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NES hires tax lawyer

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News In Brief:
Date: 02-27-2007

NES hires tax lawyer
Tax expert Kelly Alton will be the new Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Nationwide Exchange Services (NES). Alton, who has significant experience in corporate taxation, will provide tax guidance and legal counsel to the company. She joins NES from the Washington National Tax office of Deloitte Tax, LLP, where she was Senior Manager and worked on all aspects of like-kind exchanges. A leading qualified intermediary for 1031 tax-deferred exchanges, NES has conducted thousands of 1031-exchange transactions throughout the U.S. since 1990.

New GC at Utilities, Inc.
National water and wastewater service corporation Utilities, Inc., has appointed John Stover as its new General Counsel. For the past year, Stover has served as Vice President, General Counsel, and Corporate Secretary for industrial fabric manufacturer Propex, Inc., and prior to that, he was Deputy General Counsel for the State of Illinois, Central Management Services. Utilities, Inc., is held by AIG Highstar Capital II, LP, and provides developers with alternative methods of acquiring water and wastewater utility services.

Real estate developer announces appointment of new chief legal representative
Teri Bjorn has been appointed General Counsel for Tejon Ranch Company. Bjorn, who focuses her practice on transactional real estate and land use law, has 27 years of legal experience. She will serve as the company's chief legal representative and will oversee real estate transactions and corporate governance matters pertaining to Tejon Ranch's status as a publicly traded corporation. Presently, she is working for the law firm of Kronick, Moskovitz, Tiedemann & Girard as Of Counsel in the firm's Bakersfield office. Tejon Ranch is a real estate development and agribusiness company with primary land holdings located about 60 miles north of Los Angeles.

U.S. general counsel using more outside counsel
The Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC), a U.S. representative body for corporate attorneys, has surveyed 848 chief legal officers in the U.S. and reports that 26% of general counsel plan to increase the amounts of assistance they receive from outside counsel; last year, this figure was 16%. Moreover, 33% of general counsel wanted to boost in-house legal strength, compared to 35% in 2005. The survey also stated that heads of legal did not tolerate any underperformance by law firm lawyers. It reported that 32% of general counsel claimed to have fired one or more outside counsel during 2006. 8% were let go for cost-management reasons, 8% for mishandling work, and 7% for lack of responsiveness. In the UK, however, the trend seems to be the reverse. General counsel in the UK have been trying to increase resources in their legal departments rather than hiring law firms to handle legal work.

AmCOMP creates senior VP and GC position
Having expanded its business in five regions, and after floating its stocks on the open market in 2006, AmCOMP, Inc., has decided to create an in-house legal team led by a legal head. The company has announced that George E. Harris will be its senior vice president and general counsel and provide it with all necessary legal guidance. Harris has represented AmCOMP in a number of legal matters and has conducted business with the company for 20 years. He comes from law firm Harris, Kukey & Helgesen, PA, where he was a principal in the firm's Palm Beach Gardens, FL, office. An insurance holding company, AmCOMP, Inc., through its subsidiaries AmCOMP Preferred and AmCOMP Assurance, concentrates on providing service to workers' compensation insurers.


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