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Pocket MBA 2021: Finance for Lawyers and Other Professionals

Speaker(s): Alison L. Moore, Andria van der Merwe, Ph.D., Anna T. Pinedo, Bruce M. Buchanan, Charles K. Blank, Corina Cercelaru, Elene Karanicolas, Frank J. Weigand, Jennifer L. Chu, John Cristiano, Lorraine S. McGowen, Margaret H. Allen, Ozgur B. Kan, Peter A. Lennon, Philip J. Antoon, Purvi R. Maniar, Richard Ross
Recorded on: Nov. 18, 2021
PLI Program #: 306507

Alison L. Moore serves as Deputy General Counsel, Investment Services Legal at BNY Mellon. She has responsibility for overseeing legal coverage of Asset Servicing, Issuer Services (which includes Corporate Trust and Depository Receipts), Treasury Services, Corporate Lending, and the Legal Data Management and Analytics Team. Alison provides advice and guidance to senior leaders on the Executive Committee and in Investment Services more broadly; manages and oversees all aspects of the Investment Services legal team; and provides guidance and leadership on significant industry-wide regulatory change projects and initiatives impacting the various Investment Services businesses.  

Prior to joining BNY Mellon, Alison was a Managing Director and Associate General Counsel in the Corporate and Investment Banking Division (CIB) of JPMorgan. During her tenure at JPMorgan, she led legal teams supporting the Commercial Card, Custody, Fund Services and Collateral Management businesses and lead cross-functional teams to address emerging legal issues of strategic importance to the firm, such as cyber-security and regulatory inquiries. Alison began her legal career as a transactional attorney, practicing at several large law firms in New York City.  

A native of Brooklyn, New York, Alison is active in the community. In addition to her mentoring activities, she currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Adams Street Foundation (the non-profit arm of the Urban Assembly School for Law and Justice High School in Brooklyn, NY) and the Board of Directors of the Friends of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association. 

Alison received her undergraduate degree from Harvard University and her law degree from Columbia Law School. 

Elene Karanicolas is a Managing Director in the New York Forensic practice of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP. Elene is a certified public accountant and has been providing auditing, forensic and consulting services for over twenty years to both domestic and global clients in a variety of industries including, life sciences, financial services, real estate, manufacturing, industrial products, investment management, telecommunications, retail, service, and aerospace and defense. She has provided forensic and litigation consulting services on a number of engagements involving forensic accounting, anti-competition investigations, corruption investigations, corporate investigations, fraud-risk assessments, buy-sell disputes, international arbitrations, and securities litigations.

Elene specializes in buy/sell and arbitration matters. She has led engagements involving preparing closing statements, analysis of accounting issues, and strategizing and developing statements of positions for presentation to arbitrators. The matters have also included advising clients on crafting purchase price adjustment provisions including Working Capital and Earn-Out provisions for acquisition agreements. She has also led neutral arbitrations matters involving making a binding determination on complex purchase price adjustment disputes and earn-out disputes. Other issues handled during arbitrations include discovery, breach of representation, and fraud claims.

Certified Public Accountant – Licensed in the state of New York

Professional Affiliations

  • New York Society of Certified Public Accountants
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants


 Queens College, City University of New York: Bachelor of Arts in Accounting and Information Systems (summa cum laude)

Frank Weigand is General Counsel and Head of Listings at Oasis Pro Markets, LLC., a registered broker-dealer and ATS that offers a primary and secondary marketplace for digital asset securities (e.g., tokenized assets), utilizing both blockchain and smart contract technology. In his role at Oasis Pro Markets, Mr. Weigand advises the company on broker-dealer regulation, securities law and capital markets matters, strategic partnerships and new product development.

Prior to joining Oasis Pro Markets in 2021, Mr. Weigand served as General Counsel of HSBC Securities, a firm at which he spent fifteen years and was responsible for providing guidance to the company on its trading, securities, derivatives, and broker-dealer activities. In addition to his role as General Counsel, Mr. Weigand was also Head of Legal for HSBC’s Markets & Securities Services business for the Americas region.

Throughout his career, Mr. Weigand has managed legal teams; worked on strategies to build and scale businesses; and advised boards and C-suite stakeholders on legal, regulatory, and strategic matters.

Prior to joining HSBC in 2006, Mr. Weigand was an associate at Davis Polk & Wardwell in New York. Prior to law school, he spent three years as an associate in the consulting division of Arthur Andersen LLP in New York where he utilized financial modeling, forecasting and operational analyses to assist corporate clients in evaluating strategic business alternatives for their companies.

Mr. Weigand is licensed to practice law in New York. He received his Juris Doctor cum laude from Fordham University School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review, Order of the Coif and a Costantino Law Scholar. He received his Bachelor of Science summa cum laude in Business Administration, with a concentration in Finance and a minor in German from Fordham University. 

Purvi Maniar is the Deputy General Counsel at FalconX, a cryptocurrency and digital assets trading platform. With over 10 years of experience in financial services, Purvi’s expertise is in OTC derivatives sales and trading, financial technology, and partnerships. Prior to joining FalconX, Purvi was Senior Legal Counsel at HSBC, and has also previously worked at Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, and UBS.

Purvi Maniar attended The Johns Hopkins University (BA, 2006) and Brooklyn Law School (JD, 2009). She is admitted to practice in New York.  

Richard Ross is a partner in the firm's Merger & Acquisitions practice, with a focus on the technology industry.

He represents companies, private equity funds, hedge funds and investment banks in a variety of complex corporate transactions. Richard advises clients on public and private mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, distressed transactions, takeovers (negotiated and contested), leveraged buyouts, spin-offs, strategic investments, and joint ventures, in both U.S. and cross-border deals. He also counsels clients on a broad range of corporate, securities and business-related matters, including directors’ duties and responsibilities and other aspects of corporate governance and disclosure issues.

Richard leads technology-driven transactions for clients across multiple industries, including:

·      Goldman Sachs

·      Honeywell

·      Microsoft Corporation

·      Google Inc.

·      Brightwood Capital Advisors

·      Stanley Black & Decker

Anna Pinedo is a partner in Mayer Brown’s New York office and co-leader of the Global Capital Markets practice. She concentrates her practice on securities and derivatives. Anna represents issuers, investment banks/financial intermediaries and investors in financing transactions, including public offerings and private placements of equity and debt securities, as well as structured notes and other hybrid and structured products.

She works closely with financial institutions to create and structure innovative financing techniques, including new securities distribution methodologies and financial products. She has particular financing experience in certain industries, including technology, telecommunications, healthcare, financial institutions, REITs and consumer and specialty finance. Anna has worked closely with foreign private issuers in their securities offerings in the United States and in the Euro markets. She also works with financial institutions in connection with international offerings of equity and debt securities, equity- and credit-linked notes, and hybrid and structured products, as well as medium term note and other continuous offering programs.

In the derivatives area, Anna counsels a number of major financial institutions acting as dealers and participants in the commodities and derivatives markets. She advises on structuring issues as well as on regulatory issues, including those arising under the Dodd-Frank Act. Her work focuses on foreign exchange, equity and credit derivatives products, and structured derivatives transactions. Anna has experience with a wide range of transactions and structures, including collars, swaps, forward and accelerated repurchases, forward sales, hybrid preferred stock and off-balance sheet structures. She also has advised derivatives dealers regarding their Internet sites and other Internet and electronic signature/delivery issues, as well as on compliance matters.

Anna regularly speaks at conferences and participates in panel discussions addressing securities law issues, as well as the securities issues arising in connection with derivatives and other financial products. She is the co-author of the leading capital markets treatise, Corporate Finance and the Securities Laws, published by Wolters Kluwer (6th Ed., updated 2020); co-author of A Deep Dive Into Capital Raising Transactions, published by the International Financial Law Review (2020); co-author of JOBS Act Quick Start (International Financial Law Review, 2013; updated 2014, 2016); contributor to OTC Derivatives Regulation Under Dodd-Frank: A Guide to Registration, Reporting, Business Conduct, and Clearing (Thomson Reuters, first ed. 2014, second ed. 2015, third ed. 2016, fourth ed. 2017); co-author of Considerations for Foreign Banks Financing in the US (International Financial Law Review, 2012; updated 2014, 2016); co-author of Liability Management: An Overview (International Financial Law Review, 2011, updated 2015); co-author of Structuring Liability Management Transactions (International Financial Law Review, 2018); co-author of Covered Bonds Handbook, published by Practising Law Institute (2010, updated 2012-2014); co-author of the treatise Exempt and Hybrid Securities Offerings, published by Practising Law Institute (2009, second ed. 2011, updated 2014, third ed. 2017); and co-author of BNA Tax and Accounting Portfolio: SEC Reporting Issues for Foreign Private Issuers (BNA Accounting Policy and Practice Series, 2009, second ed. 2012, third ed. 2016, fourth ed. 2020). Anna is also a contributing author to Broker-Dealer Regulation (2011, second ed. 2012, updated 2020), published by Practising Law Institute. She co-authored "The Approaches to Bank Resolution," a chapter in Bank Resolution: The European Regime (Oxford University Press, 2016). Anna contributed to The Future of Bank Funding and Capital: Solutions for Issuers, Opportunities for Investors (IFR Market Intelligence, 2009). Additionally, Anna co-authored "The Ties that Bind: The Prime-Brokerage Regulation," a chapter in Global Financial Crisis (Globe Law and Business, 2009); "The Law: Legal and Regulatory Framework," a chapter in PIPEs: A Guide to Private Investments in Public Equity (Bloomberg, 2006); and "The Impact Security: Reimagining the Nonprofit Capital Market," a chapter in What Matters: Investing in Results to Build Strong, Vibrant Communities (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and Nonprofit Finance Fund, 2017). Anna is a contributor to Practising Law Institute’s "BD/IA: Regulation in Focus" blog.

Anna is a member of the American Bar Association's (ABA) Committee on the Federal Regulation of Securities, a member of the subcommittee on Disclosure and Continuous Reporting, chair of the subcommittee on Securities Registration, chair of the subcommittee on Annual Review, and a member of the task force on the future of securities regulation.

She has participated in the drafting committee for the ABA's comment letters on such topics as securities offering reform, revisions to the definition of accelerated filer and smaller reporting company, amendments to the accredited investor definition; amendments to the exempt offering framework; and various JOBS Act-related and disclosure effectiveness related matters. Anna also is a member of the ABA Committee on the Regulation of Futures and Derivatives Instruments. Anna is a chair of the Structured Products Association Legal, Regulatory and Compliance Executive Committee. She is a member of the Mortgage Bankers Association's Mortgage REIT Council and a member of the MBA's Secondary & Capital Markets Committee.

Anna is an adjunct professor at the George Washington University School of Law and member of the George Washington University Center for Law, Economics & Finance Advisory Board. She is a member of the Visiting Committee of the Law School of the University of Chicago. Anna was a member of the University of Chicago Legal Forum during her time at the University of Chicago Law School.

Bruce Buchanan has over 25 years of restructuring, strategic corporate finance and debt capital advisory experience across a broad spectrum of industries, products and markets. His experience includes advising and assisting companies, private equity sponsors and other stakeholders in all phases of crisis management and restructuring, evaluating strategic alternatives and effectuating a wide array of value maximizing initiatives. He has advised on complex debt restructurings in both a public and private company context and has arranged over $30 billion in distressed and special situations capital commitments.

Prior to joining Oppenheimer, Mr. Buchanan was Head of PwC’s Debt Capital Advisory practice. His prior experience also includes Head of Restructuring and Strategic Finance Originations at Morgan Stanley and GE Capital, and Head of Strategic Finance and Global Restructuring team leader at RBS Securities. Mr. Buchanan has significant experience in restructuring and strategic planning, including the preparation of business plans, evaluation of cash flow and working capital management, and implementation of liquidity enhancement and cost transformation initiatives. Over the course of his career his responsibilities have included evaluating the full spectrum of strategic alternatives, advising on all phases of business planning and restructuring, capital raising and recapitalization solutions, including covenant relief, amend and extend negotiations, and liability management or distressed exchange transactions.

Mr. Buchanan has worked with clients across multiple industries, including consumer & retail, healthcare, power & energy, oil & gas services, steel, natural resources, chemicals and general industrial manufacturing, transportation, including shipping, rail, trucking and airlines, technology, telecommunications and media, real estate and business and financial services.

Mr. Buchanan is a Certified Public Accountant, holds an M.B.A. in Finance from New York University, and FINRA Series 24 (Principal) securities license. He is a Certified Insolvency Restructuring Advisor, member of the American Bankruptcy Institute and a frequent speaker at various corporate finance and restructuring conferences, including the iGlobal Forum, Turnaround Management Association and VALCON Conferences.  He was awarded the 2017 Gold Medal from the Association of Insolvency & Restructuring Advisors and was listed among “People to Watch” by the Turnarounds and Workouts publication.

Charles K. Blank has over twenty years of experience providing accounting and litigation and dispute consulting services to clients.  Charles advises clients on matters involving complex accounting issues under US GAAP and IFRS and has assisted companies with technical accounting consultations, post-acquisition disputes, forensic investigations, damages analysis, and implementing new accounting standards.

Charles has been qualified as an expert, reported to in-house and outside counsel,  boards of directors, senior management, and auditors. The financial and forensic accounting investigations that Charles has led have included those involving white-collar crime and whistleblower allegations. Also, he has acted as a neutral arbitrator and provided expert and consulting services on numerous post-acquisition disputes involving working capital, earnouts, and representations and warranties claims.

Prior to joining Grant Thornton, Charles was a Director in the Accounting and Financial Consulting Practice at Huron Consulting Group. Previously, he was an Audit Manager in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications practice with Deloitte & Touche LLP serving public and private companies and he was also an Analyst at Moody’s Investors Service where he analyzed the impact of accounting on fundamental credit analysis used to determine issuer credit ratings.

Professional qualifications and memberships

  • Certified Public Accountant (New York)
  • Chartered Financial Analyst
  • American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants


Northwestern University, Bachelor of Arts – Economics

Dr. Andria van der Merwe is an Executive Vice President at Compass Lexecon where she specializes in complex litigation and regulatory investigations related to financial markets. She provides consulting and testimonial expertise in derivatives, fixed income securities, market microstructure, cryptocurrency and blockchain technologies. Before joining Compass Lexecon, she served as a Director of Portfolio Management at the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago, where she developed as well as executed trading strategies in fixed-income markets, focusing on debt, derivatives and securitized products.

As an author, Dr. van der Merwe wrote Market Liquidity Risk: Implications for Asset Pricing, Risk Management and Financial Regulation (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015) and co-authored Credit Default Swaps: Mechanics and Empirical Evidence on Benefits, Costs, and Inter-Market Relations (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018).  Her research has been published in several internationally renowned journals on topics including complex mathematical algorithms to extract information from digital signatures and economic analysis of cryptocurrency.  Dr. van der Merwe holds three U.S. patents that propose new communication protocols for wireless network services.

Dr. van der Merwe has presented to audiences around the world from Munich, Germany to Zurich, Switzerland to London and Chicago.  Her topics include economics in litigation context, economics of blockchain, cryptocurrency and bitcoin and managing liquidity and liquidity risks, for esteemed groups including the American Bar Association, Swiss Finance Institute and 100 Women in Hedge Funds. 

Dr. van der Merwe earned her Ph.D. in electrical engineering with concentrations in signal processing and applied mathematics from The Ohio State University and an M.B.A. with concentrations in finance, econometrics and accounting from The University of Chicago Booth School of Business.  She is a Research Fellow at the Johns Hopkins Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise.

Jennifer Chu is a corporate partner and member of the firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity Groups. Her practice focuses on advising corporations and private equity firms in mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and other corporate matters, across a broad range of industries with a particular focus on transactions in the healthcare, financial services and insurance industries. Ms. Chu is recognized as a Next Generation Lawyer by The Legal 500 US (2019), where she is described as “very seasoned in handling private equity matters.” She co-led The Deal’s “Private Equity Deal of the Year” (2018) for representing TPG Capital and Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe, with Humana, in their $4.1 billion acquisition of Kindred Healthcare. Ms. Chu is recognized as a leading M&A and private equity lawyer by IFLR1000 (2020), and as a Rising Star by Law360 (2019). She was also named to Crain’s New York Business’s 2019 list of “Notable Women in Law” and selected as a Rising Star by the New York Law Journal (2017).

Ms. Chu publishes and speaks regularly on M&A and private equity matters. She is a contributing author to the annual Health Care Mergers and Acquisitions Answer Book (Practising Law Institute, 2019), an extensive reference guide addressing structuring, regulatory, due diligence and documentation issues in healthcare M&A and licensing transactions. Her articles include: co-author of “How Tax Reform Could Impact the Healthcare Industry,” Law360 (November, 2017); “How Section 1332 Waivers Could Impact Health Care Reform,” Law360 (July, 2017); “Shining a Light on GOP Plan for Health Care Reform,” Law360 (March, 2017); “The Outlook For The Pharmaceutical Industry Under Trump,” Law360 (January, 2017); “The Outlook on Drug Pricing: At What Cost?,” Law360 (December, 2016) and “A Closer Look: Increased Cybersecurity Regulations are Impacting the Insurance and Financial Technology Sectors,” Best's Review (June, 2015). She is an editor of The Debevoise & Plimpton Private Equity Report.

Ms. Chu’s recent ?speaking engagements include “Indemnification Issues,” Acquiring and Selling the Privately Held Company 2018 (June, 2018) and “Health Care M&A: Three Hot Topics,” PLI One-Hour Briefing (April, 2017).

Ms. Chu is actively involved in the development of young lawyers, particularly women and diverse lawyers. She co-chairs Debevoise’s Women’s Resource Group and is a member of its Diversity Committee. She serves on the Board of Directors of Practicing Attorneys for Law Students, a not-for-profit organization focusing on enhancing the skills and careers of minority law students and early career lawyers through mentoring, education and professional development opportunities. She has spoken on panels about women in the legal profession, including at the Annual Conference of the National Association of Women Lawyers and at Harvard Law School. She is also a 2015 Alumni of the Fellows Program of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity, an organization of leading corporate chief legal officers and law firm managing partners.

Ms. Chu joined the firm in 2006. She received her J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 2006, where she served as co-editor-in-chief of the Harvard International Law Journal. She received her M.A. with distinction from the University of London in 2002, and her A.B. magna cum laude from Harvard College in 2001.

Ms. Chu is a member of the Bar of New York.

John Cristiano is a Partner with Grant Thornton’s Transaction Advisory Services. He is a highly skilled senior financial executive and team leader with over 20 years of experience analyzing companies and industries and delivering value-added, actionable advice to clients to help them make more informed business decisions. Cristiano has completed over 200 M&A due diligence engagements exceeding $20 billion in transaction value for private equity and strategic corporate clients across a spectrum of industries, including financial services, technology/media, manufacturing, retail, and aerospace and defense. He has extensive experience in mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures including buy- and sell-side due diligence, performance analysis and improvement, forecasting and modeling, integration/separation, and enterprise valuation.

Before joining Grant Thornton, Cristiano was a managing director of corporate finance with FTI Consulting. Earlier, he was an equity analyst with UBS Investment Bank, Robertson Stephens and Prudential Securities. He began his career at Ernst & Young. 


  • Financial services
  • Manufacturing
  • Technology
  • Aerospace and defense
  • Retail

Service experience

  • Advisory
  • Transaction advisory

Professional qualifications and memberships

CPA — New York

Lorraine S. McGowen is a restructuring partner at Orrick, a leading global law firm focused on serving the financial, and energy & infrastructure and tech sectors.   One of IFLR1000’s Leading Lawyers, she is a seasoned legal practitioner and business advisor involved in the most complex transactions where parties are seeking to maximize recoveries or reduce liabilities. 

Recent engagements include representing the bondholder committee on the restructuring of Suriname’s $675 million Sovereign Bond Restructuring, representing the steering members of the bondholder committee on the tender offer and consent solicitation of Belize’s USD Bonds due 2034; representing financial institutions in connection with Puerto Rico’s $72 billion restructuring; representing several alternative energy PPA counterparties in the PG&E bankruptcy case; and Toyota (one of the largest creditors with more than $7 billion in claims) in the highly complex global restructuring of Takata Corporation, one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of automotive safety systems, including airbags. 

She is a member of Orrick’s Management Committee and is the Partner in Charge of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion. She also co-leads Orrick's Automotive Technology & Mobility Group. 

As a leading D&I advocate, McGowen creates programs for the legal profession and the community.  She has been recognized as an MCCA Rainmaker, one of Savoy’s Most Influential Black Lawyers in 2018 and 2015, and one of Savoy’s Most Influential Women in Corporate America  and received the National Bar Association’s Outstanding Woman at a Majority Firm, NYC Bar Association’s Diversity Champion Award and Legal Outreach’s Pipeline to Diversity Champion Award.  

McGowen received her B.S.F.S. from Georgetown University School of Foreign Service, and her J.D. from Columbia University School of Law. 




Margaret H. Allen is a partner at Sidley Austin LLP. Her practice represents individuals and corporations in complex disputes in international arbitration and in courts across the United States. She has represented board committees in internal investigations and whistleblower actions all over the world, often involving allegations of fraud and corruption.

Her extensive experience litigating class actions and multi-jurisdictional disputes spans all aspects of pleadings, discovery, trial and appeal. She litigates all manner of high-risk business disputes, including those involving breach of contract, business torts and securities claims.

In addition, Margaret represents public and private companies in high-stakes civil rights and employment cases, and advises on significant employment matters in a myriad of contexts, including national and international corporate transactions, reorganizations and the negotiation of employment, noncompetition and separation agreements.

In 2021, Margaret was ranked as a leading employment lawyer by Chambers USA, which noted that clients praise her for being “both a tough negotiator and a calming influence on all parties,” as well as “extremely quick at responding and a very direct communicator.” Margaret has been named a “Texas Rising Star” by Texas Super Lawyers from 2012–2018 and one of the top 50 Up-and-Coming Women in 2018.

A sampling of Margaret’s experience at and prior to joining Sidley includes:

  • Represented board committee of public corporation in U.S. agency investigation involving alleged violations of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
  • Numerous internal investigations involving whistleblower, accounting, and executive issues.
  • Charter Communications — Castorena v. CharterPrizler v. CharterMoorman v. Charter (California, Wisconsin) — Won motions to compel arbitration and to stay numerous nationwide class actions pending in California and Wisconsin.
  • Nevro Corp. — Nevro Corp. v. Olson (Texas) — Obtained temporary restraining order and temporary injunction to enforce noncompetition and nonsolicitation obligations against former employee who joined a competitor. 
  • Apache Holdings — Apache IS Holdings, LLC  v. Thibodeaux (Louisiana, Texas) — Won motion to enforce mandatory venue provision and dismissal of entire Louisiana action.
  • Federation of State Medical Boards — Federation of State Medical Boards v. Day (Texas) — Obtained complete dismissal of physician’s defamation claims under Texas Citizens’ Participation Act, a.k.a. Texas’ anti-SLAPP statute, as well as award of all attorneys’ fees. Affirmed on appeal.
  • Hewlett Packard — Benedict v. Hewlett Packard (California) Defeated class certification in exempt status class action under Fair Labor Standards Act and related state statutes originally brought on behalf of over 16,000 technical solutions professionals.
  • American Airlines — Woodall v. American Airlines, Inc. (Texas) — Lead trial counsel for American in putative class action brought by the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act.
  • General Motors — In re Motors Liquidation Co. (New York) — Successfully obtained discharge in bankruptcy proceedings of all putative class action claims against successor to General Motors Corporation, including claims under the Alien Tort Claims Act brought on behalf of a putative class consisting of all black South Africans who were victims of Apartheid. 
  • General Motors — In re Motors Liquidation Co. (New York) — Successfully settled over one billion dollars of unliquidated claims against debtor’s estate by setting up a cutting-edge, court-ordered alternative dispute resolution program. Mediated and settled dozens of cases nationwide. 
  • Negotiations against Texas Juvenile Justice Department (Texas) — Collaborated with Texas Appleseed to negotiate, through a series of written submissions and agency meetings, improvements to mental health and education policies for imprisoned children, including the improper use of solitary confinement.
  • Zale Corporation (Texas) — Represented Zale in class actions brought under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Won early dismissal with prejudice, later affirmed by the Fifth Circuit.
  • American Airlines — American Airlines, Inc. v. Sabre Inc. and Travelport (Texas) — Represented American in lawsuits brought in state and federal courts against the two largest global distribution systems for breach of contract, tort claims, and antitrust violations under state and federal laws. Negotiated an extremely favorable settlement following voir dire and six days of trial.
  • Deutsche Bank, Barclays Bank, and Commerzbank AG (California, France) — MGA Entertainment Inc. v. Deutsche Bank, et al. — Won motion to dismiss $429 million fraud action against clients Deutsche Bank and other syndicate banks on grounds of forum non conveniens.
  • Alliant Insurance Services (California, New York) — Represented Alliant in parallel lawsuits pending on opposite coasts involving allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets and aiding and abetting breaches of fiduciary duty related to the departure of a group of 60 Aon employees for Alliant.
  • HM Capital (Texas, Utah, Alaska) — Litigation counsel for portfolio companies of HM Capital in internal investigation that led to successful injunction against whistleblower and ultimate dismissal of two separate class action complaints alleging breach of contract and torts related to distribution of telephone directories.
  • Medical Media Holdings, LLC (Texas, Colorado and before arbitration panel) — Physicians’ Education Resource, L.P. v. MMH, LLC — Trial counsel for portfolio company of private equity fund in several trade secret misappropriation and restrictive covenant matters. Successful results affirmed by the Dallas Court of Appeal.
  • kgb/USA — Jingle Networks v. InfoNXX, Inc. (Texas, Massachusetts and before arbitration panel) — Litigation counsel for kgb in several overlapping and related matters involving non-compete, breach of contract and defamation claims.
  • In re Stanford (Texas) — On behalf of a large financial institution, successfully negotiated return of fleet of five securitized personal jets allegedly worth over $100 million in wake of uncovered Ponzi scheme.
  • McAfee, Inc. — John Giamatteo v. AVG Technologies USA, Inc. (Massachusetts, California) — Trial counsel in multi-state non-compete litigation. Defeated TRO and obtained favorable settlement. 
  • J.C. Flowers & Co. (Delaware, Canada, United Kingdom, Cayman Islands) — In re HCH Delaware L.P. — Represented portfolio company of private equity firm in converting involuntary proceedings brought in the Cayman Islands by a syndicate of lenders to a Chapter 11 voluntary matter. Negotiated settlement following filing of restructuring proceeding.

Ozgur Kan leads BRG’s Credit Risk Analytics practice and is part of the Financial Services and Securities practices. As part of his credit-related projects, he works with the firm's clients on credit analysis and assessments, credit ratings, credit modeling and validation, bond ratings advisory, underwriting due diligence, loan and lease underwriting, deal review, credit model governance, regulatory preparedness, risk compliance, and economic and regulatory capital.

Dr. Kan’s experience in expert witness/expert opinion services covers disputes and analysis of credit analysis, assessments, credit ratings and credit risk rating parameters, securities class action lawsuits, assignment of bond ratings across different industries, underwriting of loans and leases, due diligence issues, deal review, and analysis of creditors' rights.

Dr. Kan’s advisory work in the credit area includes bond rating advisory, credit rating improvement, and assignment of credit assessments to sovereign and public finance-municipal entities, commercial and industrial companies, financial institutions, banks, broker dealers, asset-backed and structured securitizations. He performs credit rating analysis and provides structuring/restructuring and bond rating advice on asset-backed securitizations, leveraged buy outs, distressed exchanges, turnarounds, and bankruptcies. Dr. Kan also focuses on the valuation of mostly credit instruments, bonds, structured deals, workout assessments for reporting, portfolio management, and capital purposes. 

Dr. Kan previously led the Credit Methodology function in GE Capital, Americas, based in Norwalk, Connecticut. He spearheaded the use of ratings and credit methodologies in underwriting, risk-lending, and origination of loan and lease transactions. He regularly participated in transactional deal teams for the origination of asset-backed loans, cash-flow loans and sponsor finance, LBO transactions and equipment leases and also trained underwriters, loan portfolio managers, internal loan/deal review, and internal audit teams. He worked on stress-testing of the credit portfolio and portfolio analytics activities.

Dr. Kan was also previously a director in the Consulting Services group of Moody’s Analytics, where he led advisory engagements with clients mostly throughout North America and South America on credit ratings, development of internal credit risk rating models and methodologies, credit assessments, recoveries, valuation of credit instruments, credit risk analytics, and corporate portfolio stress-testing across all industries. Dr. Kan also previously worked in the valuation, securities and financial services practices of Law and Economics Consulting Group (LECG) and Marshall and Stevens, and as an academic taught MBA and undergraduate courses in finance at two universities.

Since 1989, Philip Antoon has been assisting clients worldwide in the valuation of corporate entities and intangible assets, with in-depth focus providing these valuations for U.S. and international tax purposes, as well as U.S. financial reporting purposes.

Mr. Antoon assists companies of all sizes globally with valuations of legal entities and assets for: internal tax reorganizations and spin offs; related party IP transfers for U.S. and international transfers; intercompany debt issuances, transaction allocations for IRC Sections 338 and 1060; Section 280g; FIRPTA testing; gift and estate; interest expense apportionment;  partnership basis; cost segregation; NOL limitations and built-in gains; as well as estimating preferred coupon rates and debt interest rates.  Mr. Antoon has authored numerous articles regarding valuation issues related to valuations of entities and assets for U.S. tax purposes.

Mr. Antoon has in-depth experience providing fair value analyses for ASC 350 and 805 purposes, having valued reporting units and a wide array of intangible assets including customer relationships / contracts, patented technology, trademarks / trade names, proprietary know how, in-process research and development, franchise agreements, communications licenses, reserves, backlog, databases, and non-compete agreements.

Mr. Antoon also has in-depth experience in the valuation of fractional interests, preferred stock, options and debt, having performed these valuations for tax, financial reporting, restructuring, mergers and acquisitions, gift and estate, across a variety of industries.

Prior to joining A&M, Mr. Antoon was a Managing Director in the Valuation Services practice of PricewaterhouseCoopers, and was the Global Practice Leader of the Valuation Services Practice at Kroll prior to working at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

Mr. Antoon earned a bachelor of science degree in finance from West Virginia University.

Corina Cercelaru is an associate in Mayer Brown's Chicago office and a member of the Technology Transactions practice. She advises on a variety of commercial transactions, including technology and business process outsourcing, technology licensing, cloud computing, and hosted service agreements.  Corina has represented companies in many different industries, including financial services, food and beverage, audit and assurance, and publishing and information technology.  Before earning a J.D from the University of Chicago, Corina worked as a software engineer and business analyst consultant for American Family Insurance and Hewlett Packard. 

Peter A. Lennon's career has been devoted to Litigation, Compliance, Financial Regulation, Taxation, Governance, Conduct Risk, Operational Risk and related matters for many years. In addition to being a US Qualified Lawyer and a Professor of Economics, he is also a US Qualified Accountant with extensive Big 4 auditing experience and has an MBA in Economics/Finance. He has been successfully employed for many years as an Attorney, Forensic Accountant, Investigator and Litigation Consultant to law firms and regulators in the US and Europe handling matters involving complex financial and regulatory issues, including many high-profile cases.

He can be reached at: