April 26, 2011

Jenner & Block is pleased to announce that seasoned corporate lawyers Kevin T. Collins and Jason M. Casella have joined the Firm’s New York office.  Messrs. Collins and Casella reunite with Wesley Fredericks, who recently joined the Firm as Chair of the New York Corporate Practice, and significantly augment the capabilities of the Firm’s Corporate Practice in New York. 

“We are very pleased that Kevin and Jason are joining Jenner & Block,” said Susan C. Levy, Managing Partner of Jenner & Block.  “They are impressive attorneys who add exceptional corporate, M&A and securities experience to our New York office, and also bolster our strong national Corporate Department.  Additionally, they also enhance our ability to serve our valued clients in the life sciences industry.”

“Kevin and Jason further expand our transactional footprint in the New York market, which is a cornerstone to our continued growth,” said Joseph P. Gromacki, Chair of Jenner & Block’s national Corporate Department.  “Enhancing the scale and depth of our corporate practice is critical in our effort to provide exceptional service to public and private companies, and I know clients will value Kevin’s and Jason’s unique perspectives and skills.”

Mr. Collins’ practice focuses on general corporate matters, securities law, SEC registered offerings and private placements, strategic partnering and licensing.  He has significant experience in working with companies in the life sciences and pharmaceutical industries, and his clients have included companies such as Lonza, Bayer Healthcare and Otsuka Pharmaceutical, as well as publicly traded biotech and specialty pharmaceutical companies, such as Enzon Pharmaceuticals, Tengion, Obagi Medical Products, Osteotech and Alfacell.  He previously practiced at Goodwin Procter and Heller Ehrman. 

"Jenner & Block's New York office is an exciting place to practice, with lawyers from that office having  played  significant roles in producing the authoritative report on the fall of Lehman Brothers and  working as part of the Jenner & Block team that acted as lead counsel for GM in its historic return to the public markets.  Jenner & Block is a firm with an outstanding reputation and commitment to excellence and I am thrilled to be joining its strong national corporate practice and to be part of the expansion of the corporate practice in the New York office," said Mr. Collins.

Mr. Casella has represented both private and public companies in a wide variety of corporate matters, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity, venture capital, and capital markets transactions.  He has also advised on commercial transactions and corporate governance issues.  He previously practiced at Goodwin Procter and Heller Ehrman, as well as a New York boutique corporate firm. 

“I am thrilled to join Jenner & Block’s dynamic corporate practice in New York,” added Mr. Casella. “This is a great opportunity to practice at a Firm with a terrific national platform and a bourgeoning New York team.”

“I had the pleasure of practicing with Kevin and Jason at two prior firms, and I know their exceptional talent will be of great value to our clients, both here in New York and nationally,” said Mr. Fredericks.  “They will be instrumental to the foundation we are building for an expanded Corporate Practice in New York.”

The pair joins a flourishing Corporate Practice at Jenner & Block.  Recently, for example, the Firm played a key role in the historic turnaround of General Motors, acting as lead outside counsel to GM in its recent record-breaking $23.1 billion Initial Public Offering – the largest IPO in global history – and in the “Section 363” sale of substantially all of its assets in connection with its Chapter 11 reorganization.

In 2010, the Firm’s national corporate practice also successfully represented leading global defense contractor General Dynamics in several M&A and financing transactions; General Motors in securing a $5 billion revolving credit facility; major telecom services provider RCN in its billion-dollar plus sale to a private investment fund; and multiple dividend recapitalization transactions for KPS Capital Partners and its portfolio companies. 

In 2009-2010, Jenner & Block also represented its Chairman Anton R. Valukas in his closely watched role as Court-appointed Examiner in the Lehman Brothers Holdings, Inc. bankruptcy, producing an exhaustive report detailing the causes of the demise of the banking giant.  The Wall Street Journal said the report was a “master work” and The New York Times called it “the definitive account of the largest bankruptcy in American history.”

Jenner & Block’s corporate practice is recognized nationally and in Illinois and New York by Chambers USA, which recently noted the New York Corporate Practice’s experience in a combination of public and private company mergers and acquisitions, as well as public securities and private fund transactions.