Mark C. Smith Associate, Employment Law & Litigation, White Collar, Investigations, Securities Litigation & Compliance
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Mark Smith is a litigation Associate in Orrick’s Sacramento office. Following a non-traditional path to the law, Mark brings a unique perspective to his client’s legal needs.
Mark earned his J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. Prior to attending law school, Mark served on active duty for over a decade, and has completed more than 16 years of military service. As a U.S. Army Officer, he completed tours to both Iraq and Afghanistan. Mark also has extensive experience in long-term strategic and near-term operational planning, and leverages this experience for his clients when approaching multifaceted legal issues. He continues to serve in the California Army National Guard.
Silicon Valley; San Francisco
Silicon Valley; San Francisco
Richard Vernon Smith, a partner in our Silicon Valley and San Francisco offices and a member of our Global Mergers & Acquisitions and Private Equity Group, has over 35 years of experience in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, securities law and corporate law.
Richard has advised on more than 500 M&A transactions and has represented clients in all aspects of mergers and acquisitions transactions involving public and private companies, including negotiated mergers, auction bid processes, cross-border transactions, distressed asset sales (including 363 sales), leveraged buyouts, tender offers and exchange offers, going private transactions, mergers of equals transactions, going dark transactions, hostile takeovers, proxy contests, takeover and activist defense, purchases and sales of divisions and subsidiaries and joint ventures.
Richard also has represented clients in a wide range of SEC-registered, underwritten and privately placed stock and debt offerings, and he has assisted companies in connection with issuer tender offers (both equity and debt), recapitalizations, restructurings and rights offerings. He regularly represents clients in the preparation and filing of periodic SEC reports, proxy statements and Williams Act reports. He also assists clients in compliance with the Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 and Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002; Section 16 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934; real time disclosure compliance; sales of restricted securities and sales of securities by insiders; disclosure issues, including with respect to Rule 10b-5 and Regulation FD; and NYSE/NASDAQ rule compliance and inquiries.
David Smith, a Senior Associate in Orrick's Washington office, focuses his practice on employment litigation and counseling.
David has significant experience litigating a broad range of employment issues, including discrimination, harassment, trade secret misappropriation, restrictive covenants, wrongful termination, and breach of contract claims. He has defended class and collective actions under state and federal laws, including claims under Title VII and wage-and-hour law.
David also regularly advises clients on a variety of employment-related issues, including human resources policies and procedures, severance agreements, restrictive covenants, and regulatory issues.
During law school, David participated in the University of Virginia School of Law’s Employment Law Clinic. Prior to law school, David worked as a litigation paralegal for two law firms in Washington, D.C.
Polly Snyder serves as Orrick's Chief Practice Officer for the Finance Business Unit, which encompass the firm’s project finance, banking, structured finance, public finance, real estate, and bankruptcy and restructuring practices, comprising nearly 300 lawyers globally.
Polly works closely with the business unit and practice group leaders with regard to business management, financial and strategic planning, business development and lawyer recruiting.
Prior to Orrick, she served as the Practice Manager/Counsel for the & Dispute Resolution Group at Clifford Chance US LLP. In that role, Polly worked closely with practice group management to develop regional business plans, identify and address growth and profitability improvement strategies, support the recruitment and integration of lateral partners, and manage utilization and assignment processes for practice associates. Prior to that, Polly spent much of her career as a Counsel in the L&DR group representing financial institutions, investment companies, issuers, and individuals in securities class actions, derivative actions, internal investigations and regulatory enforcement proceedings and inquiries. She was actively involved in the firm’s Diversity and Women’s Committees as well.
She lives with her family and puppy, who is the only one who still greets her at the door when she gets home. Polly also serves on the Board of DC Dress for Success and is active with the Wendt Center for Loss and Healing.
Los Angeles; Houston
Larry Sobel, is a tax partner in the Los Angeles and Houston offices. Larry has more than 35 years of experience in federal tax laws and regulations relating to all types of tax-exempt financings, particularly public power, private activity bonds such as airport facilities, colleges and universities and hospitals and exempt organizations and advance refundings issues.
As both bond counsel and underwriter’s counsel, he has been responsible for
structuring and analyzing the tax aspects of many tax-exempt financings
throughout the country.
Larry has extensive experience in handling IRS audits of bond transactions. He has represented issuers in dozens of audits all of which have ended favorably either with the IRS issuing a “no change” letter or by negotiating a reasonable settlement when needed. Larry also has handled a number of submissions under the IRS’ Voluntary Closing Agreement Program (or VCAP). The two most recent VCAP submissions represented cases of first impression for the IRS; one involving an issue of qualified energy conservation bonds relating to determining the amount of those bonds eligible for the federal subsidy; the other involved the plan to convert a “new money” bond issue into an advance refunding (which did not meet all of the requirements for a tax-exempt advance refunding). Both cases ultimately were resolved on the original terms proposed to the IRS.
Larry has also been instrumental in developing new financing techniques and structures. He first devised the tax structure and analysis for, and has served as tax counsel on, Orrick’s tax exempt tobacco revenue securitizations. He has developed the tax structure on numerous tax-exempt prepayments for natural gas for municipal utilities both within and outside of California.
Alex Sobolev is an associate in the Technology Companies Group in London. He advises technology led companies, from start-ups to multinationals, on the intellectual property and commercial aspects of technology transactions, as well as general IP and data privacy strategy and compliance.
Alex's work centres on e-commerce and software, and covers both contentious and non-contentious matters. He has advised companies at all stages of the corporate lifecycle, from software development and product launch, through technology licensing, sale and purchase, to mergers and acquisitions of IP and tech-heavy businesses. He has assisted organisations with the implementation of their brand strategy, advising on infringement claims and risk management, as well as product compliance, liability and recalls.
Alex is also engaged in assisting clients with the design, development and implementation of global data protection and compliance policies, as well the management of risk and security associated with data retention, processing and transfer.
Maria Sokova is an Intellectual Property Litigation associate in Orrick's Silicon Valley Office.
Maria's practice focuses on copyright, patent, trademark, and complex litigation. In addition to her IP practice, Maria also handles pro bono matters including those involving intellectual property rights.
Maria graduated Order of the Coif from Santa Clara University School of Law, where she also served as Co-President of the Women & Law Association, and of the Biotechnology Law Group. While in Law School, Maria also participated in a clinic with the Northern California Innocence Project on litigation matters in Wrongful Conviction Cases.
Mrs. Vanessa Sousa Höhl is an associate in the Düsseldorf office and a member of the Corporate and Private Equity Group.
Her practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions transactions and general corporate counseling. She joined Orrick in 2017.
Kayla Southworth is a Managing Associate in the New York office and a member of the M&A and Private Equity Group.
Kayla advises public and private companies on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and general corporate matters. She also advises fund sponsors and institutional investors in private investment funds.
She was trained as a litigator and antitrust lawyer at Sullivan & Cromwell and Davis Polk before transitioning into corporate practice at Orrick. She excels at quickly developing in-depth knowledge about various industries, markets, and companies, and she enjoys providing essential legal and business advice to clients in a wide range of industries (including financial services, technology, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, chemicals, and consumer products). As part of her prior antitrust work, she regularly analyzed potential synergies, evaluated relevant product and geographic markets, and identified potential divestiture scenarios to obtain regulatory approval of proposed transactions.
Anna Spanò, a lawyer in the Milan office, is a member of the European Corporate, Energy and Antitrust Groups. Anna has extensive experience in merger and acquisition and corporate transactions, including joint ventures, acquisition agreements and general commercial contracts.
Since the beginning of the liberalization of the market in Italy, she has also focused on the energy sector, with special emphasis on renewable energy.
Anna has been advising several foreign and domestic clients in multiple transactions in the renewable energy field (notably, wind and photovoltaic projects), including: site developments, EPC contracts and other supply related agreements, and provides assistance to sponsors in project finance projects. She works in close cooperation with the Orrick’s European Alternative Energy Practice who works mainly in the renewable energy project financing market.
Before joining the firm, Anna was a member of Studio Legale Tributario in Milan, a law firm associated with Ernst & Young International.
Anna received the J.D. at the University La Sapienza in Rome and admitted to practice in Italy since 1993.
Stephen Spitz, a partner in the San Francisco office, is a member of the firm’s Public Finance Department. He serves as leader of the Department’s Water and Wastewater Financing Team.
Steve serves as bond counsel, disclosure counsel and underwriters’ counsel in a variety of municipal enterprise revenue bond issuances, including financing for water, wastewater, solid waste and airport facilities. His practice is, in addition, focused on single family and multifamily affordable housing financings. Steve also has expertise in higher education financings, interest rate swaps and swap based products in the municipal market. He often assumes a leading role in bond and disclosure work for new and complex clients.
Jim Stanley is a senior associate in the White Collar, Investigations, Securities Litigation & Compliance group.
He has significant experience in FCPA, anti-money laundering, and cross-border internal investigation matters. Jim has also represented clients in civil matters at trial and arbitration proceedings. Prior to joining Orrick, Jim was a litigation associate at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP in New York and clerked for Judge Bobby E. Shepherd on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.