NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Davis Polk & Wardwell today announced that Frank J. Azzopardi, Neil Barr, Maurice Blanco, Mark J. Lehmkuhler, Jeffrey R. O’Brien and Paula A. Ryan have been elected partners of the firm effective July 1, 2008. Davis Polk now has 168 partners in its offices in New York, Menlo Park, Washington, D.C., London, Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo.
Mr. Azzopardi is a corporate lawyer with extensive transactional experience in overseeing intellectual property, technology and media related issues arising from corporate transactions, such as mergers, asset sales, reorganizations, spinoffs, licensing and supply arrangements, joint ventures, collaborations and rights agreements. His experience includes advising entertainment and media, information technology, biotechnology, investment banking, private equity and other clients on a variety of matters. Mr. Azzopardi also has extensive litigation experience involving intellectual property disputes, especially in the area of trademarks and passing off. He has provided advice to Comcast, Texas Instruments, Bertelsmann, Morgan Stanley, Roche, Syngenta and Emerson, among others.
Mr. Barr is a tax lawyer advising clients on federal income tax matters, including mergers, acquisitions, spinoffs, splitoffs, private equity investments and financial products. In addition, he has advised clients in connection with various tax controversy matters. He recently has advised Comcast in connection with its pending investment in the WiMax joint venture between Clearwire and Sprint, as well as in connection with its acquisition and disposition of various cable properties; AIG in connection with the leveraged buyout of Kinder Morgan; Marsh & McLennan in connection with the sale of Putnam Investments; and Old Lane in connection with its acquisition by Citigroup. He recently was listed as a leading tax lawyer in Chambers USA – America’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2008.
Mr. Blanco is a corporate lawyer concentrating on capital markets transactions, and is a member of the firm’s Latin America and Spain Practice Group. He has worked on public and private debt and equity offerings, exchange offers and debt restructurings by U.S. and non-U.S. issuers in a variety of industries. He recently advised on the initial public offering (one of the largest ever in Latin America) of BM&F (the Brazilian futures exchange); the initial public offerings of Western Refining, Virtual Radiologic Corporation and Megacable; high-yield debt offerings by Independência and Neenah Foundry; and follow-on equity offerings by Copa Airlines and Anhanguera.
Mr. Lehmkuhler is a corporate lawyer who has worked in the firm’s Hong Kong and Tokyo offices since 1997. His work focuses on mergers and acquisitions transactions, including private equity portfolio investments, leveraged buyouts, tender offers, and cross-border joint ventures and strategic alliances throughout Asia. He has advised a number of institutional clients in connection with the formation of Asia-focused private equity funds and other investment vehicles. He also has significant experience in Asian high-yield bond financings and other capital markets transactions.
Mr. O’Brien is a corporate lawyer in the London office, advising on mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and credit transactions, and corporate governance matters. Among his recent M&A transactions, he has advised bidders in connection with several public and private company auctions; Royal Caribbean on its acquisition of Pullmantur; Morgan Stanley on the sale of its aircraft leasing business to Terra Firma; Julius Baer on its acquisition of three private banks and an asset manager from UBS; and Novo Nordisk on several strategic transactions. Among his recent capital markets transactions, he has advised Codere on three high-yield bond offerings and its IPO; Cairn India on an equity private placement; BBVA on its benchmark Rule 144A/Regulation S covered bond offering; Julius Baer on an underwritten rights offering; and the issuers or underwriters in connection with several initial public offerings in Spain.
Ms. Ryan is a trusts and estates lawyer, focusing on multigenerational estate planning for high net worth individuals. She has extensive experience advising individuals and financial institutions in connection with the administration of complex estates and trusts, including in tax planning, tax controversies and addressing the concerns of beneficiaries. She also counsels individuals in connection with a broad range of personal and financial matters, including charitable giving, the creation and operation of private foundations, the disposition of collectibles and various family matters.
About Davis Polk & Wardwell. Davis Polk & Wardwell is a global law firm based in New York City. For nearly 160 years, its lawyers have advised industry-leading companies and global financial institutions on their most challenging legal and business matters. Davis Polk ranks among the world’s preeminent law firms across the entire range of its practice, which spans such areas as capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, credit, litigation, private equity, tax, investment management, insolvency and restructuring, executive compensation, intellectual property, real estate and trusts and estates. The firm has approximately 700 lawyers in offices in New York, Menlo Park, CA, Washington, DC, London, Paris, Frankfurt, Madrid, Hong Kong, Beijing and Tokyo.