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Green Energy Last week TXU Corp., the largest energy provider in Texas — and a pervasive polluter, say environmentalists — agreed to a $45 billion buyout. Not only was it the largest private-equity deal in history, but it also came with qualifications Al Gore could hug: The new owners are canceling the construction of 11 coal-burning power plants that had been planned. Simpson Thacher & Bartlett’s New York office represented Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. and Texas Pacific Group in their acquisition of TXU. With respect to the green work, Covington & Burling is advising KKR and TPG on environmental, regulatory, and other governmental and public-policy aspects of the transaction. That includes getting the requisite approval from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. That work won’t have to include any uncomfortable introductions, however. Heading up the work to get approval from FERC is D.C.-based partner William Massey, who served as commissioner at FERC for more than 10 years. Handling the NRC proceedings will be Richard Meserve, who’s senior of counsel in the D.C. office and who served as chairman of the NRC from 1999 to 2003. Stuart Eizenstat, who led the U.S. delegation in the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming, is coordinating the Covington team. Eizenstat says the firm will also help shepherd the new buyers through briefings in front of the Bush administration and the interested congressional committees, which so far include the House Committee on Energy & Commerce, chaired by Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.). . . . TXU wasn’t the only private-equity power play last week. Lawyers from Kirkland & Ellis’ D.C. office represented New York-based Astoria Generating Holdings in a planned $5 billion merger with Boston-based EBG Holdings. The power companies inked an agreement to merge last week under the name US Power Generating. The joint company will have eight power-generation facilities with a total capacity of more than 5,000 megawatts and the ability to supply 20 percent of New York City’s electricity demand and 50 percent of Boston’s. D.C.-based partner Mitchell Hertz, co-head of Kirkland’s energy practice group, led the team of 20 Kirkland lawyers, along with Chicago-based partner Richard Campbell. Astoria Generating is majority-owned by Madison Dearborn Partners, which has been a Kirkland client since its inception in 1992, according to Hertz. The private-equity firm only acquired its stake in Astoria Generating from Reliant Energy in February of last year, says Hertz, who also lawyered that deal. The merger, which is subject to approval from FERC and the New York State Public Service Commission, is expected to close by midyear. John Allen led a team of Debevoise & Plimpton lawyers advising EBG on the deal.
Clerk Exits With the Libby trial winding down, one court official is already headed for the exit. Brad Booker, a clerk for U.S. District Judge Reggie Walton, is exiting for Boston-based Goodwin Procter. Brooker originally was supposed to start with the firm last fall, but Walton extended his tenure so he could assist on the Libby case. With 40 of about 60 litigators in Goodwin’s D.C. office being former clerks, hiring clerks is clearly part of the firm’s strategy. Washington hiring partner Michael Isenman says clerks “tend to have been exposed to a lot of areas of litigation, substantive areas of law. They have a great deal of good writing experience, and the opportunity to work with fantastic mentors.” Booker’s not the first Walton clerk for the firm. Isenman has already tapped Adam Braverman, a former Walton clerk, who is working in the firm’s litigation practice.
Finance Growth In keeping with its mission to grow its international business capabilities, DLA Piper is bringing on Roger Meltzer from New York-based Cahill Gordon & Reindel, as global chair of the corporate and finance practice. He will be overseeing more than four dozen lawyers in Washington. Meltzer will also have a seat on the firm’s executive committee. “We see it as just part of the natural evolution of the firm’s practice in the finance and corporate areas,” says Frank Burch Jr., DLA Piper’s joint chief executive officer. “We were figuring that at some point we would have an opportunity to attract someone like Roger. It just turned out that we were able to do it this year.” Meltzer will be focusing on increasing cross-selling the firm’s new corporate finance and M&A capabilities with DLA Piper’s current U.S.-based multinational corporate clients. He’s also planning to grow the firm’s international capabilities in finance into Russia and Asia.
Viva Italia In the wake of failed merger talks with West Coast powerhouse Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, New York’s Dewey Ballantine has turned its sights eastward. A Dewey source confirmed that the firm is in talks with Galgano, a Bologna, Italy-based law firm headed by Francesco Galgano, a leading banking and corporate lawyer and prominent academic. Although a definitive deal has yet to be hammered out, the firms are negotiating to establish some sort of “collaboration,” part of which could include Dewey taking a team of about 20 lawyers from the Italian firm, the Dewey source says. Dewey, which launched its Italian operations in October 2003, already has more than 40 lawyers in the country, based in Milan and Rome. The firm also recently scooped up capital-markets partner Matthias van Oppen from White & Case for its Frankfurt, Germany, office, after losing a number of its partners to White & Case in the wake of the Orrick merger talks.
Heller Grows For all of last year, Heller Ehrman’s head count grew by only 11. In a flurry of lateral hiring, the firm has already added more than that in the first two months of 2007, including nine new attorneys in its new London office alone, according to The Recorder, a Legal Times sister publication. Last week the firm announced the addition of five corporate lawyers in London and two IP litigators in Washington. Maureen Browne and Johnny Cheng-Teh Chiu have joined the firm’s intellectual-property practice as partners. Browne joins from Adduci, Mastriani & Schaumberg, where she was a partner, and Chiu from Powell Goldstein, where he was a partner. Browne and Chiu have years of experience litigating IP disputes, including Section 337 proceedings before the U.S. International Trade Commission. In its latest London move, Heller raided WilmerHale again, coming away with tax and benefits partner Christopher Prout, senior corporate associate Scott Leonard-Morgan, and three other corporate associates. Two weeks ago the firm swiped three heavyweight corporate lawyers from WilmerHale, and last week the firm lured Slaughter and May antitrust associate Douglas Lahnborg to its London outpost, which the firm announced earlier this year. The new hires join three Heller partners who are relocating from the United States. The official launch for the London office is set for this month. WilmerHale has lost a number of lawyers in Europe recently, including its entire Munich, Germany, office.
Keeping Score is Legal Times ‘ weekly column devoted to the legal business scene. Got a tip? Contact Business Editor Anna Palmer at [email protected].

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