Issue 9 2023 • Issue 9 2023

No information contained on or in this website constitutes investment advice or an offer to invest or to provide management services and is subject to correction, completion and amendment without notice. Neither AI nor any of its associated entities are authorised to give financial advice of any nature nor are they regulated by the Financial Services Authority. Prior to making any investment, AI recommends that any prospective investor should consult with its own investment, accounting, legal and tax advisers to evaluate independently the risks, consequences and suitability of that investment. AI Global Media, Ltd. (AI) takes reasonable measures to ensure the quality of the information on this web site. However, AI will not assume any legal liability or responsibility for the accuracy, correctness or completeness of any information that is available through this web site. If errors are brought to our attention, we will try to correct them. The information available through the website and our partner publications is for your general information and use and is not intended to address any particular finance or investment requirements. In particular, the information does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by us or any of our partner publications and is not intended to be relied upon by users in making or refraining from making any investment or financial decisions. Appropriate independent advice should be obtained before making any such decision. Any arrangement made between you and any third party named in the site is at your sole risk and responsibility. Editor’s Letter Rebecca Scotland, Editor Welcome to the September edition of Acquisition International Magazine, bringing you the latest news, features, and success stories from businesses all over the world. September has come back around, where our children are going back to school and summer draws to a close. I hope you have all had a great summer and are feeling rejuvenated and ready to take on the final quarter of the year. We’re excited about what the remaining few months of 2023 have in store, as well as to share with you the most recent from our outstanding award-winning businesses. From healthtech consulting to road safety technology, event design and production to allnatural skin products, wealth management to a range of law specialisms, this issue of Acquisition International is jam-packed as we get to know each exceptional firm and the excellent services and solutions they deliver. It is our pleasure to present these success stories from across the globe for you to discover and enjoy and I hope you find them to be insightful and inspirational. As ever, the AI team wish you the most prosperous month ahead and we look forward to welcoming you back again for our next issue.

Contents 4 News 6 SkyH2O, Inc: Fresh Water Anytime, Anywhere 8 TOCA Events: Destination Management and Experiential Event Solutions 9 Holly A. Silver, P.C: A Central Resource for Clients in Global Employment Law 10 Crown Point Advisors LLC: Haniza Yon: Crown Point Advisors: Unearthing Critical Prior Art 11 Taft: Talented Dynamic and Innovative Thinkers Thrive at Taft 12 thorndyke: Thorndyke: Trusted Independent DOOH Verification 14 Shahid Law Firm: Streamlined M&A Solutions with Shahid Law Firm 15 Mercal, Lda: Passionate About Helping Clients Achieve National and International Goals 16 Ford, Kriekard, Soltis & Wise, P.C.: Probate Litigation Through the Decades 17 LEX LEGAL MEXICO: You Can’t Spell Flexible Without ‘Lex’ 18 Health Enovations Inc.: Most Innovative HealthTech CEO 2023 (USA): Grace Lee 20 Smith LaCien LLP: Leading Personal Injury Lawyer of the Year - Illinois 21 Silicon Valley Law Group: The Spirit of Innovation 22 Bee and You Ltd: Helping You Bee Yourself 23 Wadiah Capital: Most Trusted Asset Optimization Solutions Provider 2023 - Central Europe 24 Westerberg & Partners Advokatbyrå Ab: Open minded Focus and Flexibility 26 Mulyono (Mul & Co): Looking Beyond the Obvious 27 District Partnerships & Consulting: Growing Through the Power of People 28 Easy Rain: Let’s Save Lives on Wet Roads 29 Retailatam Business Solutions: Reinventing AI Retail Solutions 30 Gresham Street Partners: Most Insightful Property Investment Advisory Firm 2023 - London 14 8 17

NEWS In response to the Government consultation, Tackling non-compliance in the umbrella company market, the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) has warned that the proposals are flawed as they do not address the root cause of the issue – the need for licencing of the umbrella sector. In its submission to HM Treasury, APSCo highlighted that many of the proposals are not sufficiently wide-ranging, including: • The proposed options are not fit for the current marketplace, let alone anticipating future market innovation. • They will not address the fundamental problems – there are no barriers to entry to the umbrella market, setting up a corporate entity and launching an umbrella company can be done in a matter of days. • The supply chain cannot have the same access to payroll data as HMRC, therefore no amount of due diligence will give the supply chain access to the information necessary to find and prevent tax avoidance. If a corrupt umbrella company sets up a shadow scheme, either with or without the worker’s knowledge, then this will not be shown on any standard level of due diligence by a recruiter. Tania Bowers, Global Public Policy Director at APSCo explained: “We have proposed a broader definition to encompass umbrella companies within existing legislation which also allows for marketplace evolution, such as direct engagement with end-hirers. “While we welcome the commitment to tackle non-compliance in the umbrella sector, we think the proposals do not go far enough to target the umbrella companies, as opposed to placing more liability and obligations on recruiters. “There are no barriers to entry to the umbrella market, which means that setting up a corporate entity and launching an umbrella company can be done in a matter of days. A licencing or registration process is required with EAS or another body, in recognition that financial wrongdoing is the largest risk to workers and the supply chain. Further, industry self-regulation should be replaced with statutory compliance codes. “Members support enshrining due diligence in regulation as a first step as this will immediately lead to a more level playing field but don’t think it’s the most effective route to stop tax non-compliance. “As to debt transfer and requiring recruiters to take on deemed employer obligations, members consider this will lead to SMEs being edged further out of the marketplace as end-hirers and outsourcers understandably toughen up their preferred supplier lists and contractual indemnities and potentially take the hiring in-house. “APSCo will continue to work with HMT, EAS and HMRC to find the right solutions to tackle tax non-compliance in the umbrella sector and ensure the voice of our members is heard, but urge Government to redirect their energy at regulating the sector itself, rather than requiring recruiters to do so.” APSCo warns umbrella compliance consultation ‘flawed’

NEWS Tilburg, Netherlands, and a degree in International Contracts and Arbitration from Fribourg, Switzerland. Prior to Veritas Solicitors she specialised in international construction law for Turkish firm, Cetinel, commuting from London to Istanbul once a month. Since joining the Manchester firm as a paralegal this year, Kimberley has made significant strides in the Housing Disrepair team. She said: “When I found out, I couldn’t believe it. Despite spending so many years in academia, you’re never fully sure you will get a training contract, so I’m delighted.” Another trainee, Min Htae, has rapidly progressed from paralegal to trainee solicitor in the undisclosed commissions team, focusing on financial mis-selling. Since arriving in the UK from Burma in 2015, he completed his Law degree from Newcastle University before landing a senior associate role at Deloitte. Min, who began working at Veritas Solicitors in July last year after completing his LPC, said he was ‘elated’ with his new role and currently works in the financial mis-selling team. He added: “I’m also proud of how diverse the firm is. As a young Burmese Asian, I want to encourage more representation in the industry, which is something Veritas are leading the way for.” Finally, Elisse Roebuck, started as a paralegal in August 2022 after graduating with her LLM from the University of Huddersfield. Securing her training contract in March this year, she is an integral part of the financial mis-selling team and said: “I felt really proud of myself because everyone knows how hard it is to get a training contract. I remember applying for so many, like everyone does, so it’s just incredibly satisfying when all the hard work pays off.” Veritas Solicitors occupies three floors in its Cardinal House HQ and specializes in housing disrepair, financial mis-selling, personal injury and clinical negligence while its commitment to tech-driven processes has led to the recovery of millions for its clients since 2007. Faraz Fazal, Managing Partner of the firm said: “Committed to not only delivering exceptional legal services but also fostering a culture of growth and development, we are delighted to welcome our latest trainees. “We recognize that our people are our greatest asset, and investing in their professional growth is fundamental to our success. These training contracts represent our unwavering dedication to nurturing internal talent and providing our team members with the tools and opportunities they need to excel in their legal careers.” North-West Firm Welcomes Five Aspiring Solicitors After Awarding Wave of New Training Contracts. A Manchester law firm is continuing to invest in young talent after awarding five training contracts to standout members of its paralegal team. Veritas Solicitors has solidified its commitment to fostering career progression which is part of the firm’s growth strategy to nurture legal professionals from within its ranks. Among the newly appointed trainees is Gabriella Marriot, who joined last March after completing her Legal Practice Course (LPC) from Manchester Metropolitan University. Currently working in the firm’s litigation department, she called it a “major milestone”, adding: “I can honestly say the culture at the firm is incredible. As there are other people on the same journey as me we’re all developing together within a really supportive environment.” Another rising star at the firm is Momil Malik, who landed a paralegal job at Veritas after completing her LPC from the University of Law Manchester in 2021. Currently sitting within the Housing Disrepair team, she said: “Securing a training contract with Veritas is a significant accomplishment in my career. The continuous support and guidance that has been extended to me has played a significant role in shaping my growth and development. I look forward to qualifying and positioning myself for success in the legal industry, where I can make a positive impact on people’s lives.” Kimberley Gamez’ journey into law took her around the world as she moved to the UK from the Philippines in 2014 for studies. With multiple degrees from universities including an LPC from the University of Law Birmingham, she also competed her Master’s in Law (LLM) from

6 | Acquisition International, Issue 9 2023 Fresh Water Anytime, Anywhere ased in California, SkyH2O is a company with innovation at its heart. With a sole focus on advancing and scaling Atmospheric Water Generation for industrial, commercial, and government applications, it’s able to supply renewable water in both sustainable and reliable ways. This is what SkyH2O describes as NetZeroWater, the ultimate in water sustainability, security, and resiliency. And, thanks to its triple impact nature, SkyH2O is able to have a continuous impact on not just profit, but on both the planet and the people occupying it. With an estimated 3.2 billion people living with water stress, a figure that’s expected to increase to 5.5 billion by 2050, there’s never been more of a demand for sustainable water solutions that can help to rectify the issue. Thankfully, SkyH2O has already come leaps and bounds in working towards fixing the problem, and it all begins with its impressive strategies. SkyH2O combines up-stream (IP/Technology Products) with down-stream (Projects and Financing) to provide a vast array of communities with fresh water. Its game-changing solution allows SkyH2O to deliver water, not only to struggling water districts, but to large commercial and industrial water users alike. Atmospheric Water Generation acts as a completely new water resource, proving more effective in a variety of locations than alternative systems, such as forward/reverse osmosis methods. In addition, it’s far more reliable, and has proven to uphold a more environmentally friendly approach towards gathering water. Now renowned worldwide for creating the most effective Atmospheric Water Generation systems for some of the globe’s largest AWG projects that are centered on suppling fresh water, SkyH2O has truly mastered what it means to represent the pinnacle of change. Its systems are, simply put, ingenious, and allow for water collection anytime, from almost any location. Its smart technology plays a crucial role in making this happen – with its intelligent optimisation, it’s able to increase effectiveness exponentially. The result is a revolutionary solution to a globally recognised problem. However, when it comes to specifics, we feel it necessary to dig a little deeper into SkyH2O’s patented SkyH2O STATIONs. Rolling out across America, starting with Houston Texas, SkyH2O STATIONs are what’s been dubbed as “micro watery”. These units have been carefully developed by SkyH20 to generate over 100,000 LPD in fresh healthy water, all whilst adhering to a B2B and B2C business model. This innovative, project based global strategy will utilise air to forge water, and will eventually be readily available throughout the rest of the world. Delving further into the smaller details about SkyH2O STATIONs, we learned some fascinating facts about its inner workings. Not only is it able to produce between 100,000 to 200,000 litres of water per day, as previously mentioned, but it’s built upon SkyH2O’s own intuitive technology, the AWG Maximus 4260 System. Despite currently being at the initial rollout stage, SkyH2O has huge ambitions for its SkyH2O STATIONs, as it’s thanks to these projects that premium drinking water will be accessible at the most competitive prices that the market has seen. In addition to promising an incredible shift in the affordability of fresh water, SkyH2O also has its sights set on utilising its SkyH2O STATIONs for charitable purposes. This is perfectly demonstrated through its aim to deliver clean, reliable water outlets to local authorities and residents during natural catastrophes. It recognises the need for a drastic shift in how those in need receive water, and it’s this selfless attitude that truly sets SkyH2O apart. Its culmination of technology and passion makes for an astounding strategy that’s sure to herald results in the years ahead. SkyH2O exists to prove what can be done if there’s enough drive behind a company to do it. Though the challenge of delivering a more sustainable solution to the worldwide water shortage problem is monumental, this has not once swayed SkyH2O towards defeat. Instead, it’s taken these hurdles and viewed them as an opportunity to thrive, as opposed to a roadblock. It’s a brilliant demonstration of how hard work, dedication, and an unrelenting desire to spearhead change can create a global impact that’s bound to alter millions of lives for the better. It’s clear that Atmospheric Water Generation is the future of producing water, and by utilising the air around us, we may just be able to create a complete shift in the way we deliver water to those who need it the most. SkyH2O has long since recognised the potential that AWG holds, and has applied itself in every vein possible to concoct results that aren’t just built on amassing profit, but delivering tangible solutions that are set to last well into the future. There doesn’t have to be a shortage of water for a multitude of countries, and SkyH2O has taken on the task of eliminating these issues before they can grow beyond our control. We’re very proud to present SkyH2O with the title of the Best Atmospheric Water Generation Company 2023 – Worldwide. The impact that it’s having is nothing short of exemplary, and we’re beyond eager to see how its ingenious systems open the pathway for water accessibility on a scale that we’ve yet to witness in our lifetime. Contact: Alexander von Welczeck Company: SkyH2O, Inc. Web Address: Water shortage is a very real issue plaguing a multitude of countries, and most are starting to feel the effects now more than ever. However, SkyH2O has been tirelessly working to resolve the issue before it spirals out of control. Now heralded as the Best Atmospheric Water Generation Company 2023 – Worldwide, SkyH2O is leading the charge towards accumulating fresh water anytime, anywhere. B Aug23082

Fresh Water Anytime, Anywhere

8 | Acquisition International, Issue 9 2023 Destination Management and Experiential Event Solutions With offices in Miami, Boston, Las Vegas, Rio de Janeiro, and Porto, TOCA Events is a global event design and production company that curates experiences across the US and abroad. Serving a growing number of clients, the company is committed to delivering projects that are unique, experiential, and truly memorable. For this reason, it has been awarded Best Event Planning & Logistics Company in the Global Excellence Awards 2023. Contact: Sean Gibbons Company: TOCA Events Web Address: Established in 2010, TOCA is a privately owned company that delivers services related to event planning, production, catering, and logistics. From thematic environments and immersive receptions to exquisite tablescapes, custom fabrication, and unique performances, TOCA provides conceptual solutions that are designed to engage, celebrate, and inspire. Initially, TOCA was created to fulfil the increasing demands of US-based clients for a company that provides a superior level of service for the production of overseas events. Its first project involved the provision of comprehensive destination management services for a highprofile global conference in San Paulo, Brazil, which hosted renowned dignitaries like former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and several Latin American industry leaders. Whilst it has offices on three continents, the majority of TOCA’s projects are still produced in the US or internationally for US-based clients. In every project it works on, TOCA takes the same approach, which is based on passion, creativity, and detail. It considers the success of all its projects equally important, but the requirements of each client and destination are varied. For this reason, it listens to their requests and caters to their needs. Over the years, TOCA has become recognised across the world for its creative design and custom fabrication. It has worked with an incredible portfolio of clients, including Fortune 100 corporations, major sporting events, and high-profile non-profit organisations. Impressively, TOCA has served some of the world’s most well-known Fortune 500 corporations for more than 15 years. This includes Boston Consulting Group, JP Morgan Chase, Ameriprise Financial, NFL Super Bowl, INTA, TelevisaUnivision, HISTORY Channel, Banco Itau, IMG, Masters Golf Championship, LiV Golf Championship, Siemens, Visa, AT&T, Endeavor, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, and Citibank. TOCA believes that it has earned its reputation due to its unique way of doing things. Unlike those who operate based on the traditional DMC model, the company is equipped with an award-winning team of in-house designers and architects who produce original designs, toscale floor plans, construction elevations, and working drawings. Then, its excellent carpenters bring these conceptualised illustrations to life. Its Miami team even have an in-house floral design and production team. TOCA’s use of internal resources eliminates the need for third-party outsourcing, effectively saving money for clients. Leveraging this wealth of in-house expertise as well as that of a select global network, TOCA produces unique and memorable experiences that enable clients to achieve their event objectives. The company’s creatively produced projects are guaranteed to function smoothly and are designed to meet the client’s distinct requirements. In every aspect of the events it delivers, the visual and performing arts experience of its senior management shines through in an abundance of creativity and originality. Through the work it does, TOCA touches the dreams and emotions of its clients, providing the highest standards of design and production services to create events that are unlike any other. For this reason, the company has been awarded Best Event Planning & Logistics Company in the Global Excellence Awards 2023. We congratulate TOCA Events on this exceptional achievement and wish its team the best of luck in the years to come! Jul23679

Issue 9 2023, Acquisition International | 9 A Central Resource for Clients in Global Employment Law olly Silver is the President of Holly A. Silver, P.C., a U.S. and global employment law firm based in New York. She has held senior employment law positions for a number of Fortune 500 companies, including Phillip Morris International, Nestlé USA Inc., Marriott Corporation, and McDonnell Douglas Corporation. In 2010 she launched her own law firm, providing U.S. and global employment law advice. In addition to her U.S. firm, Ms. Silver has also recently joined Quarmans, a Londonbased global legal, people management, and compliance consultancy. She acts as a Senior Consultant supporting Quarmans’ global and cross-border projects, as well as leading their U.S. operations. Ms. Silver is one of the founders of the field of global employment law, and has broad experience handling employment law issues both throughout the United States and internationally for companies of all sizes. She is a member of the New York, California, District of Columbia, and United States Supreme Court Bars. Among other honours, she was chosen as a member of the Fellows of the American Bar Association, a highly selective designation offered to less than 1% of lawyers practicing in each state. Ms. Silver is also a former Chair of the Equal Employment Advisory Council, now the Center for Workplace Compliance, the leading employer association in the United States dedicated to helping its members understand and manage their workplace compliance requirements and risks. When Ms. Silver became interested in global employment law, the concept did not yet exist. Seeing the need, Ms. Silver travelled and networked with lawyers, corporate management, and human resources professionals worldwide to explore the creation of a new field of law. The idea ignited enthusiasm in the employment law community, and the field of global employment law emerged. In 2007, she was offered and accepted a position with Philip Morris International to build a global employment law structure from the foundation upwards, covering 80,000 employees in 160 countries across Asia, EEMA, Europe, Latin America, and the United States. “If you have worked in-house, you know what’s important to your client and you can be much more creative. If you have this in-house background while working as outside counsel, you have a unique skillset to give practical, business-focused ideas and solutions to your corporate clients.” -Holly Silver The dual-perspective experience (of both working in-house and as an outside counsel) is a key component of Ms. Silver’s career, and her current legal and consultancy practices. In addition to her legal representation, the numerous professional presentations she gave throughout her career piqued Ms. Silver’s interest in teaching, so she welcomed the opportunity in 2021 when Fordham University Law School offered her an adjunct professorship in employment law for its Program on Corporate Ethics and Compliance. It is this broad exposure to varied experiences that Ms. Silver credits for her success in global employment law. Also, as someone who has lived and worked abroad and with clients located all over the world, Ms. Silver brings a unique understanding to her practice of law. This background has allowed her to meet people from around the globe and listen to them describe their lives, their laws, and their social norms. She believes this is the best way to truly learn to practice law internationally in this area. Ms. Silver guides clients in resolving employee issues and decisions that cross borders, as well as multi-country investigations and complex acquisitions and reorganizations. She realises that every country has its own laws, but sees the advantage of having someone who can manage the big picture, rather than having a corporate client hire lawyers in multiple countries. Because she has professional contacts in numerous countries, Ms. Silver’s clients do not need to hire individual lawyers in each one. As she is a central resource for the client, she can manage it all for them. In addition, Ms. Silver is able to work with lawyers from outside the United States to obtain the most practical legal advice for her clients, as well as to interpret for her U.S. clients the non-U.S. legal issues and their potential impact on the company. Company: Holly A. Silver, P.C. Web Address: U.K. and E.U. Queries: Contact Name: Holly Silver The global employment law firm Holly A. Silver, P.C. advises companies on all types of international and U.S. employment law issues. Its President, Holly Silver, has recently been recognised in the AI Global Excellence Awards with the title Most Influential Woman in Employment Law 2023. Following on from this we thought it was high time we caught up with our esteemed winner to find out a little more. H Jul23616

Aug22499 10 | Acquisition International, Issue 9 2023 Jul23487 Crown Point Advisors: Unearthing Critical Prior Art n 2010, Crown Point was founded to fulfil the market’s need for a prior art search company dedicated to litigation and post-grant searches. Having previously worked as a litigator at renowned firms like Skadden Arps and Sidley Austin, the firm’s founder was aware that many search companies delivered insufficient and unpredictable outcomes. For this reason, Crown Point was formed with the goal of providing high-quality results to win cases. Today, Crown Point spans the globe, unearthing the most important prior art information for litigation and inter partes review matters. The firm specialises in United States, Unified Patent Court, and German patent litigation and post-grant patent invalidity proceedings. Furthermore, in the contexts of patent portfolio licensing and acquisition, Crown Point advises its clients on the validity of high-value portfolios. Often, these are focused on the key video and telecommunications standards such as GSM, 3G, 4G LTE, H.264, HEVC, and 5G NR. Behind Crown Point is a team of technical experts fluent in multiple languages, led by team leaders who have gained years of experience in patent litigation, including at leading law firms. In the high-tech patent space, the company’s team are unrivalled in terms of expertise. Over the past decade, they have advised on many of the world’s largest patent cases in the telecommunication standard, video standard, semiconductor, and mobile device fields. In these cases, billions of dollars as well as the existence of companies have been at risk. Some of the largest technology and law firms in the world have consistently depended on Crown Point to produce the necessary results for their most significant cases since its establishment in 2010. The firm takes pride in its ability to build and sustain long-term relationships with its clients, gaining their trust by delivering results time and time again. To this end, Crown Point works hard to remain a client-focused and detail-oriented firm with a wealth of litigation and technical knowledge. It understands what its clients need and is dedicated to fulfilling their requirements in order to help them achieve their goals. The firm has always operated based on this commitment, enabling it to grow into the world’s leading prior art search company. Crown Point’s team play a key role in its ability to deliver the outstanding services it is known for. In hiring, the firm seeks technically competent and hard-working individuals who demonstrate outstanding attention to detail and curiosity about the various technologies behind today’s connected society. In their research, Crown Point’s staff members are continuously learning about how different technologies operate, so having a passion for this topic is incredibly beneficial. As a result of the unrivalled services it delivers, Crown Point Advisors LLC has been awarded Best International Prior Art Search Specialists, USA, in the Global Excellence Awards 2023. We congratulate the firm on this exceptional achievement and look forward to seeing what it goes on to accomplish in the years to come. When asked about the future of Crown Point, Principal Andrew Hein comments, “The Unified Patent Court is now a reality. We have spent the last two years preparing for its opening, and our work with the law firms and companies of the UPC signatory states has grown already to match the growth of this new court. We are excited to help our existing clients and to meet and to help new clients.” Contact: Andrew Hein Company: Crown Point Advisors LLC Web Address: Serving some of the largest tech companies in the world, Crown Point Advisors LLC is a prior art research firm that was formed with the primary goal of consistently winning cases for its clients. For over a decade, it has delivered unparalleled success across four continents, in 11 countries, and in nine languages. For this reason, the firm has been named Best International Prior Art Search Specialists, USA, in the Global Excellence Awards 2023. I

Issue 9 2023, Acquisition International | 11 Kim is a pioneer in Illinois video gaming litigation, and has set the industry precedent in the area of the enforceability of pre-licensure contracts between video terminal operators and establishments. She successfully obtained a temporary restraining order against an establishment on an agreement for future video gaming operations executed before the Illinois Video Gaming Act’s passage, as well as successfully prosecuting numerous lawsuits and injunctions on behalf of Illinois video terminal operators to enforce contract rights. Kim also represents Chicago’s premier financial institutions in various litigation matters relating to bank practices and owned real estate. Kim graduated magna cum laude from Loyola University Chicago School of Law, and was a member of the Alpha Sigma Nu National Jesuit Honor Society, the Public Interest Law Society and the Women’s Law Society during her time at law school. She received the 2018 International Advisory Experts Award: Commercial Litigation Lawyer of the Year in Illinois, and was named as the Corporate America Legal Elite for 2015 by Corporate America News magazine. This came with the Award for Innovation in Shareholder Dispute Resolution and the Best for Business Torts – Illinois. She was also named a Rising Star by Illinois Super Lawyers in the category of Business Litigation in 2013 and 2014, and honoured as the 2011-2012 Professional Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women. She now has the Leading Wealth Transfer Litigator of the Year – Illinois award from Acquisition International to add to her growing stack. Well done to Kim and Taft for all the outstanding work accomplished to date, and undoubtedly for the feats to be achieved in the coming future too. Company: Taft Web Address: Contact Name: Kim Walberg Talented Dynamic and Innovative Thinkers Thrive at Taft Taft is named in honour of the Taft family of the United States, who have an outstanding heritage in the legal world stretching back some 135 years. Today it is a modern and progressive firm trusted to successfully advise individuals and organisations across a wide variety of issues concerning law. It prides itself on being different in ways such as its outstanding workplace culture, its obsessive client-first mentality, and its servant leadership model of delivering high-quality service. It is believed to be the only firm of its size and scale that doesn’t have a single locale or ‘mothership’ as its headquarters. Rather, it celebrates in the diversity of having an empowered and geographically dispersed team with leaders covering every major market and practice group. The Chicago office is situated adjacent to the city’s thriving riverfront, boasting stunning views of Lake Michigan. It is immersed in the business and cultural life of the city, with attorneys who are equipped to serve clients ranging from small businesses and start-ups to Fortune 500 corporations, local, and state governments. The office concentrates on matters involving real estate, zoning, gaming, corporate transactions and financings, mergers and acquisitions, government relations, and public finance, as well as litigation of all types including employment and intellectual property. True to Taft’s teamwork values, its Chicago attorneys work closely with their colleagues across the Midwest, and utilize the company’s deep network of legal talent to serve clients’ needs. Chicago based partner Kim R. Walberg has a practice focus on commercial litigation. This includes breach of contract, business torts, shareholder disputes, class action defence, construction litigation, zoning litigation, commercial lease disputes, enforcement of restrictive covenants, trust litigation, and Section 1983 civil rights litigation. She is the chair of Taft’s Chicago Litigation group and also previously served on the firm’s Executive Committee. She has successfully represented both trustees and trust beneficiaries in multi-million litigation alleging breaches of fiduciary duty and seeking to invalidate trust amendments based on undue influence and lack of testamentary capacity. Kim, aided by Taft’s deep bench of trust and estate lawyers, has an expert knowledge of the newly adopted Illinois Trust Code and its effect on trust administration and trustee performance. Kim was educated at Harvard University, where she graduated cum laude in 1996, before going on to study law at Loyola University Chicago. Her work at Taft has encompassed defending the City of Chicago and the Chicago Police Department in multiple class action cases alleging due process violations based on the purported deprivation of money and other personal property. She has achieved successful resolutions of these cases at the district court level, involving issues which have been appealed and affirmed by the United States Supreme Court. She has also represented the Chicago Park District against opponents of the relocation of the Chicago Children’s Museum from Navy Pier to Grant Park. She successfully defended the Park District’s position at both the circuit court and appellate court levels, taking on legal precedent from the 1800’s concerning Chicago’s Lakefront. Taft is a modern law firm that works tirelessly to deliver great results for its clients and communities. It is home to more than 825 attorneys practising virtually every area of law to service clients located in 8 primary Midwest markets and the District of Columbia. Having been awarded Leading Wealth Transfer Litigator of the Year – Illinois, we thought it was an ideal time to find out more. Jul23338

12 | Acquisition International, Issue 9 2023 Thorndyke: Trusted Independent DOOH Verification ut-Of-Home (OOH) advertising, also known as outdoor advertising, refers to any media found in public areas that delivers messages to consumers for marketing purposes. Examples of OOH media include large billboards seen at the side of motorways and advertisements on public transportation. However, in a world that has become increasingly technological over the years, OOH advertising has been digitalised, leading to the birth of Digital Out-Of-Home (DOOH) media. This refers to any digital media seen in the public environment, ranging from the huge multi-screen advertisements found on Times Square to the digital menu boards in fast-food restaurants. There is a huge potential for DOOH media to enable marketers to access audiences that are becoming more and more difficult to reach through the internet and television due to pay walls and ad free subscription platforms. Programmatic advertising is driving the next wave of growth with DOOH and offer advertisers and agencies a direct and centralised way of purchasing the media. For the last 14 years, Jason Cooper, Founder and CEO of thorndyke, has been building verification and ad tech products. He previously worked as Head of Product & Technology at 4th Screen Advertising, a company that was acquired by Opera Mediaworks. Later, he went on to found simplytics, an agency side ad server for mobile, which was acquired by IAS in early 2014. At IAS, Jason served as General Manager of Mobile, where he built the company’s viewability, brand safety, and fraud products. In collaboration with his team, he conceived and launched the Open Measurement SDK for in-app measurement, a product that was later acquired by the IAB Tech Lab and is now used in major mobile monetisation SDKs and apps like Google, Hulu, and Disney Plus. With a wealth of previous experience in building digital measurement solutions for desktop and mobile, Jason has witnessed the evolution of verification firsthand. He is familiar with the various issues that have plagued digital advertising over the last decade, including brand safety, fraud, and viewability. In DOOH, some of these issues are less complex, making it an incredibly valuable platform for brand messaging. However, there is a need for verifiable results delivered by an independent source to ensure that advertisers get what they pay for when they leverage the power of DOOH advertising. In 2019, Jason founded thorndyke to effectively fill this gap in the market, offering proprietary solutions that enable the measurement and verification of DOOH media. In a world where the advertising ecosystem has become increasingly transparent, thorndyke believes that DOOH should offer the same transparency as every other medium. Through its products, the company not only allows advertisers to track ROI but also holds media owners accountable by verifying that campaigns are played in the right panel, at the right time, and for the allotted duration that was paid for. In the past, media owners have viewed third party verification and measurement services as a threat that exposes inefficiencies to damage their reputation. However, in recent years, they have come to understand the benefits of verification. When media owners have third party tracking tags in their screens for performance measurement, advertisers can access insights collected by an impartial entity. This increases the media owner’s credibility as a trusted channel, enabling advertisers to rest assured that their campaign will be delivered in line with the terms of their booking. Working with clients from both the media owner and advertiser sides of the issue, thorndyke Headquartered out of Sydney, thorndyke is an Australian company that delivers independent thirdparty measurement and verification for advertisers and media owners in the DOOH (Digital OutOf-Home) space. In this year’s Global Excellence Awards, the company has been named Best DOOH Verification Provider, offering products that provide complete coverage and insight. O Jul23089 has a 360-degree view of its market and the requirements of its clients. This is what sets the company apart from its competitors. As well as providing media owners with the opportunity to prove their trustworthiness and attract customers, the company provides media agencies and advertisers with the independent verification of campaign spend and performance. They can access real-time information through a centralised reporting dashboard, enabling them to optimise campaign performance in-flight. The team at thorndyke are equipped with many years of experience in the development of ad technology and verification products, delivering solutions to problems within unique and challenging environments. They are passionate about measurement and building products to deliver evidence-based metrics that help buyers make better decisions. This dedicated workforce is at the heart of thorndyke, playing a crucial role in its overall success. Each member of staff has been able to naturally take on a role that they enjoy, are familiar with, and excel at. This has strengthened the team as a whole and driven them to achieve great things. “My role as a leader is about providing our team a platform to grow and learn, empowering them to become autonomous and make decisions to increase success,” explains Jason. “Our technical team explores new technologies and frameworks that can improve efficiencies. I think people are happier when they are able to express themselves, explore, and experiment with new ways of doing things.” thorndyke is proud to have built a solid foundation for its future growth. Over the last few years, the company has been able to establish itself as a solid, trusted, and credible source of truth. Jason shares, “We are now all set to expand on that

success, with North America firmly in our sight. We are scouting locations in New York and will be making a move very soon. The platform is in place for success, and we are enormously excited about the opportunity.” As a result of its continued excellence, thorndyke has been awarded Best DOOH Verification Provider in the Global Excellence Awards 2023. We are delighted to offer our sincere congratulations to Jason and his team on this outstanding achievement and look forward to seeing how their plans will unfold in the years to come. We wish them the best of luck in all their endeavours! Contact: Jason Cooper Company: thorndyke Web Address:

14 | Acquisition International, Issue 9 2023 Streamlined M&A Solutions with Shahid Law Firm Established by Counsellor Sarwat Abd El-Shahid in 1987, Shahid Law Firm is a leading international firm operating from offices in Ethiopia and Sudan. Priding itself on more than 30 years of strong experience in the legal market, the firm’s specialist team of corporate and M&A lawyers are on-hand to advise their clients every step of the way. Playing a crucial role in the firm’s success is Partner, Dr Michael Boutros, whose work certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed as we at Acquisition International magazine recognise him as our Leading M&A Lawyer of the Year – Egypt. Shahid Law Firm +202 2393 5557 20B Adly Street, Downtown 11511 Cairo, Egypt Dr Michael Boutros joined Shahid Law Firm in 2017 as a partner to lead the capital market and M&A practice group, as he tells us with delight, “Becoming a partner at a well-regarded firm like Shahid Law Firm and realising strong relationships with our clients are on top of my career milestones.” Indeed, Shahid Law Firm is a goliath consistently ranked among the top lawyers according to several ranking organisations like Legal500, Chambers & Partners, and IFLR. Michael brings extensive specialism in the areas of general corporate affairs, M&A, capital markets, securities, labour, anti-trust, trademarks, and consumer protection. A graduate from the Cairo University Faculty of Law in 2005 and a member of the Egyptian Bar Association since 2006, Michael also went on to achieve his Master of International and European Business Law Degrees (LLM) from the University of Paris (Panthéon Sorbonne) in 2007. From there, he obtained his PhD in E-commerce and Consumer Protection from Savoie University, granted by the Grenoble Ecole Doctoral (France) in 2014. In addition to his education, Michael gained vast experience within the industry by spending 12 years working for one of the largest international law firms. Now, in his role at Shahid Law Firm, Michael often acts as the lead lawyer in the deals he is involved in, and he is experienced in advising leading multinational companies to execute large crossborder transactions. We asked him to give us a further insight into what this entails. “My transactional work mainly focuses on initial public offerings, private placements, M&A, and major projects. As a general note, I try not to be a follower, but rather create my own path as much as possible. I try to build up a career that is based on team work, which I personally believe is very important. Each member of the team needs to have a goal and needs to know how to cooperate with others to achieve this goal. For me, each successful transaction during my 18 years of practice was an extremely impactful milestone.” He adds, referring to his current position at Shahid Law Firm, “But I must say that this phase is a golden period.” Michael has assisted in the execution of high value acquisitions, restructurings, and divestitures in Egypt for companies in the real estate, transportation, food and beverage, natural resources, manufacturing, construction, pharmaceutical and tourism industries. Some of his completed deals include: advising Lotus for Agriculture Development and Investment on the listing of its shares in the Egyptian Stock Exchange; advising Innovative International Acquisition Corp. on its merger with Zoomcar to be publicly listed on NASDAQ; representing Etisalat Misr in connection with the joint venture with the Sovereign Fund of Egypt; advising Mountain View for Real Estate Development and Investment on several matters such as a major joint venture with Alesayi Investment Group and on a complex capital restructuring plan; and advising Cairo Oils & Soap Co. on a capital restructuring plan, combining both a capital reduction and issuance of new shares. Taking a closer look at one of these projects, Michael worked alongside Odin Investments and Financial Capital Services to advise Lotus for Agriculture Development and Investment on its initial public offering and listing of its shares on the Egyptian Exchange (EGX). As a result of this deal, the listing of the client company’s shares with the Stock Exchange had the potential to increase and import its financial capabilities and exposure to both foreign and local investors. Being one of the leading companies in the agriculture sector in Egypt, this IPO will reinforce Lotus for Agriculture Development and Investment’s position in participating in Egypt’s current strategic plans for the agriculture sector, which is considered one of the most vital and important in the country. With this being just one example of many in terms of Michael’s significant contribution to the corporate and M&A sector, he is overall a highly distinguished and respected lawyer, and he has garnered much in the way of positive feedback. For example, Chambers & Partners, Global Guide 2022, Corporate and M&A reports that, “Michael Boutros distinguished himself as a commercially oriented lawyer and a highly skilled negotiator.” He has also been praised/recommended by the Business Today Lawyer Awards 2023 who comment that “At Shahid Law Firm, Michael Boutros is conversant with multimilliondollar corporate restructurings and company registration matters. His clientele spans from start-ups to large international corporations.” He is certainly a lawyer held in high regard by both clients and peers, and more than deserving of his latest prestigious Acquisition International award. Well done to Michael and the estimable business of Shahid Law Firm. Jul23219

Issue 9 2023, Acquisition International | 15 The Mercal Consulting Group is a Portuguese company who specialise in mergers and acquisitions. Its services include company valuations, due diligence, business structuring, negotiations, post-merger integration, and strategic advice. It has recently been named as Best Specialist M&A Consulting Firm 2023 – Portugal, in the AI Global Excellence Awards, leaving us eager to find out a little more. Passionate About Helping Clients Achieve National and International Goals he Mercal Consulting Group was founded in Lisbon, Portugal in 1996, and operates as part of a group of international consultancies who specialise in mergers & acquisitions (M&A), and internationalisation. Its individual consultants have extensive experience at both national and international level, and supply pragmatic solutions for clients to enable their businesses to reach vital development goals. Through its specialisation and know-how, Mercal is dedicated to guaranteeing adequate coverage across all aspects of clients’ business needs, whatever the field. It focuses on achieving results, and offering innovative solutions that help to solve many of the challenges faced by companies. Mercal has a deep and intrinsic understanding of the Portuguese market in particular, and a strong track record of success. Its team of experienced and dedicated professionals are committed to providing an excellent service to all of its clients. To this end, the company has a number of core values ingrained into its processes. These are integrity, teamwork, excellence, innovation and a strong focus on the client. These values have remained unchanged since the company was first established, and are an essential ingredient to both Mercal’s success, and the success of its clients. Mercal has demonstrated exceptional performance in terms of its many successful transactions, its client satisfaction levels, the quality of its service, and its innovative approach to reaching success. This is carried further by its team expertise, market leadership, and industry recognition. Specific undertakings that have contributed to the success of Mercal include its profitable advice regarding high-profile mergers and acquisitions, its implementation of innovative strategies, and its across the board delivery of superior client outcomes that consistently exceed industry standards. The Mercal Consulting Group is delighted to be able to provide global expansion to clients at an easy to reach, fingertip level. It has specialised in the valuation, acquisition and sale of companies since it began in 1996. If any company is aiming to expand its operations beyond national borders, Mercal is the business to consult. It can help to start preparing internationalisation, and will be happy to provide all the necessary support for the entire journey of the project, all the way through to success. It is proud to be included in the Global Excellence program, and hopes to be able to attract new clients and partnerships, as well as to facilitate knowledge sharing with industry peers, and offer opportunities for professional development. Mercal has advised a great many clients about their merger & acquisition transactions, leading to multiple successful outcomes. For example, recently it oversaw the sale of a Portuguese pharmaceutical company to a German multinational, which ultimately led to the transportation of the company to a French multinational group. It has also been involved in a number of other exciting projects which cannot be commented on further currently due to reasons of confidentiality. Mercal has noticed a growing trend towards cross-border merger and acquisition transactions. It puts this down to a number of factors such as the increasing globalisation of businesses who are searching for new growth opportunities. Mercal has been able to successfully navigate these developments by building strong relationships with international M&A professionals. The leadership team at Mercal Consulting Group has played a vital role in the company’s industry positioning too. It promotes leadership styles that encourage collaboration, strategic thinking, team motivation, and a results-driven approach. All of which are contribute significantly to the overall success of the company, and help it in its overall goal to become the leading M&A advisory firm in Portugal. Company: Mercal, Lda Web Address: Contact Name: Joao Ribeiro T Jul23194