State Exam at the Higher Regional Court, Frankfurt/Main, in 2005.


Rebecca N. Brandt focuses her practice on regulatory, transactional and compliance matters involving the medical device, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, food, cosmetic, dietary supplement and healthcare industries. She advises clients in both the healthcare and life sciences industries. Brandt received her JD from the University of Texas School of Law in 2003.


Charles Claypoole advises clients on a wide range of public international law, international trade and dispute resolution issues. His particular areas of focus include: investment treaty arbitration; bilateral and multilateral investment treaties, including the Energy Charter Treaty; free trade agreements; State immunity; land and maritime boundary law; the Law of the Sea; international commercial arbitration; international trade sanctions; and export control law.  Claypoole has extensive experience in representing States and companies in proceedings before the International Court of Justice, the Iran-United States Claims Tribunal, ICSID, ICC, LCIA and UNCITRAL arbitral tribunals. He received his LLM from Heidelberg University in 1997.


Yoni Tuchman is a corporate attorney who focuses on investment fund formation and on joint ventures and other strategic transactions. He represents fund sponsors and their advisors in structuring, forming, marketing and operating private equity and other alternative asset investment funds and he represents institutional investors investing in such funds. He also advises joint ventures on establishing and maintaining jointly owned acquisition and investment vehicles, holding companies and operating companies that are structured as partnerships or limited liability companies. He received his JD from Columbia University School of Law in 2004.


Xavier Pujol has a wide-ranging corporate practice focused on public and private M&A, private equity, debt restructurings and corporate finance. He has experience representing Spanish and international companies, sponsors and investment banks in a variety of industries, including energy, financial institutions, retail, telecommunications and infrastructure. Pujol received both his MA and BA in business law from ESADE Law School - Universitat Ramon Llull in 2003.

Iván Rabanillo has a practice focused on transactional tax matters, advising companies with significant interests in Spain, the United States and Latin America on Spanish and international tax aspects of cross-border M&A, private equity, finance and capital markets transactions. He received his JD from the Universidade Salvador in Brazil in 2001, a Masters in Taxation from the Universidad de Barcelona in Spain in 2003, and an LLM from New York University in 2007. He is admitted to practice in Brazil, Spain and in the State of New York.


M. Ryan Benedict’s practice focuses primarily on capital markets, securities regulation and company representation, with an emphasis on clients and transactions in Italy and southern and eastern Europe. He has experience representing issuers and underwriters in both equity and debt capital markets transactions, tender offers and liability management transactions. He received his JD from the Boston University School of Law in 2004.


Michael J. Kuh is a corporate attorney with a broad transactional practice.  He has sports law experience, including international sporting events, having advised on bids for the FIFA World Cup and the Olympic Games. Kuh has represented a number of clients before federal, state and city government agencies on a variety of matters, ranging from complex transactions to public policy concerns. His practice also includes public-private partnerships in connection with development projects and sporting events, and he advises both public and private company mergers and acquisitions, including representation of special committees, principals, private equity and leveraged buyout funds and financial advisors.  He received his JD from New York University School of Law in 2003.

Veronica Relea’s practice focuses on leveraged finance transactions, including acquisition financings, project financings and cross-border financings, as well as private-equity transactions and general corporate transactions. She received her JD from Harvard Law School in 2004.

Benjamin D. Stern’s practice focuses primarily on capital markets and general securities and corporate matters. He has experience in a broad range of finance and other corporate transactions, including high-yield debt offerings, leveraged buyouts, equity offerings, exchange offers, tender offers and restructurings. He has represented underwriters, initial purchasers and issuers in a variety of industries, including technology, media, gaming, energy and manufacturing. He received his JD from the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Yeshiva University in 2003.

Virginia F. Tent concentrates her practice on antitrust and trade regulation issues, including civil antitrust litigation, government investigations, and advice regarding antitrust issues in mergers and acquisitions, competitor collaborations and industry associations. She has particular expertise in the Hart-Scott-Rodino premerger notification process. Her practice also focuses on cross-border issues relating to litigation and investigations, often making use of her foreign language skills. In 2003, Tent received her JD from Columbia University School of Law and earned a MA from Johns Hopkins University, School of Advanced International Studies.


Joshua T. Bledsoe focuses on complex infrastructure and development projects, particularly those utilizing renewable or low-carbon technologies. He has broad experience in the permitting, entitlement, environmental review, and financing of such projects; and he also handles related administrative and judicial challenges. He possesses extensive transactional experience, having represented buyers, sellers and lenders in matters involving environmental liabilities related to real estate and business transactions, complicated mergers and acquisitions, and access to capital markets. He received his JD from UCLA School of Law in 2004.


Alice M. Chung  advises on executive compensation and employee benefits matters as well as company representation. She counsels public and private companies on implementing various types of compensation and benefit arrangements, including employment agreements, severance agreements, equity plans and agreements, change in control arrangements and incentive compensation. She received her JD from the New York University School of Law in 2003.


Michael Y. Tardif has extensive experience in project finance transactions throughout Australia, Asia and the US and specializes in energy, renewable energy and liquefied natural gas projects in Indonesia. Tardif also has extensive experience working on general banking and finance transactions, leveraged, acquisition and structured finance transactions and derivatives transactions. He received his Bachelor of Laws from the University of New South Wales, Australia, in 2000.


Aaron S. Hullman has significant experience representing private equity firms and companies in transactional and corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and private equity financings. He has developed particular expertise representing clients in traditional and renewable energy transactions and structuring complex joint ventures using limited liability company and limited partnership entities. In 2003, he received his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law and his MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business.

Sara K. Orr focuses her work on litigation, counseling and transactions involving environmental, energy and natural resource matters. She handles a wide variety of matters related to large resource development projects, including the development, licensing and financing of new mines, onshore and offshore oil and gas development, particularly international new liquefied natural gas (LNG) assets, and renewable energy projects. She received her JD from the University of Michigan Law School in 2002.

Jarrett S. Taubman represents providers of telecommunications, media, Internet and other communications services (and their investors) before the Federal Communications Commission, state public utilities commissions and various courts. He assists clients in implementing strategies to facilitate the development of favorable regulatory policy, structuring transactions and securing required regulatory consents, and ensuring ongoing compliance with complex regulatory requirements. Taubman also represents both communications and non-communications clients before the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) and the Defense Security Service. In 2004, he received his JD from the New York University School of Law and a MPP from the Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Christopher S. Turner has broad experience in complex commercial litigation, with a concentration on securities fraud investigations and litigation. He has substantial experience defending issuers, auditors, and individuals in investigations and federal actions by the Securities and Exchange Commission and in shareholder class action litigation. Turner also has substantial experience defending companies and individuals in class actions brought by employee benefit plan participants under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974.  He received his JD from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2003.

About Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is a global law firm with approximately 2,000 attorneys in 31 offices, including Abu Dhabi, Barcelona, Beijing, Boston, Brussels, Chicago, Doha, Dubai, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Milan, Moscow, Munich, New Jersey, New York, Orange County, Paris, Riyadh, Rome, San Diego, San Francisco, Shanghai, Silicon Valley, Singapore, Tokyo and Washington, D.C. For more information on Latham & Watkins, please visit the Web site at

Notes to Editor

1 Latham & Watkins operates as a limited liability partnership worldwide with affiliated limited liability partnerships conducting the practice in the United Kingdom, France and Italy and affiliated partnerships conducting the practice in Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore. Latham & Watkins practices in Saudi Arabia in association with the Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi.


Robert M. Dell, Chairman and Managing Partner, +1.415.391.0600

J. Scott Ballenger, Partner and Chairman of Latham’s Associate Committee, +1.202.637.2145



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