The biggest winner

Worldwide Hogan Lovells Team Advises Ford on Sale of Volvo

When Ford Motor Co. announced earlier this week that it had the sale of Swedish automaker Volvo Cars to Chinese carmaker Zhejiang Geely Holding Group, one of the biggest winners was Hogan Lovells.

Geely agreed to pay $1.5 billion for Volvo in a deal that marks the first time a private Chinese company has taken over a foreign automaker. For Ford, the deal marks the completion of the auto company's strategy to unload luxury European brands and renew its focus on its core products.

Ford is a longtime client of both Hogan & Hartson and Lovells, the firms that concluded a closely-watched transatlantic merger in May.

Lawyers in 13 of Hogan Lovells' offices were dispatched to handle a range of issues related to the deal. Washington-based partner William Curtin led the team of lawyers that included 15 partners around the globe.

In a statement, Curtin said, "We are extremely proud to have had the opportunity to advise our longstanding client, Ford Motor Company, on this important matter. We are pleased to have brought the extensive cross-border resources of our global legal practice to this complex and multi-jurisdictional transaction." Curtin could not be reached for additional comment.

In Washington, partners Carin Carithers, Latane Montague, Daniel Davidson, and Shelly McGee worked on aspects of the deal involving employee benefits, environmental and automotive regulations, taxes, and intellectual property.

Four partners in Hogan's Nothern Virginia office advised Ford on corporate, intellectual property, product development, and antitrust issues.

The deal had to be approved by authorities in 12 countries.

In addition to Washington and Northern Virginia, the team from Hogan included lawyers in New York, Baltimore, Beijing, Berlin, Brussels, Hong Kong, London, Moscow, Munich, Paris, and Shanghai.

A team of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer lawyers led by partner Chris Bown in London advised Geely on the deal.

(Published by Legal Times - August 4, 2010)

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