In the News
Articles featuring Williams & Jensen and our team
American firms investing in Poland
There is room for growth in American firms investing in Poland. Eric Stewart, the president of the US-Poland Business Council remarks in an interview in the Warsaw Voice this summer, "Poland is a shining star in Europe, supported by the fact that Poland is the only country in the EU or OECD which has had positive GDP growth over the past four years."
Eric Stewart awarded with the Knight Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland
On May 30, 2012, Mr. Eric Stewart, the President of the US-Poland Business Council (USPLBC), was awarded the Knight Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland. "It is to acknowledge and honor an outstanding contribution to build closer economic and political ties between Poland and the US," said Ambassador Robert Kupiecki upon presenting Mr. Stewart with the Order.
The Knight Cross of the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland is awarded by the President of Poland, and conferred upon foreigners or Poles residing abroad for their distinguished contribution to international cooperation or cooperation between Poland and other countries.
Mr. Eric Stewart has been the President of the US-Poland Business Council since 2010. Prior to that appointment he has served, among other duties, as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe/Eurasia at the US Department of Commerce.
Member companies of the USPLBC attended the award ceremony.
Industries Fear the Ripple Effects of Proposed Postal Service Cuts
Benjamin Y. Cooper, a lobbyist with the Williams & Jensen firm in Washington, and a coordinator for the Coalition for a 21st Century Postal Service, said the level of interest shown in post office reform is understandable, given its importance to the economy.
"It's not a stretch to say that many businesses literally depend on the Postal Service for their livelihoods," said Mr. Cooper, whose coalition represents some of the service's biggest customers, including FedEx, which sometimes hands off shipments to the post office at the local level.
Buffalo Law Review to honor two practitioners
Two SUNY Buffalo Law School alumni with deep roots in the school and the legal community will be honored on April 17, at 6:00 p.m., at the annual Buffalo Law Review dinner, being held at the Buffalo Club, 388 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202.
Practitioners Jean C. Powers '79 and David E. Franasiak '78 will be the honorees at the dinner, the culmination of the publication year for the Law School's signature academic journal.
"It has been a great year for the Law Review," said third-year student Jonathan P. Cantil, managing editor of the journal, which publishes five issues a year. "We've published a number of really great articles, and we have a great team that's doing a lot of work."
Powers, a 1979 graduate of the Law School, is a partner with the Buffalo firm Jaeckle Fleischmann & Mugel, where she practices commercial real estate law. She has represented developers, lenders and business entities in the acquisition, financing, leasing and disposition of commercial and industrial real property, and is the lead person in the Real Estate Department involved with bond-financed transactions.
Powers is an emeritus member of the Dean's Advisory Council, which advises Law School Dean Makau W. Mutua on matters of curriculum and professional practice, and is a past president of the SUNY Buffalo Law School Alumni Association. She also has received the alumni association's Distinguished Alumna Award.
Franasiak, who earned his SUNY Buffalo law degree in 1978, is a principal in the Washington, D.C., law firm Williams & Jensen PLLC, one of the nation's leading independently owned government affairs law firms. As vice president of finance and a member of the Executive Committee since 1993, he is responsible for the day-to-day financial management of the firm, pension plans and outside legal entities. Franasiak specializes in a legislative and administrative practice focused on tax, securities, financial institutions and natural resources.
He, too, has served on the Dean's Advisory Council, and he invests considerable time and resources in the Law School's New York City Program in Finance and Law, in which a select group of students spend a semester of their second or third year in Manhattan, learning from their professors and from cutting-edge practitioners in the high-stakes world of law and finance.
Why Congress May Overcome Gridlock and Reform GSEs in 2012
Like the mast of a sailing ship coming over the horizon, the first sign that Congress may restructure Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has appeared.
The common wisdom in Washington is that nothing of significance will happen on GSE reform during the year remaining in this Congress. House Republicans may pass one of their pending bills, all of which would eliminate Fannie and Freddie but some say do not adequately address needed transitions or possible GSE successors. Their free market faith that people will put up with higher mortgage costs and long periods when mortgage money may not be available at all is admirable. It is not, however, shared by many of their colleagues in the Senate in either party. There is no sign the Democrat-controlled Senate will be anything except a graveyard for any Republican House version of GSE reform.
Senate Republicans, who believe they will be in the majority after the next election, and perhaps have a Republican House and president as well, are not inclined to compromise with their Democrat colleagues to get a bill done. Why give the Obama administration an accomplishment to trumpet in its campaign? The bottom line, according to the Common Wisdom: gridlock and no action on GSE reform in any form. Accordingly, on February 21, 2012, FHFA Acting Director Ed DeMarco announced plans for the continued opertion of the conservatorship in light of inaction by Congress.
Events, however, may force Congress to move whether it wants to or not, this year or early next year.
Chevron, Exxon, Smithfield, among founders of American – Romanian Business Council
Ten American companies launched the American – Romanian Business Council (AMRO), a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington DC, hoping to promote trade between the US and Romania and bridge the gap between the two countries. Chevron, Exxon, ADM, Smithfield, Raytheon, Pharma, Metlife, Amgen, Timken and Mega initiated the business council, with Chevron leading the group as chair and ADM as vice-chair.
Eric Stewart (in picture) will act as executive president of the organization. Stewart is also a partner with the Washington D.C. firm Williams & Jensen and serves as a Senior International Advisor to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce; as well as the Executive Director of the U.S.-Turkmenistan Business Council (USTBC) and as the President of the U.S.-Poland Business Council. Previously, Mr. Stewart served as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Europe/Eurasia at the U.S. Department of Commerce.