Europe: About the Authors

Author: | Published: 4 Jan 2001
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Venture capital documentation
David Gent

Brobeck Hale and Dorr

David Gent has recently become a partner at Brobeck Hale and Dorr, a law firm dedicated to advising clients in the global technology industry. He was previously an associate at the firm, having joined in 1997 from Warner Cranston. His areas of specialisation include corporate and commercial law, mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, venture capital, international corporate law, joint ventures and international trade. He has a law degree from University College, Cardiff.

Thomas Tarala

Brobeck Hale and Dorr

Thomas Tarala is a senior associate at Brobeck Hale and Dorr, where he specialises in international securities offerings, venture-capital transactions, joint ventures, and the roll-out and financing of start-up companies. He has experience as an associate in both New York and London and at UK, as well as US, law firms. Thomas has a law degree from the University of Virginia and a degree in international relations from Georgetown University. His educational background also includes extensive study in France, Spain, and Taiwan.

The WilmerMatrix
Gerry Cater

Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering

Gerry is a partner in the Corporate Group of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in London, where he specializes in venture capital and private equity transactions, buy-outs, securities offerings, joint ventures and mergers and acquisitions. He recently transferred from WCP's Washington, D.C. office to assist in the expansion of the firm's private equity and high-tech practice in Europe.

Gerry represents a number of venture capital and private equity funds in investments in private and public companies. He also represents start-up and emerging growth companies. Most recently, he has worked on matters involving The Carlyle Group, ABN Amro International Venture Capital, New Enterprise Associates, Audiopoint, Interconex/Interdean and Pizza Software Ltd. Gerry received his law degree from Yale Law School, where he was Essays Editor of The Yale Law Journal. Prior to joining WCP, he clerked for Judge José A. Cabranes, then-Chief Judge of the U.S. District of Connecticut.

Paul von Hehn

Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering

Paul is a partner in the Corporate Group of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in the London and Brussels offices. Paul is a German lawyer who specializes in international corporate and private equity transactions. His practice has a strong focus on telecommunications and aviation. Paul's extensive international experience includes practicing law in Belgium, Germany, Hong Kong/China and the US.

A visiting instructor to the Rome-based International Development Law Institute, Paul has taught courses on joint ventures and infrastructure investments in the telecommunications and transport sectors. He is a frequent speaker at conferences on telecommunications and venture capital, developments in European Community laws and U.S. banking and securities laws. Paul is a graduate of Tubingen University, received his LLM from Columbia University and earned a diploma in Chinese law from the University of East Asia, Macau.

Matthew Huggins

Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering

Matthew is an associate in the Corporate Group of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering. He concentrates on international private equity and venture capital transactions, and has been involved in transactions in Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Germany and the Middle East. He also has experience in cross-border credit transactions, M&A, licensing and other intellectual property issues and has substantial tax background. Matthew is a graduate of Harvard Law School and is fluent in German and Spanish.

European Overview
Jonathan Blake

SJ Berwin & Co

Jonathan Blake is head of the Private Equity Group in the Corporate Finance Department of S J Berwin & Co.

He advises private equity funds, investing institutions and management teams on management buy-outs, venture and development capital investments and related taxation issues. He has a particular specialisation in advising private equity and venture capital funds managers in many countries in Europe and elsewhere on the structuring of venture capital funds, management companies and carried interest incentive arrangements. He is a former member of the Council of the British Venture Capital Association and was responsible for negotiating with the Inland Revenue and Department of Trade and Industry the statement and guidelines on the use of limited partnerships as venture capital investment funds. He is also Chairman of the Tax and Legal Committee of the European Venture Capital Association in which capacity he has produced and edited several publications on venture capital related matters across Europe.

Steven Davis

SJ Berwin & Co

Steven Davis is a partner in S J Berwin & Co's corporate finance department, specialising in public and private UK and cross-border mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures. A member of the firm's market leading private equity practice with a particular focus on leveraged buy-outs, venture and development capital investments, and exits whether by way of trade sale or flotation. Equity institutions for whom he acts regularly include Apax Partners and Phildrew Ventures. Recent transactions include the flotation of The Future Network plc, the public to privates of Apollo Metals plc, The Denby Group plc, UPF Group plc and The Limelight Group plc and advising NM Rothschild on the take private of United Biscuits.

Member of the New York Bar

Qualified in 1987 with S J Berwin & Co. Seconded to Debevoise & Plimpton, New York office 1992-1993 and became a Partner in 1994

Central and eastern Europe
Duncan Weston, London

CMS Cameron McKenna

Duncan Weston is an English solicitor and member of the Czech Chamber of Advocates.

Head of the Prague office between 1993 and 1998, he is now the co-ordinating partner for cross-border corporate transactions in Central Europe. He has specialist experience in both equity and debt financing including bank lending, venture capital, receivable financing, leasing, derivatives and securitization, together with a variety of security arrangements. Recent transactions include: acting for a consortium of investment funds on the sale of shares in a Romanian Brewery Group; acting for an international entertainment company on a regional co-investment for multiplex cinema development; advising a major international bank on the privatization of the Czech Saving Bank; advising a major international investor in relation to the acquisition of a large Czech cable communications company; advising a major international GSM operator on government tender for a GSM license in the Czech Republic, and advising a venture capital fund with responsibility for the preparation and negotiation of funding agreements for small and medium-sized enterprises. Contact: djw@cmck.com

Charles Waddell, Warsaw

CMS Cameron McKenna

Charles Waddell is an English-qualified solicitor and head of the corporate department in the Warsaw office. He specializes in corporate law and has advised on a range of mergers and acquisitions, and corporate finance transactions, both in the UK and in Poland. Charles has advised offerors, target companies and merchant banks on a number of public company takeovers. He has also advised both issuers and underwriters on a wide range of equity issues on both the London Stock Exchange and Easdaq by way of IPOs, rights issues and placing. Recent transactions include: acting for Corus (formally British Steel) on the privatization of Huta Katowice; acting for the Polish State Treasury on the sale of a strategic stake in LOT Polish Airlines to Swissair; acting for OPG on its acquisition of a majority interest in ORFE, and subsequent public tender for minority shareholdings.

Contact: chw@cmck.com

Geoff Perry, Budapest

CMS Cameron McKenna

Geoff Perry is a partner in the firm's Budapest office and joint head of the corporate practice. Before going to Budapest, Geoff worked for eight years in the corporate department of the London office, undertaking a broad range of venture capital, corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and general corporate work. His experience in Hungary includes: advising Tiszai Vegyi Kombinát,on a $38 million sale of treasury shares; advising Charles Wells on its acquisition of John Bull pubs, and advising Citibank, in relation to the purchase of the consumer banking business and branch network of ING Bank in Hungary.

Contact: gjp@cmck.com

Ian Parker, Prague

CMS Cameron McKenna

Ian Parker is a senior lawyer in the Prague office of CMS Cameron McKenna. He specializes in corporate law, mergers and acquisitions, and venture capital investment. Ian is an English solicitor and a member of the Czech Chamber of Advocates. His experience includes advising investors such as Barings and Erste Bank on a variety of acquisitions and investments in the Czech Republic. Contact: lcp@cmck.com

Cristina Brinzan, Bucharest

CMS Cameron McKenna

Cristina Brinzan is a partner in the Bucharest office. Her experience includes advising a client in a bid to purchase the largest Romanian copper company, involvement in the first privatization process of a Romanian bank (Romanian Bank for Development) and advising multinational clients on issues relating to the establishment of joint-venture companies in Romania. Cristina has advised multinational clients on dividend repatriation, withholding taxes, royalty and licensing arrangements, land ownership and employment issues.

Contact: cbr@cmck.com

Czech Republic

Kurt Bjorklund

Weil Gotshal & Manges

Kurt Bjorklund has worked in WG&M's business finance and restructuring, and corporate

practice groups for over 10 years. Mr Bjorklund is a specialist in corporate restructuring and workouts, and in mergers and acquisitions. He received a JD from Harvard Law School in 1990. He is admitted to practice law in New York and Washington DC, and is an adjunct member of the Czech Chamber of Advocates.

FinlandJari Vikiö

Borenius & Kemppinen

Jari Vikiö is one of the partners in Borenius & Kemppinen. Vikiö's areas of specialization are venture capital, M&A arrangements and restructuring, and the capital markets, as well as various financing instruments. Vikiö has acted as adviser in numerous Finnish and international M&A and financing arrangements, and has represented both companies and providers of finance. He has wide experience in dealing with various M&A and MBO/ MBI arrangements, and the construction and implementation of mergers. In the venture capital field, he has acted as a representative for investors and management companies in a number of extensive operations, involving setting up venture capital funds, and in transactions connected with investments in target companies.

Germany
Daniela Weber-Rey

Clifford Chance Pünder

Daniela Weber-Rey is a partner in the Frankfurt am Main office of Clifford Chance Pünder. She was admitted to the bar in Frankfurt in 1984 and to the New York bar in 1986. She spent three years as a resident lawyer in the firm's New York office. In 1989, Daniela Weber-Rey became a partner. Since 1996 she has been a lecturer for mergers & acquisitions and capital markets law at the University of Frankfurt am Main. Daniela Weber-Rey is co-heading Clifford Chance Pünder's Corporate Practice in Germany.

Since joining the firm, Daniela Weber-Rey has advised chiefly international clients - most of them being major

international companies, banks, other financial institutions and institutional investors - in the fields of corporate law and mergers & acquisitions, including public takeovers and private equity transactions.

Dr Uwe Schimmelschmidt

Clifford Chance Pünder

Dr Uwe Schimmelschmidt is a partner in the Frankfurt office of Clifford Chance Pünder. From 1986 until 1991 he studied business administration at the J.-W.-Goethe-University in Frankfurt/Main. From 1991 until 1994 Uwe Schimmelschmidt worked at the J.-W.-Goethe-University in the faculty of corporate tax law and also lectured on corporate tax law at various institutes.

Uwe Schimmelschmidt started working for the Frankfurt office in 1994 and qualified in 1995 as a tax consultant. He works mainly in the fields of fiscal and corporate advice in M&A transactions as well as for buy-outs - including their financing, and venture capital, private equity, real property and leasing funds.

Italy
Paolo Montironi

Negri-Clementi Toffoletto Montironi & Soci

Specialization: Partner of Negri-Clementi Toffoletto Montironi & Soci. Main area of work is commercial and corporate law, M&A, private equity and acquisition finance. Involved in major acquisitions and privatizations, both domestic and international. Acted, among other things, on the merger of Credito Italiano with Cassa di Risparmio di Verona, Cassa di Risparmio di Torino and Cassamarca, one of the biggest transaction in the banking sector in Italy; acted on the acquisition of Cassa di Risparmio di Trento e Rovereto. Acted in the interest of the buyer on the privatization of ILVA (Italy's main and one of the world's biggest steel producers); acted in the interest of the buyer in the privatization of AST (Italy's main stainless steel producer); acted on the acquisition of Société des Acier d'Armature pour le Béton. Represented TMW Group, one of the preminent international real estate investors, in a number of property acquisition deals. Handled a large number of LBOes on behalf of Bridgepoint Capital S.p.A. and other investment banks as J.P. Morgan, Sofipa, IMI, ABN AMRO, Barclay's Private Equity, Rhöne Capital LLC. Acted in the interest of the sponsors in the establishment of Opera, the private equity fund specialized in the Italian fine products sector, established by Bulgari and other managers.

Career: Admitted. Joined the Firm of Negri-Clementi & Soci in 1988, he became partner in 1990. Partner of Negri-Clementi Toffoletto Montironi & Soci.

Personal: Born 15th February 1962 in Senigallia, Italy. He lives in Milan, Italy. – J. D. Catholic University of Milan, Italy

The Netherlands
Marco J De Lignie

Loyens & Loeff

Marco J De Lignie, born 1964, tax lawyer, is a partner in the general tax department of the Amsterdam office of Loyens & Loeff, Amsterdam. He is specialised in consultancy on Dutch corporate tax, dividend tax and capital tax for both regular clients (US, UK and the Netherlands) and in M&A and MBO transactions, with particular focus on venture capital and private equity, e-commerce and telecom, international joint venture and partnership taxation. He graduated in tax law from the University of Leyden in 1987.

Barteline A Cnossen

Loyens & Loeff

Barteline A Cnossen, born 1973, tax lawyer, is a junior associate in the general tax department of the Amsterdam office of Loyens & Loeff. She graduated in civil law and tax law from the University of Leyden in 1998. She holds an LL.M. Degree in Taxation from the New York University School of Law. She specialises in consultancy on Dutch corporate tax, dividend tax and capital tax, with an emphasis on venture capital and private equity, and cross-border mergers & acquisitions with respect to the US (inbound and outbound).

Sweden
Erica Berthou

Mannheimer Swartling

Erica Berthou is an associate of Mannheimer Swartling.

Born in 1975, Ms Berthou received her LL.M. from Uppsala University and her BA. in Finance from University of Stockholm. Ms Berthou joined the team in 1998.

Peter Alhanko

Mannheimer Swartling

Peter Alhanko is a partner of Mannheimer Swartling.

Born in 1958, Mr Alhanko received his MBA. from the Stockholm School of Economics in 1982, his LL.M. from the University of Stockholm in 1984 and his LL.M. from the Columbia Law School, New York 1987. Since 1992 he is a member of the Swedish Bar Association.

Ulf Söderholm

Mannheimer Swartling

Ulf Söderholm is private equity partner of Mannheimer Swartling and the chairman of the Private Equity and Venture Capital Group. Mr Söderholm is since several years member of the EVCA Tax and Legal Committee, representing Sweden and a member of the editorial committee of Skattenytt, the foremost tax journal in Sweden.

Born in 1955, Mr Söderholm received his MBA. and LL.M. from the University of Stockholm.

Mannheimer Swartling employs some 240 lawyers and has a broad based commercial practice including groups dedicated to cover a full range of corporate services.

Switzerland

Andreas Rötheli

Lenz & Staehelin

Andreas Rötheli is an attorney with Lenz & Staehelin, Geneva. His fields of expertise are in mergers and acquisitions, banking and capital market law, capital market transactions, and trade, corporate and contract law. He completed his law degree at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) and received a MCJ degree from the New York University School of Law (US). Since 1991 he is admitted to the Bar in Switzerland and since 1997 to the Bar of the State of New York.

Thomas Grotzer

Lenz & Staehelin

Thomas Grotzer is an attorney with Lenz & Staehelin, Zurich. His fields of expertise are in mergers and acquisitions, capital market law, trade, corporate and contract law, and tax law. He completed his law degree at the University of Zurich (Switzerland) and received a LL.M. degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (US). Since 1994 he is admitted to the Bar in Switzerland.

United Kingdom
David Thorp

Vice Chairman, British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) and Managing Director of Friends Ivory & Sime Private Equity plc

David Thorp is Vice Chairman of the British Venture Capital Association (BVCA) and will become BVCA Chairman in June 2000. David was previously founder and Chairman of the BVCA's High-tech Committee.

David has had over 25 years of experience within the UK venture capital industry. He became Managing Director of the private equity firm Friends Ivory & Sime Private Equity plc in 1997, which he joined in 1995. He is the lead fund manager for Baronsmead VCT and Baronsmead VCT2.

From 1992-5, David was chairman of Unipalm Group plc, the first UK Internet Service Provider, before its sale to UUNet in 1995 and from 1991-4, he was Director-General of the English-Speaking Union.

David's career in the venture capital industry began when he joined 3i plc in 1971. He was appointed a Local Director to the Bristol office in 1974 and then to the Leeds office. He became a 3i Regional Director in 1984, firstly of the South and then the North of England. While at 3i, he led the group that pioneered UK management buy-outs in 1977. He was appointed as a 3i Director in 1985.

Prior to entering the venture capital industry, David was a production engineer at Alcan, having graduated with a MSc from London Business School and an MA in natural sciences from Queens' College, Cambridge.