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Squire, Sanders & Dempsey expands energy practice

Two energy veterans are joining global law firm Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, LLP's Denver office to boost its regional energy practice.

Gregory E. Sopkin and James D. Albright, the experts in the field, are expected to bring a combination of wide industry knowledge and experience of regulatory representation to the Law Firm.

Before joining Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, Sopkin chaired the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. As PUC chairman, Sopkin helped create policies affecting many segments of Colorado's public utility industry. On the other hand, Albright who represented Xcel Energy Services Inc. and its predecessors as assistant general manager for 11 years, handled the firm's natural gas matters.

Squire Sanders provides legal counsel to its global clients through the Firm's 30 offices in 14 countries.

Allen & Overy to establish presence in Riyadh
Allen & Overy is looking at establishing practice in Riyadh in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The firm will associate with Abdulaziz AlGasim law firm  in Riyadh to expand its services in the Middle East. The move reflects a natural extension for the firm since it has been handling transactions in Saudi Arabia for more than 30 years now. It will also enable the firm to provide more integrated services to both, global and regional clients.

The new office, slated to start operations in July 2007, will coordinate with Allen & Overy's offices in London, Dubai, Tokyo, and New York which have been engaged in the firm's transactions in Saudi Arabia. Julian Johnson, partner with the firm, and experienced in Islamic finance, project finance, and general corporate work, will be based in the Riyadh office once it is operational.

Allen & Overy is a large international law firm with around 5,000 staff. This includes nearly 450 partners working in the firm's 24 centers worldwide. The Abdulaziz AlGasim is a Saudi law firm focusing on areas including Islamic finance, corporate matters, and capital markets, all in keeping with the Saudi law. The clients of the firm include most major banks and Saudi financial organizations.


What a mess!
A massive 3,500 pounds of bat droppings in the attic

Buying a house? Good. However, before untying your purse strings for a lavish house-warming, ensure that you are the sole occupant of your new house, at least. Check this out. A New York couple bought a house last summer and found that their house was already home to a few bats. The occupancy by a few chiropterans in the attic didn't, however, bog the new residents. They carried on, nonetheless. For the 100-odd bats too, it was home. Home is where you live, eat, rear kids, and yes, also attend to nature's calls. So did these winged mammals. But, the `live-and-let-live' attitude soon became a bane for the couple. They had to fish out $25,000 to cleanse their attic of 3,500 pounds of bat droppings! Yes, this is what filled the Nick LaBoda and Jenna Caputo's attic. The couple said that when they first came to know about the problem and wanted to chase the birds away, the exterminator, they called in for help, refused to oblige. The reason: the bats' nursery wasn't ready to take wings. So the couple waited for the bat babies to grow. Sometime in January when the pervading stench overpowered the couple's emotions, they sought out the source and to their dismay discovered that apart from dead bats, the attic also had a ton-and-a-half of guano! And the worst part of the story: the insurance wouldn't have anything to do with it. It would not cover up the messy costs. As for the couple, the fight is still on at the courts.

Allen & Overy LLP

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