Spilman Pittsburgh Gains National Bankruptcy Practice & Adds to Corporate/Private Equity Talent

Spilman has announced that attorneys James A. Baldwin and Sally E. Edison, along with paralegal T.C. Collins, joined the law firm’s Pittsburgh office.

Baldwin’s practice is in mergers and acquisitions, with an emphasis on leveraged buyouts, private equity (including EB-5 investments), project finance and venture capital deals. Baldwin also counsels financial institutions and borrowers in finance transactions. 

Edison, formerly with McGuireWoods, practices law in the areas of commercial bankruptcy, insolvency, and creditors’ rights. Her clients primarily include national trade creditors and major corporations. 

T.C. Collins, also formerly with McGuireWoods, is a paralegal with 20 years of experience in restructuring and insolvency matters. 

Read more about our talented team and growing office here.



Pittsburgh is One of the Top U.S. Cities for Business

As reported by the Pittsburgh Business Times, Pittsburgh is the eighth-most cost-friendly city for business. The study by KPMG LLP, the New York-based audit, tax and advisory firm, ranked 31 U.S. metro areas in its 2014 Competitive Alternatives study.

Pittsburgh had a cost index of 96.4. This was due to relatively low salary and wages costs and very low property tax costs.

KPMG measured 26 key cost components for each market.

Click here to read the entire study.




EPA Approves the New Phase l Standard

Many in the construction industry are familiar with Phase I testing as the first step in identifying environmental risk to any site. Since 2005, the industry standard for a Phase I has been the ASTM E 1527-05.

Recently, however, the ASTM Standard for Phase I Environmental Assessment underwent some important modifications including:

  • New Recognized Environmental Condition (REC), Historical Recognized Environmental Condition (HREC) and Controlled Recognized Environmental Condition (CREC) definitions
  •  A new emphasis on assessing vapor migration
  • Procedures for conducting regulatory file reviews.

This newer, modified version of the Phase I is known as the ASTM E 1527-13.

On December 30, 2013 the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the ASTM E 1527-13 as meeting AAI requirements. Since receiving EPA approval in December, the new ASTM E 1527-13 has replaced the previous version (ASTM E 1527-05) as the industry best practice for Phase I Environmental Site Assessment.

As a result, the EPA has advised that anyone seeking to claim protection from liability under CERCLA should use the new ASTM E 1527-13 and therefore, although the changes do not significantly alter the Phase I standard, it is important to understand what provisions were modified.

Click here to read this entire article.

What LEED v4 Means for You

In late 2013, the U.S. Green Building Council released its latest version of LEED, Version 4. LEED or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design is a national rating system for the design, construction, operation and maintenance of “green” buildings, homes and neighborhoods.

The LEED rating system provides prerequisites and criteria for the green building industry and third party verification of green buildings. Although LEED v3 (also called LEED 2009) will still be available until June 2015 to give the green building industry time to adjust, the latest version of LEED contains a few significant changes of which all businesses involved with the green building industry should be aware.

Click here to read the entire article.

Will New LNG Export Activity Affect U.S. Natural Gas Prices?

Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that it conditionally approved the first West Coast LNG terminal, the Jordan Cove Energy Project in Coos Bay, Oregon, for the export of up to 800 million cubic feet of gas per day to Asian countries without free trade agreements with the U.S., such as Japan and India.

The approval of exports to non-free trade agreement countries in Asia bodes well for exports to Europe in the future. All signs, in fact, are appropriately pointing to greater U.S. natural gas exports to Europe in the future – and none too soon, given Russia’s recent power move in the Ukraine.

Click here to read the entire article by Ronald W. Schuler.