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Leading Litigation Team Joins BakerHostetler



Leading Litigation Team Joins BakerHostetler

Howard E. Cotton and Michael S. Gordon have worked together for more than 20 years, bringing concierge-style service to a diverse roster of clients

BakerHostetler announced today that Howard E. Cotton and Michael S. Gordon, both seasoned trial attorneys with decades of success in high-stakes commercial litigation, have joined the firm as partners based in New York. Cotton and Gordon come to BakerHostetler to continue their more than 20 years of working together as a successful litigation team.

They arrive from Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP, where Cotton previously held many leadership positions, including serving as a national co-chair of commercial litigation and on the national executive committee, compensation committee and board of directors.

Cotton is a prominent first-chair litigator who combines consummate litigation strategy and courtroom skill with a comprehensive understanding of his clients’ business objectives. Cotton has maintained long-standing relationships with his substantial client roster, including real estate developers and funds, hospitality companies, financial institutions, hedge funds, family offices, public and private companies and their senior officers, high-net-worth investors and entrepreneurs, and foreign governments. Recognized for many years as a New York Metro Super Lawyer in business litigation, Cotton is particularly known for his considerable expertise in complex real estate, corporate and financial services litigation, regularly leading litigations involving partnership and corporate shareholder derivative disputes, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and breach of contract.

Gordon is an accomplished litigator who acts as advisor, strategist and advocate for a diverse group of clients in industries ranging from real estate and financial services to media and not-for-profit charitable organizations – including The Dramatists Guild Foundation, Housing Works and Marjorie’s Fund, on whose boards he currently sits. During his career, Gordon has handled virtually every type of business dispute and also has broad experience as a member of the Mediation Panel for the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, which gives him a unique perspective in counseling clients on litigation strategy.

“We are pleased that Howard and Michael chose to make BakerHostetler their new home,” said W. Ray Whitman, chair of BakerHostetler’s Litigation Group. “Their extensive commercial litigation experience and their rare blend of strategy and counsel will provide immediate benefits to our topflight national litigation team.”

“Howard and Michael are two more excellent additions to our New York office,” said George Stamboulidis, managing partner of BakerHostetler’s New York office. “They have an outstanding litigation track record. Their commitment to collaboration across practice groups and teams resonates with the core culture at BakerHostetler and is something all of our clients can benefit from.”

Cotton received his B.A. from Cornell University and his J.D. from Fordham University School of Law. Gordon received his B.A. from Columbia University and his J.D. from New York University School of Law.

“BakerHostetler is a litigation powerhouse, and the firm’s substantial commitment to burgeoning new areas, such as cybersecurity and data breach response, allows us to offer clients a complete legal package that extends far beyond just comprehensive litigation support,” said Cotton. “I’m also confident that our broad base of real estate, corporate and fund clients will greatly benefit from BakerHostetler’s leading national real estate and corporate platforms, better enabling us to meet all of our clients’ business needs.”

“BakerHostetler presents a tremendous platform in litigation,” said Gordon. “Moreover, the firm’s national footprint and its commitment to collaboration across disciplines mean that we will be able to offer a more extensive menu of resources and services to our clients.”

With more than 360 litigators in offices coast to coast, BakerHostetler’s Litigation Group represents market-leading clients in virtually every type of case and proceeding, nationally and around the world. With a team of litigators comprising of former prosecutors, veteran civil trial lawyers and former enforcement officials from various government agencies, the Litigation Group has been recognized as a “go-to law firm” for its deep bench, commitment to client needs and tenacity in and out of the courtroom.

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Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England



Sunak to use budget to expand apprenticeships in England 1

LONDON (Reuters) – British finance minister Rishi Sunak will announce more funding for apprenticeships in England when he unveils his budget next week, the government said on Friday.

Employers taking part in the Apprenticeship Initiative Scheme will from April 1 receive 3,000 pounds ($4,179) for each apprentice hired, regardless of age – an increase on current grants of between 1,500 and 2,000 pounds depending on age.

The scheme will extended by six months until the end of September, the finance ministry said.

Sunak will also announce an extra 126 million pounds for traineeships for up to 43,000 placements.

Sunak’s March 3 budget will likely include a new round of spending to prop up the economy during what he hopes will be the last phase of lockdown, but he will also probably signal tax rises ahead to plug the huge hole in the public finances.

Sunak is also expected to announce a “flexi-job” apprenticeship scheme, whereby apprentices can join an agency and work for multiple employers in one sector, the finance ministry said.

“We know there’s more to do and it’s vital this continues throughout the next stage of our recovery, which is why I’m boosting support for these programmes, helping jobseekers and employers alike,” Sunak said in a statement.

(Reporting by Andy Bruce, editing by David Milliken)

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UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout



UK seeks G7 consensus on digital competition after Facebook blackout 2

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain is seeking to build a consensus among G7 nations on how to stop large technology companies exploiting their dominance, warning that there can be no repeat of Facebook’s one-week media blackout in Australia.

Facebook’s row with the Australian government over payment for local news, although now resolved, has increased international focus on the power wielded by tech corporations.

“We will hold these companies to account and bridge the gap between what they say they do and what happens in practice,” Britain’s digital minister Oliver Dowden said on Friday.

“We will prevent these firms from exploiting their dominance to the detriment of people and the businesses that rely on them.”

Dowden said recent events had strengthened his view that digital markets did not currently function properly.

He spoke after a meeting with Facebook’s Vice-President for Global Affairs, Nick Clegg, a former British deputy prime minister.

“I put these concerns to Facebook and set out our interest in levelling the playing field to enable proper commercial relationships to be formed. We must avoid such nuclear options being taken again,” Dowden said in a statement.

Facebook said in a statement that the call had been constructive, and that it had already struck commercial deals with most major publishers in Britain.

“Nick strongly agreed with the Secretary of State’s (Dowden’s) assertion that the government’s general preference is for companies to enter freely into proper commercial relationships with each other,” a Facebook spokesman said.

Britain will host a meeting of G7 leaders in June.

It is seeking to build consensus there for coordinated action toward “promoting competitive, innovative digital markets while protecting the free speech and journalism that underpin our democracy and precious liberties,” Dowden said.

The G7 comprises the United States, Japan, Britain, Germany, France, Italy and Canada, but Australia has also been invited.

Britain is working on a new competition regime aimed at giving consumers more control over their data, and introducing legislation that could regulate social media platforms to prevent the spread of illegal or extremist content and bullying.

(Reporting by William James; Editing by Gareth Jones and John Stonestreet)


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Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit



Britain to offer fast-track visas to bolster fintechs after Brexit 3

By Huw Jones

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain said on Friday it would offer a fast-track visa scheme for jobs at high-growth companies after a government-backed review warned that financial technology firms will struggle with Brexit and tougher competition for global talent.

Finance minister Rishi Sunak said that now Britain has left the European Union, it wants to make sure its immigration system helps businesses attract the best hires.

“This new fast-track scale-up stream will make it easier for fintech firms to recruit innovators and job creators, who will help them grow,” Sunak said in a statement.

Over 40% of fintech staff in Britain come from overseas, and the new visa scheme, open to migrants with job offers at high-growth firms that are scaling up, will start in March 2022.

Brexit cut fintechs’ access to the EU single market and made it far harder to employ staff from the bloc, leaving Britain less attractive for the industry.

The review published on Friday and headed by Ron Kalifa, former CEO of payments fintech Worldpay, set out a “strategy and delivery model” that also includes a new 1 billion pound ($1.39 billion) start-up fund.

“It’s about underpinning financial services and our place in the world, and bringing innovation into mainstream banking,” Kalifa told Reuters.

Britain has a 10% share of the global fintech market, generating 11 billion pounds ($15.6 billion) in revenue.

The review said Brexit, heavy investment in fintech by Australia, Canada and Singapore, and the need to be nimbler as COVID-19 accelerates digitalisation of finance, all mean the sector’s future in Britain is not assured.

It also recommends more flexible listing rules for fintechs to catch up with New York.

“We recognise the need to make the UK attractive a more attractive location for IPOs,” said Britain’s financial services minister John Glen, adding that a separate review on listings rules would be published shortly.

“Those findings, along with Ron’s report today, should provide an excellent evidence base for further reform.”


Britain pioneered “sandboxes” to allow fintechs to test products on real consumers under supervision, and the review says regulators should move to the next stage and set up “scale-boxes” to help fintechs navigate red tape to grow.

“It’s a question of knowing who to call when there’s a problem,” said Kay Swinburne, vice chair of financial services at consultants KPMG and a contributor to the review.

A UK fintech wanting to serve EU clients would have to open a hub in the bloc, an expensive undertaking for a start-up.

“Leaving the EU and access to the single market going away is a big deal, so the UK has to do something significant to make fintechs stay here,” Swinburne said.

The review seeks to join the dots on fintech policy across government departments and regulators, and marshal private sector efforts under a new Centre for Finance, Innovation and Technology (CFIT).

“There is no framework but bits of individual policies, and nowhere does it come together,” said Rachel Kent, a lawyer at Hogan Lovells and contributor to the review.

($1 = 0.7064 pounds)

(Reporting by Huw Jones; editing by Jane Merriman and John Stonestreet)


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