updated 11/8/2010 3:46:16 PM ET 2010-11-08T20:46:16

NEW YORK, Nov. 8, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dickstein Shapiro LLP is pleased to announce the expansion of its national M&A and Private Equity Practices with the arrival of five partners and seven associates. Working both from New York City and the firm's newly launched Stamford, Connecticut office, the group includes Partners Christopher Cerrito, Martin Clarke, John Flaherty, Thomas Freed, and Evan Seideman, previously with Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge LLP. They represent a wide variety of fund clients, Fortune 1000 companies, management teams, buyers, sellers, and lenders in M&A deals and private equity and venture capital financings. Collectively, they have closed more than 40 deals in the last 12 months.

"We are truly fortunate to be adding such an exceptional group of lawyers," said Howard Graff, managing partner of the firm's New York office. "They not only fit perfectly with our strategic plan to grow our New York area presence, but also with our multi-disciplinary approach to problem-solving that has achieved enormous success for our clients — particularly in this challenging economic climate."

"With a formidable reputation in M&A, private equity, and venture capital transactions, as well as an entrepreneurial business savvy and strong geographic footprint in financial center cities nationwide, Dickstein Shapiro is a natural fit for our practice," said Thomas Freed, who will serve as a deputy practice leader of Dickstein Shapiro's Corporate & Finance Group. "The transactions experience of our combined groups and the full-service support of the firm at-large will provide unmatched service to clients."

"Dickstein Shapiro has decades of extensive experience representing clients such as Arlington Capital Partners, Charmer-Sunbelt Group, Harbour Group, The Gladstone Companies, Rockbridge Equity Partners, Warburg Pincus, and The Wickes Group in private equity and M&A transactions, and we continue to aggressively support the expansion of our premier capabilities in this area," said Jim Kelly, Dickstein Shapiro partner and leader of the firm's Corporate & Finance Group. "This team strengthens our bench and increases our presence in the M&A, private equity, and venture capital arenas nationally and will provide expanded service offerings to our clients."

Thomas J. Freed, who is recognized by Chambers USA among the top 10 Corporate/M&A attorneys in Connecticut, is a transactional attorney who represents Fortune 1000 companies undertaking middle market mergers and acquisitions and joint ventures; individuals and entities that provide and receive seed and venture capital; and private equity funds and private companies engaged in one or a series of mergers and acquisitions or other strategic lending or capital raising transactions. Mr. Freed has closed more than 10 separate mergers and acquisitions transactions within the past year.

Martin A. Clarke represents private equity funds, public companies and private companies in connection with mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. He also counsels corporate clients and emerging companies in connection with numerous business transactions, including joint ventures, restructuring, and debt and equity financings. Mr. Clarke has been named one of the New York area's Best Lawyers by New York Magazine, and he previously served as a co-chair of the Mergers & Acquisitions Group at Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge.

John A. Flaherty, who is recognized by ChambersUSA among the top Corporate/M&A attorneys in Connecticut, is a transactional attorney focusing primarily on mergers and acquisitions, as well as other strategic investment and capital raising transactions, joint ventures, and general corporate representation. Mr. Flaherty has represented private equity funds, middle market companies whose growth and profitability are based on technology products and services, and large companies undertaking mergers and acquisitions with middle market targets. Mr. Flaherty also has been named among the New York area's Best Lawyers by New York Magazine.

Christopher M. Cerrito is a transactional attorney who focuses his work on solving the business needs of venture capital investors and start-up companies, as well as middle market and Fortune 1000 corporations, particularly in the technology sector. In addition to serving as outside general counsel to various companies across various industries, Mr. Cerrito regularly represents both buyers and sellers in middle market mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures. He also has significant experience in representation of members of joint ventures, as well as the joint venture entities themselves. Mr. Cerrito also regularly represents clients in connection with significant licensing and other strategic transactions. He sits on the board of the Connecticut Technology Council.

Evan S. Seideman is a transactional attorney and business advisor who works with private companies engaged in one or a series of mergers and acquisitions, as well as other strategic lending and capital raising transactions, Fortune 1000 companies undertaking mergers and acquisitions with middle market targets and individuals, entities providing seed and venture capital, and early-stage and middle market companies whose growth and profitability are driven by technology products and services.

With the arrival of this team, Dickstein Shapiro's Corporate & Finance Group comprises more than 50 attorneys with experience originating, syndicating, closing, and servicing a broad range of complex private financings. The firm's equity finance work for both investor and issuer clients includes venture capital and similar early-stage transactions, as well as many forms of later-stage private equity capital formation. The group leverages a strong interdisciplinary approach to client service and maintains crucial experience in the government contracting, energy, higher education, manufacturing, and industrial service industries.

Michelle Rodgers
(202) 420-3428

Dickstein Shapiro LLP
Dickstein Shapiro LLP, founded in 1953, is internationally recognized for its work with clients, from start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations. Dickstein Shapiro provides strategic counsel and develops multidisciplinary legal solutions by leveraging its core strengths—litigation, regulatory, transactions, and advocacy—to successfully advance clients' business interests. For more information on Dickstein Shapiro's unique capabilities, visit dicksteinshapiro.com.

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