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O’MELVENY ADDS M&A AND PRIVATE EQUITY PARTNER IN LONDON

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O’MELVENY ADDS M&A AND PRIVATE EQUITY PARTNER IN LONDON 1

Daniel Oates Strengthens O’Melveny’s European Transactions Capabilities

O’Melveny & Myers LLP is pleased to announce that Daniel Oates, a seasoned mergers and acquisitions and private equity lawyer, is joining the Firm as a partner in its London office and as a member of the Firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions Practice.

Oates advises private equity and corporate clients on acquisitions and divestitures, public-to-private transactions, initial public offerings, and secondary issues.  He has worked with many of the world’s leading private equity and venture capital firms on a wide range of matters.  Recent notable transactions include advising Francisco Partners and one of its portfolio companies on the acquisition of the business and assets of Four Soft Limited; advising Sequoia Capital on its acquisition of a stake in Skyscanner, a UK-based airline ticketing business; and advising Francisco Partners on the divestiture of the automotive division of CMAC Micro Technologies.

“We’ve been steadily building our transactions platform over the past several years and Dan will help broaden our European transactions capabilities in a way that will positively impact our ability to assist clients with a far greater range of services,” said Firm Chair Bradley J. Butwin. “His strong background and M&A experience will add tremendous value to the existing work we’re doing for both private equity and corporate clients in London and globally.”

The Lawyer magazine recognized Oates, who joins O’Melveny from Kirkland & Ellis, as one of its “Hot 100” lawyers in Europe last year. Legal 500 described Oates as a “strong up-and-coming lawyer with good commercial awareness.”  He graduated with honors with a B.A. from St. Hugh’s College, University of Oxford in 2000. He earned a Diploma in Law from City University in 2001 and completed a Legal Practice Course at BPP Law School in 2002.

“I’m excited to join such a collegial group of lawyers and look forward to contributing to the growth of O’Melveny’s transactional capabilities,” said Oates. “There is some overlap between my client base and O’Melveny’s and I expect that our clients will benefit from the combination of my practice with O’Melveny’s strong global platform.”

O’Melveny’s London office has been involved in a number of recent high-profile private equity and fund formation matters and has received several industry recognitions, including “Private Equity Team of the Year” at the Legal Business Awards 2013.  The Firm also has been named a finalist for the “Law Firm (Fund Formation) of the Year in Europe” award in Private Equity International’s annual PEI Awards.

About O’Melveny & Myers LLP

With approximately 800 lawyers in 16 offices worldwide, O’Melveny & Myers LLP helps industry leaders across a broad array of sectors manage the complex challenges of succeeding in the global economy. We are a values-driven law firm, guided by the principles of excellence, leadership, and citizenship. Our commitment to these values is reflected in our dedication to improving access to justice through pro bono work and championing initiatives that increase the diversity of the legal profession. For more information, please visitwww.omm.com

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Women inch towards equal legal rights despite COVID-19 risks, World Bank says

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Women inch towards equal legal rights despite COVID-19 risks, World Bank says 2

By Sonia Elks

(Thomson Reuters Foundation) – Women gained legal rights in nearly 30 countries last year despite disruption due to COVID-19, but governments must do more to ease the disproportionate burden shouldered by women during the pandemic, the World Bank said on Tuesday.

Nations should prioritise gender equality in economic recovery efforts, the bank said, warning that progress on equal rights was threatened by heavier job losses in female-dominated sectors, increased childcare and a surge in domestic violence.

“This pandemic has exacerbated existing inequalities that disadvantage girls and women,” David Malpass, World Bank Group president, said in a statement accompanying the annual “Women, Business and the Law” report.

“Women should have the same access to finance and the same rights to inheritance as men and must be at the centre of our efforts toward an inclusive and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

A total of 27 countries reformed laws or regulations to give women more economic equality with men in 2019-20, said the report, which grades 190 nations on laws and regulations that affect women’s economic opportunities.

While countries in all of the world’s regions made improvements in the new index – with most reforms addressing pay and parenthood, women on average still have only about three quarters of the rights granted to men, the report found.

Notably, nearly 40 countries brought in extra benefit or leave policies to help employees balance their jobs with the extra childcare needs created by coronavirus restrictions.

But such measures were “few and far between” worldwide and will probably not go far enough to tackle the “motherhood penalty” many women face in the workplace, it said.

The report also noted separate data from a United Nations tool tracking gender-sensitive pandemic responses which found 70% of such measures addressed violence, with just 10% targeting women’s economic security.

The pandemic could result in “a backslide on various hard-won advances in women’s rights achieved in recent years”, said Antonia Kirkland, the global lead on legal equality at women’s rights organisation Equality Now.

“This disruption is a unique opportunity for countries to rebuild more resilient, inclusive and prosperous economies,” she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by email.

“But this can only be achieved alongside the removal of sex discriminatory laws that prevent women from participating fully and equally in economic, social and family life.”

(Reporting by Sonia Elks @soniaelks; Editing by Helen Popper. Please credit the Thomson Reuters Foundation, the charitable arm of Thomson Reuters, that covers the lives of people around the world who struggle to live freely or fairly. Visit http://news.trust.org)

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Digital health checks vital to travel recovery, Heathrow says

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Digital health checks vital to travel recovery, Heathrow says 3

By Sarah Young

LONDON (Reuters) – Digital health checks will be vital to a recovery in foreign travel from the COVID-19 pandemic, Britain’s Heathrow airport said on Wednesday, after a collapse in passenger numbers saw it plunge to a 2 billion pound ($2.8 billion) loss last year.

The UK government said on Monday trips abroad could restart in mid-May as its vaccination campaign kicks in, sparking a surge in holiday bookings.

It is also looking into a digital health passport or app to help ease restrictions, while conceding the benefits have to be weighed against potential risks to civil liberties.

But Heathrow chief executive John Holland-Kaye said digital technology, and international agreements, would be vital to reviving a travel industry on its knees.

“It’s absolutely critical and that’s one of the main things that government needs to work on,” he said, when asked about a digital health app.

At present, paper checks on COVID-19 test results and passenger locator forms take 20 minutes per traveller at Heathrow, making travel near impossible should passenger numbers rise from current low levels.

Britain’s biggest airport said it was “very likely” people would be able to go on their summer holidays, but expects passenger numbers will take time to recover.

The airport, west of London, is forecasting 25 million passengers in the second half of the year, meaning it would be operating at about 50% capacity.

Heathrow, owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, the Qatar Investment Authority, China Investment Corp and others, last year lost its title as Europe’s busiest airport to Paris after its flight schedules shrank more than those of its rivals.

Passenger numbers plunged 73% to 22 million people last year, with half of those travelling during January and February, before the pandemic shut down global travel in March.

Heathrow said it had 3.9 billion pounds of liquidity, giving it sufficient resources to keep going with low levels of traffic until 2023, despite the 2 billion loss before tax for 2020.

The airport urged the government to provide business tax breaks for big airports, something only available to smaller airports so far, and to extend the furlough job support scheme to help it financially before the recovery takes off.

($1 = 0.7044 pounds)

(Reporting by Sarah Young. Editing by James Davey and Mark Potter)

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Britain’s Heathrow sinks to $2.8 billion loss during pandemic

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Britain's Heathrow sinks to $2.8 billion loss during pandemic 4

LONDON (Reuters) – Britain’s Heathrow Airport plunged to a 2 billion pound ($2.8 billion) annual loss after passenger numbers collapsed to levels last seen in the 1970s during the pandemic.

Heathrow called on the government to agree a common international travel standard to allow passengers to start flying again in the summer and to provide business tax breaks for airports to help them ride out the crisis.

The airport, west of London, is hopeful that travel markets will reopen from mid-May after a government announcement on easing lockdown on Monday.

Still Britain’s biggest airport, Heathrow last year lost its title as the busiest in Europe to Paris as its flight schedules contracted more than its rival’s.

The airport said on Wednesday that during 2020 passenger numbers shrunk 73% to 22 million people, with half of those people having travelled during January and February before COVID-19 shut down global travel.

The airport sunk to a 2 billion loss before tax on revenues which were down 62% to 1.18 billion pounds, but Heathrow said it had 3.9 billion pounds of liquidity and that could keep it going until 2023.

The airport is owned by Spain’s Ferrovial, the Qatar Investment Authority and China Investment Corp, among others.

($1 = 0.7044 pounds)

(Reporting by Sarah Young; Editing by Kate Holton and James Davey)

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