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Doing Business in and with Emerging Markets 2014

Speaker(s): Alan V. Kartashkin, Alex Hao, Amadeu Ribeiro, Benjamin R. Newland, Bruno Balduccini, Carlos Gonzalez, Chantal E. Kordula, Hui Chen, Janet I. Levine, Kirill Zenin, Kirtee Kapoor, Maurizio Levi-Minzi, William E. Markstein, Yingling Wei
Recorded on: Jul. 10, 2014
PLI Program #: 50061

Alan Kartashkin is a partner based in the Moscow office. His practice focuses on M&A, securities and corporate finance.

Mr. Kartashkin is recommended as one of the leading lawyers for M&A, capital markets and aviation matters in Russia by Chambers and Vedomosti: Best Lawyers. He is also included in Legal Media Group’s Guide to the World’s Leading Aviation Lawyers. In Chambers Global (2013), Mr. Kartashkin is cited as “an excellent lawyer in the sphere of cross-border M&A.” and in Chambers Europe (2013), he is described as a “multi-talented corporate and finance lawyer" where clients note “he has a sharp, analytical mind” and “is a fantastic representative of the firm”.

Mr. Kartashkin advises boards of directors and special committees of independent directors of leading Russian companies on corporate governance issues. He has led some of the largest public M&A transactions in Russia, including the mergers of Uralkali with Silvinit and RTS with MICEX. Mr. Kartashkin has represented major Russian enterprises in public equity and debt offerings in the international capital markets, including premium listings on the London Stock Exchange, as well as in a diverse range of financing transactions.

Mr. Kartashkin’s publications include “Russian Sanctions: Six Things Every GP Should Know,” Private Funds Management (December 2014), “Buyback Of Russian Equities Through Tender Offers,” CEE Legal Matters (December 2014), “United States Expands Sanctions on Russia, Introduces Limited Sectoral Sanctions against Russian Companies,” Pratt’s Energy Law Report (October 2014), “News from the BRICs: Bringing Money and Data Back to Russia,” FCPA Update (July 2014, Vol. 5, No. 12), “Capital Resources,” Mining Journal (September 2013) and “How Russia joining the World Trade Organization affects aviation,” Corporate Jet Investor (November 2012).

Mr. Kartashkin received his J.D. from Cornell Law School in 1996, and a law degree with honors from the Moscow State Institute for International Relations in 1993. He is a member of the New York State Bar and is admitted to practice law in Russia.

Alex Hao is a partner at JunHe’s New York office and a member of the firm’s Strategy Committee. Alex has been practicing law in New York since 2003.

Alex has significant experience in corporate, M&A, finance and FDI matters involving China. He also advises US clients on complying with China’s rapidly developing laws in areas such as anti-bribery, anti-monopoly, labor and employment, and national security. In addition, Alex acts as outside general counsel for many Chinese clients doing business in the U.S. (including some of China’s largest developers, banks and manufacturers) and links them with U.S. lawyers and other professionals.

Clients report that “Alex has superb instincts, utmost discretion, a keen judgment, a unique ability to de-mystify the complex, and a phenomenal ability to bring in all the expertise that is needed, but never more than what's needed.” Because “he's always exactly where you need him, when you need him” and “extremely creative and responsive”, clients “would recommend Alex in a heartbeat" and “just can't imagine doing anything legal in China without his counsel.”

Alex frequently speaks and writes on China-related legal and business issues, and has been interviewed by leading Chinese and U.S. media. He is an adjunct professor at Fudan University’s Fanhai International School of Finance in Shanghai, and co-chairs Practising Law Institute’s annual seminar on Doing Business in and with Emerging Markets in New York. Alex reads history avidly, studies Spanish and German, and travels the continents.

Benjamin Newland is a partner in King & Spalding’s Dubai office.  His practice covers a broad range of corporate and financial matters, with particular emphasis on strategic corporate transactions and joint ventures, including mergers, leveraged buyouts, sales and purchases of corporate and real estate assets and Shari’ah-compliant transactions. Benjamin also has extensive experience in investment fund formation, corporate finance transactions, corporate restructurings, privatizations, corporate governance advisory work and other business matters.  Both Chambers Global and The Legal 500: Europe, Middle East & Africa and recognize him as being one of the leading transactional and fund-formation lawyers in the Middle East.  One client reports: “He's outstanding - an innovative thinker who is extremely helpful and goes the extra mile.” (Chambers Global 2014)

Prior to joining King & Spalding, Benjamin co-founded and served as vice president of The Active Network (listed on the New York Stock Exchange before being taken private for US$ 1 billion by Vista Equity Partners), the leading internet resource for sports event registration, data management and marketing.  Upon graduation from law school he was an associate with the law firm of Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton.  Benjamin received his J.D. from The University of Chicago Law School.  He received his undergraduate degree, summa cum laude, from Columbia University, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.  He is a member of the American Bar Association and is admitted to practice in California, Georgia and New York.

Carlos R. Gonzalez is the Chief Legal Officer (CLO) for Prudential Financial’s International Division, leading a team of lawyers located in the U.S., Asia, Europe and Latin America.  The businesses in the International Division manufacture and distribute individual life insurance, retirement and related products in selected international markets. 

His past experience includes acting as Vice President and Chief M&A Counsel at Prudential Financial.  In this role, Mr. Gonzalez focused on mergers and acquisitions transactions, joint venture and other strategic investments, including managing teams of cross functional lawyers in connection with domestic and international life insurance, retirement services and asset management acquisitions and other businesses.

Prior to joining Prudential Financial, he was a Senior Associate at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP in New York City, where he was a member of the Firm’s Mergers & Acquisitions Group representing strategic buyers and sellers in mergers and acquisitions transactions in the U.S., Latin America and Europe, and represented private equity firms in connection with leveraged buyouts, rollups, venture capital investments and dispositions of portfolio companies in the U.S.

Mr. González received his law degree from Columbia Law School and his undergraduate degree from Fairfield University.

Chantal Kordula is a partner based in the New York office. Chantal’s practice focuses primarily on transactions in Latin America, particularly mergers and acquisitions and project and acquisition finance. She has noteworthy experience advising on some of the most high-profile mergers and acquisitions in Latin America. Her recent M&A work includes:

  • Counsel to Vitro in the $2.15 billion sale of its food and beverage glass containers business to Owens-Illinois;
  • Counsel to First Reserve in its partnership with Mexico Power Group, including with respect to its equity investment in the 130MW La Bufa wind farm in Zacatecas, Mexico, and the approximately $215 million financing for the development of the project;
  • Counsel to Ontex in its €400 million acquisition of Grupo Mabe;
  • Counsel to Coca-Cola FEMSA in its $688.5 million acquisition of a 51% stake in Coca-Cola Bottlers Philippines;
  • Counsel to Grupo Bimbo on various matters, including in its $709 million acquisition of Sara Lee Corporation’s North American Fresh Bakery, its €115 million acquisition of Sara Lee’s fresh bakery business in Spain and Portugal, and the company’s $2.5 billion acquisition of Weston Foods. 

Chantal has been recognized in Chambers Latin America, The Legal 500 Latin America, Latin Lawyer 250, Latinvex, Chambers Global, Chambers USA, The Legal 500 U.S. and was named an “M&A Dealmaker of the Week" by The American Lawyer in 2010. In 2013, Chantal was highlighted in Latin Lawyer’s “Women In Law” issue celebrating the most inspiring women in the Latin American legal profession.

Chantal joined the firm in 1997 and became a partner in 2008. She received a J.D. degree, cum laude, from Harvard Law School in 1997 and an undergraduate degree, cum laude, from Amherst College in 1994.

Chantal is a member of the Bar in New York. Her native language is English, and she is fluent in French and Spanish.

Maurizio Levi-Minzi has over 20 years of experience advising clients in international mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures and infrastructure projects and co-leads the firm’s Latin America Practice Group. Maurizio has led transactions in Latin America and Europe for private equity groups and strategic investors including: Ambev, Barrick, Brookfield, Clessidra, GP Investments and Mitsui. Maurizio is ranked as a leading lawyer for mergers and acquisitions in Latin America by Chambers Latin America with sources saying he is a “very skilled negotiator and a pleasure to work with.”

In 2016, Maurizio led a panel discussing investments in distressed companies at the Latin Lawyer Private Equity Conference in New York. Maurizio co-chairs the program “Doing Business in and with Emerging Markets (2016)” of the Practising Law Institute and is also an adjunct professor at New York University, where he teaches cross-border M&A. In 2015, he spoke at the Biennial IBA Latin American Regional Forum on the topic of private equity investments in Latin America. In 2014, Maurizio spoke at the annual conference of the IBA in Tokyo on the topic of cross-border M&A transactions between Asian and Latin American companies.

Maurizio is a 1993 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania Law School and holds an M.B.A. in Finance from Golden Gate University. Prior to joining the firm, he was a banker with NMB Bank (ING Bank) in New York. Maurizio is fluent in Italian and Spanish and reads Portuguese.

Amadeu’s practice focuses on complex antitrust matters, including merger review cases, government investigations, antitrust litigation, and general antitrust counseling. He is a member of the Council of the American Bar Association – Antitrust Law Section, and a member of the Brazilian Institute for the Study of Competition, Consumer Affairs, and International Trade (IBRAC).


  • Bachelor of Laws, Universidade de São Paulo
  • Doctor of Laws, Universidade de São Paulo

Awards and Recognitions

  • Chambers Latin America – Competition & Antitrust (2011 – 2016)
  • LACCA Approved – Antitrust (2015 – 2016)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Brazil – Competition and Transport (2015)

Bill is Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel at Trammo, Inc. Trammo is a global merchandising and trading group that markets, trades, distributes and transports fertilizers, anhydrous ammonia and other commodities, including liquefied petroleum gases (LPG), sulfuric acid, sulfur, petroleum coke and coal. Trammo is a global company employing over 350 individuals of more than 20 different nationalities in 28 locations worldwide, including offices in Switzerland, France, Brazil, Peru, Russia, Singapore, Thailand and China.  Bill handles a variety of cross-border matters, including international investments and joint ventures, bank, trade and project financing, international trade and its regulation and product purchase and sale contracts (both physical and derivative).  He serves as the Chairman of the Company’s Investment Committee and a member of its Risk Steering Committee.

Bill received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1993, where he was a member of the Law Review.  He received an LL.M in taxation in 2001 from New York University School of Law. He received his undergraduate degree in Quantitative Economics, summa cum laude, from Tufts University in 1988, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.   He clerked on the Delaware Chancery Court in 1993-94 and practiced with Arnold & Porter and Bingham & McCutchen prior to joining Trammo in 2003.

Mr. Kapoor is a partner in Davis Polk’s Corporate Department in the Menlo Park and New York offices. He advises on U.S. and cross-border M&A, and represents clients in investments, exits and joint ventures around the world in both public and private companies. He has extensive experience working on deals in the United States, China, India and Hong Kong, among other countries. Mr. Kapoor’s deal and advisory experience also includes credit, capital markets, real estate, insolvency and restructuring, investment funds, litigation/arbitration and corporate governance. He also leads Davis Polk’s India practice. He is recognized as a leading lawyer in various legal industry publications, including Chambers Global, Chambers Asia-Pacific and IFLR1000.

Mr. Kapoor joined Davis Polk in 1999 and became a partner in 2007.  He received his LL.B. from the University of Delhi Faculty of Law in 1977; B.C.L. from Balliol College, University of Oxford in 1998; and LL.M. from New York University School of Law in 1999.

Bruno Balduccini has been a partner at Pinheiro Neto Advogados since 2001, and is based in the firm’s São Paulo office.  His fields of expertise are banking regulations; business law; corporate law; financing; investments; M&A; exchange controls; credit cards; insurance and reinsurance, fintechs as well as criptocurrencies. In addition to his practice in Pinheiro Neto Advogados, he has been a Standing Member of the Brazilian Bar Association –Banking Law Committee. Mr. Balduccini holds an LLB from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de São Paulo - PUC (1992), and an LLM in International Banking Law from Boston University (1998). He was admitted to the Brazilian Bar Association (OAB) in 1993. He was a foreign associate at Sullivan & Cromwell in New York for one year (1998 - 1999). He is fluent in Portuguese, English and Italian.

Hui Chen is a corporate ethics and compliance leader who served as the first Compliance Counsel Expert at the U.S. Department of Justice from November, 2015 to June, 2017. In that role, she provided expert guidance to federal prosecutors and corporate monitors in evaluating companies’ corporate ethics and compliance programs, including authoring the “Evaluation of Corporate Compliance Programs” documented released in February 2017. She had begun her career as a federal prosecutor in the Department of Justice in Washington DC and New York, then served in senior legal and compliance positions in Microsoft Corporation, Pfizer In., and Standard Chartered Bank, in locations ranging from Munich and Beijing to New York and London. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Berkeley and law degree from the University of California in Los Angeles.

Janet Levine is a partner in Crowell & Moring's Los Angeles office and chair of the firm's Trial Practice. She is a trial and appellate attorney, with extensive experience in domestic and international matters, including securities, health care, and tax fraud and all manner of public corruption matters. She has represented corporations, politicians, judges, directors, officers, and executives and licensed professionals in myriad industries, providing defenses against allegations of wrongdoing. Ms. Levine brings extensive trial, grand jury, and pretrial experience, as well as extensive pre-filing resolutions of difficult and sensitive matters, including litigating grand jury matters.

Ms. Levine is one of the few lawyers to ever try a Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) case. After a trial lasting over five weeks, she obtained a dismissal with prejudice of all charges against her client based on prosecutorial misconduct.

Ms. Levine is a past chair of the ABA’s Criminal Justice Section and is also a member of the Criminal Justice Section Executive Committee and Council, the Section's policy-making and advisory board. She is a past co-chair of the ABA's White Collar Crime Committee and a past-chair of the ABA's West Coast Regional Subcommittee on White Collar Crime. She is also a past president of the Los Angeles Chapter of the Federal Bar Association. Ms. Levine has served as a delegate to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference and is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers.

She is recognized as among the best lawyers in the white-collar crime arena by many publications and has received multiple awards from organizations such as Chambers USA, Super Lawyers, California Lawyer, Los Angeles Daily Journal, Law360, and "Best Lawyers in America." In 2012, Ms. Levine received the California Lawyer Attorney of the Year (CLAY) award in the "criminal law" category. She also received the inaugural White Collar Criminal Defense Award from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Practice Areas

Mergers and acquisitions, private equity fund formation, private equity investment, and competition law.

Professional Experience

Ms. Wei has extensive experience in financial institutions, real estate, energy, telecommunications, retail, automobile, Hi-Tech and traditional manufacturing industries and represents various multinational companies, Chinese companies, investment banks, and private equity funds in their merger and acquisition transactions.  She has provided advice on various aspects of such projects including design of transaction structure, due diligence investigation, drafting and negotiation of complicated legal documents in connection with such projects.  She has also advised many domestic and international clients from different industries in corporate financing, commercial transactions and general corporate matters since she joined the firm in 1994. Ms. Wei also has extensive experience in the private fund formation area and has represented various fund managers or investors in such deals.

Since the effectiveness of the PRC Anti-Monopoly Law, Ms. Wei has represented various multinational companies and Chinese companies in their merger control filings, AML advice on cartel, RPM as well as AML compliance issues.  Ms. Wei has also been invited by the PRC AML enforcement agencies for the formulation of a variety of regulations so as for Ms. Wei to be aware of broadly and deeply both the agencies’ rules and practice.

Ms. Wei has been honored with the awards of the “Beijing Excellent Lawyers Returning from Overseas Study” in 2011, nominated in 2012 and 2013 as a China leading lawyer in the Mergers and Acquisitions by EuroMoney Legal Media Group.

Ms. Wei worked at the Hong Kong office of Mallesons Stephen Jaques from 2002 to 2003 where she advised clients on investment projects in China as well as international transactions.

Ms. Wei is currently a co-head of the Capital Markets Group of Jun He.


LL.B., China University of Political Science and Law, 1993.
LL.M., University of Michigan Law School, 2002

Professional Associations

Member of the All-China Bar Association, Beijing Bar Association and New York State Bar Association.

Language Skills

Fluent in English and Mandarin

Kirill represents clients in a broad range of corporate, commercial and finance-related transactions, with a particular emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, capital markets and other strategic transactions in the oil and gas sector. In the course of Kirill’s almost 16 years practice on matters throughout the world, he has advised clients in connection with mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, project financings, commercial agreements, dispute resolutions and oil and gas developments.

Over the past several years, starting with the representation of the Republic of Southern Sudan in 2011, Kirill has developed a practice advising clients on matters relating to Africa, particularly, in the upstream and downstream oil and gas industries in West and East Africa.

In August 2013, Kirill was part of the Russian delegation at the inaugural meeting of the BRICS Business Council in Johannesburg, South Africa. The BRICS Business Council was created at the BRICS Summit held in Durban, South Africa, in March 2013. Its mandate is to act as a multilateral platform for facilitating trade among, and nations seeking to expand their business opportunities in, the BRICS countries.

Kirill’s recent matters include advising:

- A consortium of investors in connection with the construction of a major oil refinery in the Republic of Uganda;
- An investor in connection with the acquisition of an interest in the oil and gas field in the Republic of South Sudan; and
- An investor in connection with the acquisition of gold exploration companies in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Kirill’s other matters, on which he had worked prior to joining the firm, had included advising:

- The Republic of South Sudan in connection with oil and gas issues relating to its secession from the Republic of Sudan and its becoming a sovereign and independent nation. Kirill has advised on matters arising in the negotiations of agreements between the two countries and in negotiations between the Republic of South Sudan and each of the oil companies having rights to explore for, produce and market crude oil and natural gas in the territory of South Sudan;
- JSC “Mangistaumunaigaz” and its parent company Central Asia Petroleum Ltd in connection with an approximately $3.3 billion sale of a 100% stake in MMG's upstream oil business to JSC NC “KazMunaiGaz”, the Kazakh national oil and gas company, and CNPC E&D, a subsidiary of the China National Petroleum Corporation; the transaction won the EMEA Finance 2009 Best M&A Deal in CIS and the Investment Dealers' Digest 2009 Energy Deal of the Year awards;
- The seller in connection with the spin-off and a $1.2 billion sale of the downstream assets of JSC “Mangistaumunaigaz”, including a 58% stake in JSC "Pavlodar Refinery"; and
- Eurasia Drilling Company Limited, one of the largest oil drilling contractors in Russia, in its US$720 million primary and secondary public offering and listing on the London Stock Exchange of global depositary receipts.

Prior to joining the firm, Kirill had practised in the London and New York offices of a major US firm and as in-house counsel in the Moscow, Paris and Houston offices of Schlumberger, the world’s largest oilfield services company.

A native Russian speaker and fluent in English, and is admitted to practice in Russia, New York and England.

Kirill is recognised by Chambers Global as a leading lawyer within the field of 'Energy & Natural Resources, Kazakhstan' (2014 edition).

Kirill holds a Jurist Diploma With Highest Distinction from the Moscow State Lomonosov University and a Master of Laws Degree from Harvard Law School.