The Week at Ropes & Gray

In The News
November 15, 2019

This week, Ropes & Gray helped clients with a variety of real estate, private equity and M&A transactions, and filed a lawsuit—in a pro bono capacity—with DC KinCare Alliance in Washington, D.C. The firm also earned accolades for its client work and commitment to pro bono legal service, provided commentary on developments in the market, and was acknowledged by The American Lawyer for supporting attorneys who work offsite. Here’s a summary of the week’s highlights: 

  • Our clients were active across a range of industries:
    • Nan Fung Group bought approximately 90 percent of Westbrook Partners’ interest in a commercial and industrial property in Long Island City, New York. The commercial condominium, occupied in large part by the New York City Housing Authority, was recapitalized through newly formed joint ventures between Nan Fung and Innovo Property Group, together with acquisition and construction financing from Apollo and Axonic Capital. The deal is the largest real estate deal of 2019 in Long Island City.
    • Access Information Management announced the acquisition of the U.S. records and information management business from EDM Americas. Ropes & Gray advised Access Information Management.
    • American Well, a U.S. telehealth platform, announced the acquisition of Aligned Telehealth, a provider of telepsychiatry consults in hospitals. The partnership will enable American Well to expand its offerings of on-demand, on-site mental health capabilities. Ropes & Gray advised American Well.
    • TGI Fridays will combine with Allegro Merger Corp. to become a publicly listed company after a merger agreement was unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies. Ropes & Gray advised TGIF Holdings, TGI Fridays’ parent company.
  • The firm was recognized by leading media outlets in Asia and the U.K.:
    • Ropes & Gray has been named one of the U.K.’s Best Law Firms of 2020 by The Times (London), with a special commendation—for the second year—for the firm’s financial crime and fraud and regulatory capabilities. The ranking, published this week, is based on a survey of solicitors across England and Wales.
  • Our commitment to serving our communities was evident in two significant pro bono matters, and was recognized this week by a prominent organization and a media outlet:
    • The Caribbean Biodiversity Fund, advised by Ropes & Gray, has established a $12 million fund that will provide grants to organizations helping people adapt to climate change. The projects, within the marine and coastal zones of 10 Caribbean countries, put in place a range of solutions, including the management of protected areas, restoration and rehabilitation of ecosystems, the installation of artificial reefs, and measures to reduce physical damage and pressures on ecosystems.
    • According to the law, children who are removed from their parents, and the caregivers who take them in, are entitled to certain services and financial support. In response to neglect shown by the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA), DC KinCare Alliance and Ropes & Gray have filed a federal lawsuit against the agency and the District of Columbia on behalf of relative caregivers and the children they are raising. “CFSA’s pervasive practice of diverting children to live with relatives, known as kinship diversion, deprives families of their legal rights and desperately needed economic resources, has a disproportionate discriminatory impact on poor African American women, children, and families, and sets them up to fail,” said Marla Spindel, executive director of DC KinCare Alliance. Ropes & Gray’s Washington, D.C. office—through its work for DC KinCare, the Children’s Law Center and the American Bar Association, among other critical pro bono efforts—committed more than 15,000 hours to pro bono legal service in 2018, earning the firm a spot on The Washington Business Journal’s list of “Top Law Firms by Pro Bono Hours in Greater D.C.”
    • In recognition of Ropes & Gray’s role in freeing Gary Cifizzari, who was released in July after serving 35 years in Massachusetts prison for a crime he did not commit, the New England Innocence Project will honor a pro bono litigation team with the 2019 ARC OF JUSTICE award. The award recognizes the firm’s commitment, tenacity and courage to "bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice" for innocent people convicted of crimes.
  • Business restructuring partner and practice co-leader Steve Moeller-Sally has been profiled in a Q&A feature by the Global Restructuring Review. The piece examines the professionalization of distressed investing, the challenge of managing tensions in creditor groups, and the reasons why Steve believes foreign funds are going to be more active in U.S. restructurings.
  • Ropes & Gray supports the careers of several dozen attorneys by enabling them to work remotely in locations far away from the firm’s offices. The American Lawyer writes, “By offering the offsite program to high performers, the firm retains top talent it has already spent years investing in and training … Clients like it, too: since lawyers in the offsite program tend to have greater-than-average experience and expertise, Ropes & Gray says clients regularly ask to work with them.”
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