News 08 Jan. 2019

Curtis Announces 11 Promotions in the New Year for New York, Washington, D.C., Milan and Almaty

Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle LLP is pleased to announce the elevation of eight attorneys to partner and three attorneys to counsel within key practices in its New York, Washington, D.C., Milan and Almaty offices. The promotions within the firm’s New York headquarters and other offices reflect the firm’s tradition of promoting talent from within.

New Partner appointments in New York include Gabriel Hertzberg, Nicole Mazanitis and Kevin Meehan in Litigation; Randy DeSmyter and in Corporate; Simon Batifort and Arianna Sánchez Galindo in International Arbitration; and Catherine Baecher in Real Estate. Edoardo Zucchelli, who is affiliated with the Commercial Litigation and Arbitration practices, has been promoted to partner in Milan. Washington-based Marat Umerov, who is affiliated with both the International Arbitration and International Trade practices, Almaty-based Nurlan Moukhitdinov of the International Arbitration and Corporate practices, and Milan-based Irene Petrelli of the International Arbitration group have been promoted to Counsel.

Litigation Partners in New York:

• Mr. Gabriel Hertzberg has broad litigation experience, with a particular focus on commercial disputes, bankruptcy litigation, and government and regulatory investigations. His experience spans matters involving insider trading, securities fraud, professional liability, Medicare fraud, and U.S. Treasury regulations. Mr. Hertzberg appears frequently in federal and state courts throughout the United States, and represents clients in enforcement and regulatory proceedings before the United States Department of Justice, Securities and Exchange Commission, and other bodies. Before joining Curtis, Mr. Hertzberg was an Assistant Attorney General for the State of New York, where he represented the state and its agencies in affirmative and defensive litigation. He obtained his J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law and his B.A. from Ithaca College.

• Ms. Nicole Mazanitis is a commercial litigator with significant experience in intellectual property disputes including utility, design, and pharmaceutical patent infringement, copyright infringement, trademark infringement, unfair competition, defamation, and trade secret misappropriation, as well as internet and privacy laws. Ms. Mazanitis also assists clients in developing and protecting international portfolios of trademark rights. Ms. Mazanitis represents clients in federal, state, and appellate courts, and before the Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Before joining Curtis, Ms. Mazanitis served as a judicial intern for the Honorable John E. Sprizzo of the Southern District of New York. She received her J.D. from Fordham University School of Law, where she currently serves as an Adjunct Professor. She obtained her B.A. from Stanford University.

• Mr. Kevin A. Meehan’s practice covers commercial litigation, international arbitration and intellectual property. In particular, he represents foreign states and state-owned entities in a variety of disputes, including U.S. litigations under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act. Mr. Meehan was a member of the Curtis team that successfully represented PDVSA in the first Supreme Court case to address the expropriation exception to foreign sovereign immunity. Mr. Meehan was also a member of the Curtis team that successfully represented Venezuela in a landmark case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit concerning the proper procedure for enforcing ICSID arbitral awards against foreign states in the United States. He obtained his J.D. from Boston College Law School and his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the College of the Holy Cross.

International Arbitration Partners in New York:

• Mr. Simon Batifort, promoted to counsel last year, has represented clients in numerous high-profile arbitrations, including ExxonMobil v. Venezuela, in which Curtis secured the largest annulment in ICSID history, Içkale v. Turkmenistan and Erhas v. Turkmenistan, in which Curtis obtained victories for the State, and several investment treaty disputes involving India. He also teaches investment treaty arbitration at Brooklyn Law School. He recently co-authored “The New Debate on the Interpretation of MFN Clauses in Investment Treaties: Putting the Brakes on Multilateralization” which was published in the American Journal of International Law and was the subject of an AJIL Unbound symposium. He has been recognized among the Most Highly Regarded arbitration attorneys under 45 by Who’s Who Legal – Arbitration: Future Leaders for the past two years. Dual-qualified in Paris and New York, he holds law degrees from Université Panthéon-Assas (Paris II), Université de Montpellier, and NYU School of Law.

• Ms. Arianna Sánchez, also promoted to counsel last year, has experience ranging from international arbitration to cross-border corporate transactions in the oil and gas sector. She has been a key member of the Curtis team on several ICSID arbitrations, including ExxonMobil v. Venezuela and ConocoPhillips v. Venezuela, and high-value commercial disputes. She has also taught at the Instituto de Empresa (IE) in Spain. Ms. Sánchez is fluent in Spanish and English, and is dual-qualified in Mexico and New York. Ms. Sánchez holds a Juridical Science Doctor degree and an LL.M. degree from Stanford Law School, where she was a Fulbright Scholar and a MacArthur-Ford Fellow, as well as an M.A. in Economics from Stanford University.

Corporate Partner in New York:

• Mr. Randy DeSmyter focuses on the legal aspects of investment management. He counsels domestic and foreign investment management clients on all aspects of the structuring, formation and ongoing regulatory compliance of private equity funds and hedge funds, as well as the U.S. regulatory regime and its application to funds, investment advisers, U.S. and foreign broker dealers and fund investors. He also advises SWFs, HNW and institutional investors when contemplating investments into funds. Prior to Curtis, he was an intern in the Computer Crimes Unit of the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts. He holds a J.D. from Harvard Law School and A.B. from Duke University.

Real Estate Partner in New York:

• Ms. Catherine M. Baecher has a well-rounded real estate practice, representing buyers and sellers of residential and commercial real estate across the United States, with an emphasis on property acquisition, sales and leasing. She handles complex real estate dealings of large corporations, including property transactions related to various stock and/or asset purchase agreements, and performs in-depth analysis of corporate real estate holdings (both leaseholds and owned property), title examinations, and assessments of the scope of future obligations related to such real estate holdings. She frequently advises high-net-worth individuals in relation to their property holdings. Ms. Baecher obtained her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and B.A. from Hamilton College.

Commercial Litigation and Arbitration Partner in Milan:

• Mr. Edoardo Zucchelli’s practice encompasses commercial litigation and arbitrations with a sharp focus on advising clients in cross-border business transactions. Mr. Zucchelli’s international dispute resolution experience extends to assisting state-owned entities in domestic and international arbitration and in legal proceedings before Italian Courts. He also provides counsel on E.U. and U.N. economic sanctions. He has significant experience in corporate transactions such as joint ventures, advising on structuring, negotiating, and drafting of contracts, international trade law, as well as real estate law. Before joining Curtis, Mr. Zucchelli worked in a boutique American law firm based in New York City. An Italian national, he is admitted to practice in Italy and is bilingual in Italian and English. He has an LL.M. degree from Columbia University School of Law.

Counsel in Almaty, Milan and Washington D.C.:

• Mr. Nurlan Mukhitdinov is based in New York, and also works in the firm’s Kazakh offices in Almaty and Astana. His practice focuses on corporate law and international law, with emphasis on the oil and gas sector. He is a key member of the oil and gas team based in Kazakhstan and has extensive experience advising the national oil and gas company of Kazakhstan in the renegotiation of production sharing agreements relating to the Republic’s various oil and gas fields, and on corporate matters. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Mukhitdinov taught subsoil, land and ecological law at the Kazakh State University. A Kazakh national, Mr. Mukhitdinov is admitted to practice in Kazakhstan and fluent in Kazakh, Russian and English. He obtained his LL.M. from Duke University School of Law.

• Ms. Irene Petrelli, who is based in Milan, is experienced in investor-state and international commercial arbitration. Ms. Petrelli is currently involved in several high-value oil and gas disputes, including ConocoPhillips v. Venezuela and ExxonMobil v. Venezuela, and was part of the Curtis team representing Uganda in a tax-related UNCITRAL arbitration brought by an oil company. She also assisted Cyprus in its written and oral submissions before the Court of Justice of the European Union in the Achmea case and Tanzania in an ICSID arbitration brought by the Hong Kong subsidiary of Standard Chartered Bank. An Italian national, Ms. Petrelli is admitted to practice in Italy. She holds an LL.M. from Queen Mary University of London and a law degree from Roma Tre University.

• Mr. Marat Umerov is a Washington, D.C.-based member of the International Arbitration and Trade groups. He is a frequent lecturer on substantive and procedural subjects of international arbitration at the International Law Institute and writer on investor-state arbitration. Prior to joining Curtis, he was a secretary of tribunals at the International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). At the firm, he has been a member of the teams representing Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan and other States. Mr. Umerov is a Russian national admitted to practice in Washington, D.C. and New York, and holds a J.D. from Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law.

“These promotions are very well-deserved. We look forward to seeing each of these attorneys develop their practice areas and accomplish new milestones,” said Curtis Managing Partner Matias Vega. “We continue the firm’s tradition of recognizing and promoting talent from within and remain committed to the firm’s overall growth.”