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Washington, DC (Aug 7, 2012) - Legal 500, considered one of the most comprehensive worldwide qualitative guides available on legal services providers, has announced its 2012 rankings. Venable’s Corporate Group continued to advance in the national rankings with recognition in three separate areas: Middle Market M&A (Sub $500m), Technology and Outsourcing and Real Estate Investment Trusts (“REITs”). Lawyers in the group were singled out in New York, Los Angeles, Washington and Baltimore.

William Russell and Charles Morton received special mention. Russell was recognized as one of the nation’s “Leading Lawyers” in the field of Technology and Outsourcing. In the field of Middle Market M&A (Sub $500m), Morton was selected as one of eleven “Leading Lawyers” across the United States.

The M&A: Middle-Market (Sub-$500m) practice was highly ranked and, in addition to Mr. Morton’s recognition, Michael Baader, Alan Epstein, Sharon Kroupa, Bryan Rakes and Thomas Washburne were acknowledged for their contributions. James Hanks, Patricia McGowan and Chris Pate we each recognized for their work with REITs. In addition to Mr. Russell, Jim Nelson, Nora Garrote, A. J. Zottola, Anthony Saur and Michelle Gross were recognized in the field of technology outsourcing. All are members of the firm’s Corporate Group.

Describing the firm’s M&A practice, Legal 500 noted that Venable LLP’s practice “understands the scope of each deal and manages transactions promptly.” Quoting clients, Legal 500 continued: “(Venable’s) experienced team always gives full service, and communication is clear. The firm’s attorneys are always available to meet the needs of our busy and demanding schedules, and in a very professional way that caters to the client.”

Commenting on their selection Mr. Morton, who co-chairs the group, said, “We appreciate these rankings, particularly because Legal 500 has included attorneys from our various geographic locations, and has highlighted that our NY and LA attorneys join our Washington and Baltimore attorneys in providing first rate representation for our clients. We could not have said it any better.”

Legal 500 noted that the practice represented Metastorm in its merger with a wholly-owned subsidiary of Open Text Corporation for $182m in cash, net of escrow. It also advised online search marketing provider, Impaqt, an affiliate of Maryland Corporation Merkle Group, in its recent sale to Merkle; and assisted National Security Partners, an affiliate of private equity firm FedCap Partners, in its acquisition of former subsidiaries of Xedar Corporation, Point One and FuGEN.

Commenting on the ranked Venable attorneys, Legal 500 further quoted clients: “’Amazing attorney’ Alan Epstein represented Arianna Huffington in connection with the €315m sale of The Huffington Post to AOL. Los Angeles-based Epstein acts for the local market’s production and technology companies, digital media businesses, branded merchandising and licensing businesses, and internet companies, all areas that complement the firm’s strong advertising practice…Epstein ‘provides excellent service’”.

Continuing, the publication said, “Baltimore-based Charles Morton Jr and Sharon Kroupa are co-chairs. Morton is ‘outstanding’. He is ‘extremely knowledgeable regarding the completion of M&A transactions, and is a strong project manager on every transaction. In addition, he is a great negotiator and has an excellent bedside manner’. Also in Baltimore, Michael Baader ‘has a strong business sense and cooperative personality’, and Bryan Rakes ‘has a good, intuitive sense of when to push the other side and when not to’. Thomas Washburne, in Washington DC, is ‘very responsive, to the point, and business-knowledgeable’”.

Legal 500, quoting clients on Venable’s Technology Transactions practice, praised them as “the best for complex commercial transactions”, and “understanding of the key issues involved in technology transactions and extensive knowledge of technology contracts”.

The firm’s “Baltimore-based REIT practice is considered ’second to none for Maryland counsel’, which makes it a natural port of call for firms seeking local counsel when registering public REITs, 80% of which are formed in Maryland. This ‘responsive, competent and practical’ team ‘does an excellent job’, a reputation which saw it act as Maryland counsel to the issuer in over 50 separate common stock offerings, and more than ten preferred or debt securities offerings”, according to Legal 500.

A record 51 Venable attorneys in 14 practice groups were recognized by Legal 500 in its 2012 rankings.

Published for over 20 years, the Legal 500 series provides worldwide coverage on legal services providers. Their recommendations are based largely on the feedback of thousands of law firm clients and the opinions of thousands of rival commercial lawyers. The guide is used by commercial, nonprofit and private clients, corporate counsel, CEOs, CFOs and professional advisers - as well as by other referrers of work - both nationally and internationally. It is highly regarded for its definitive judgment of law firm capabilities

The “Leading Lawyer” selections are made from among all the recommended attorneys in a particular category and represent those few individuals, who, in the view of their peers, represent the highest standards of the category.

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Note: An American Lawyer Global 100 law firm, Venable serves corporate, institutional, governmental, nonprofit and individual clients throughout the U.S. and around the world. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in California, Maryland, New York and Virginia, Venable LLP lawyers and legislative advisors serve the needs of our domestic and global clients in all areas of corporate and business law, complex litigation, intellectual property, regulatory, and government affairs.