Aussie firm makes Silicon Valley deal with help from Squires

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ASX-listed data firm Appen Limited has made a Silicon Valley acquisition with help from Squire Patton Boggs.

The team advised the world-leading dataset firm on debt funding for its acquisition of Figure Eight Technologies Inc. for up to U$300m with a syndicate of Australian banks providing debt facilities.

The acquisition is also funded by a fully underwritten placement arranged by Citigroup, which marked the largest primary capital raising of 2019 so far in Australia.

The cross-border team advising Appen was led by Sydney finance partner Hai-Dang Nguyen and comprised associate Ryan Cho and US colleagues in Squire Patton Boggs’ New York and California offices.

The lenders syndicate was represented by Minter Ellison partner Stewart Robertson and associate Bryce McCarthy.

Global firm reaches new diversity milestone in latest promotions
Linklaters has promoted 33 partners to its partnership and achieved a significant diversity milestone.

A third of those making partner are women, beating the firm’s 30% target and meaning that from 1st May 2019, women will make up 20% of its partners for the first time.

“I am pleased to see that for the second year running as Senior Partner we have beaten our gender target again in electing at least 30% new

female partners and there is still much more we are working on to build on this success,” said senior partner and chairman Charlie Jacobs.

The promotions are across 13 practice areas and 12 countries. Most are in the UK (11) and Europe (10) but Asia has 8 new partners.

Former BHP disputes head joins Jones Day in Melbourne
Leah Ratcliffe has joined Jones Day in Melbourne as a counsel in the global disputes practice.

Ms. Ratcliffe was previously head of dispute resolution at mining, metals, and petroleum firm BHP and has more than 15 years of experience in litigation and arbitration across multiple markets and jurisdictions.

“Leah brings a very deep understanding of global issues and challenges in the energy and resources sectors,” said Melbourne partner in charge Tim L’Estrange. “In particular, Leah has very extensive experience in international arbitration, litigation and ADR, combined with extensive regulatory engagement and risk mitigation.”

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