Mary Eaton To Receive American Bar Association’s 2019 Stonewall Award

Partner Mary Eaton has been selected to receive the American Bar Association’s 2019 Stonewall Award. The award is presented each year by the ABA Commission on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity to “a small group of distinguished individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) individuals in the legal profession, and/or to LGBT legal issues.”

Ms. Eaton has led Willkie’s pro bono representations on numerous important cases, several of which have established key precedents in the areas of LGBT rights. Notably, she led Willkie’s representation, as co-counsel with The Legal Aid Society and the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, of a class of transgender Medicaid recipients diagnosed with gender dysphoria (“GD”), challenging a New York State regulation that banned Medicaid coverage for transgender health care (Cruz v. Zucker). Cruz led to a repeal of the ban and an amended regulation, which required Medicaid coverage for all medically necessary health care for individuals diagnosed with gender dysphoria (GD).

The Stonewall Award is scheduled to be presented in January 2019 at the ABA Midyear Meeting in Las Vegas.

Alpega Group Acquires wtransnet From Founders

It was recently announced that Willkie client Alpega Group, a leading global logistics software company based in Belgium, acquired wtransnet, the leading freight exchange in Spain and Portugal. With the addition of wtransnet, Alpega expects to grow its carrier network to more than 70,000 members across Europe, providing significant added value to its customers.

Owned by Wotrant SL, wtransnet, which is based in Terrassa Spain, has a growing footprint in countries such as Italy, France and Germany. Alpega Group, a portfolio company of Castik Capital S.à r.l., offers end-to-end solutions covering all transport needs, including transportation management solutions and freight exchanges.

A cross-border, multidisciplinary Willkie team advised Alpega on the German, French, Italian and Belgian aspects of the transaction. The team was led by partner Dr. Axel Wahl and included national partner Didier Willermain and associates Karsten Silbernagel and Virginie Sayag.

Nephila to be Acquired by Markel

On August 31, 2018, it was announced that Markel Corporation (NYSE: MKL) has agreed to acquire Willkie client Nephila Holdings Limited, the pre-eminent insurance-linked securities manager in the world. Nephila, whose revenue is driven primarily through management and incentive fees, manages over $12 billion of assets under management for over 300 geographically diverse investors. The combined assets under management between Nephila and Markel CATCo will stand at approximately $19 billion, representing approximately 20% of the insurance-linked securities sector.

Upon completion of the transaction, Nephila will continue to operate as a separate business unit. The transaction, which is subject to approvals by relevant insurance regulators and other customary closing conditions, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Nephila is a leading investment manager specializing in reinsurance risk. Nephila offers a broad range of investment products focusing on instruments such as insurance-linked securities, catastrophe bonds, insurance swaps, and weather derivatives. Nephila has assets under management of approximately $12.3 billion as of July 31, 2018 and has been managing institutional assets in this space since it was founded in 1998. The firm has over 180 employees based in their Bermuda headquarters, San Francisco, CA, Nashville, TN and London. Markel Corporation is a diverse financial holding company serving a variety of niche markets. The company's principal business markets and underwrites specialty insurance products.

The Willkie deal team was led by partners Michael Groll and Arthur Lynch along with associate Ted Powers, and included partner Joseph Cunningham and UK partner Nicholas Bugler.