Akin Gump Named ’Corporate Law - Emerging Markets Law Firm of the Year 2011’ at The Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Awards

(LONDON) – Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has been named “Corporate Law - Emerging Markets Law Firm of the Year 2011” at the Financial Times Innovative Lawyers Awards 2011.

At the fifth annual awards ceremony in London, the firm won the category from a shortlist of seven leading international law firms.

Akin Gump was nominated for the award based on its successful advice to leading emerging market mobile telecoms operator VimpelCom in acquiring Wind Telecom to create the world’s sixth-largest mobile telecommunications carrier by subscribers, operating in 20 countries. The acquisition closed in April 2011.

Akin Gump’s London-based team advising VimpelCom was led by corporate partner Dan Walsh and included partners Fred Heller and Sebastian Rice, counsel Harry Keegan, Lisa Hearn, Alexander Lemke and John Strickland and associates Katie Spencer and Vanessa Evans, with advice from New York-based corporate partners Bruce Mendelsohn and Pat Dooley. The team also included London-based litigation/arbitration partner Justin Williams and New York-based litigation/arbitration partners Steve Pesner and Bob Pees.

Jeff McGhie, general counsel of VimpelCom Ltd, commented, “This deal was transformational for VimpelCom. It takes the company to the next stage and positions us as a truly global company. To make this deal happen we needed support from a team that not only understood our business, but also had the creativity, skill and determination to get the job done under enormous pressure. We trusted Dan Walsh and his team at Akin Gump to deliver the result that we needed and they really came through for us. Our entire management team was very pleased with the service and professionalism of Dan and the Akin Gump team.”

Rick Burdick, managing partner for the firm’s international offices and head of Akin Gump’s international corporate transactions practice, said, “This award cements our position as a leading firm in the emerging markets. Our international practice is designed to support clients in their activities around the world.  We are delighted to have won the award, but we are also very pleased to continue to support our international clients in their global deals in challenging economic times.”

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Founded in 1945, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP, a leading international law firm, numbers more than 800 lawyers in the United States, Europe, Asia and the Middle East. Further details of the FT innovative Lawyers Awards 2011 can be found here.