California

Reviews

Practice area

IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
Dentons

Dentons is a massive global law firm with a considerable US presence. In addition to large cities like New York and Washington DC, Dentons operates in smaller urban centers such as Denver, Kansas City, Honolulu, Miami and New Orleans. The firm’s 24 US offices give it an exceptionally wide national reach.  

Dentons maintains California offices out of Los Angeles, Orange County, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, and Silicon Valley. That being said, the firm’s key restructuring and insolvency partners are based out of Los Angeles. 

Through the expertise of Samuel R. Maizel, who previously led the healthcare restructuring practice at Pachulski Stang Ziehl & Jones, Dentons provides restructuring and insolvency advice on health-care related transactions and cases. One highlight deal saw the firm advise Verity Health Systems of California on its Chapter 11. In another matter, the firm advised Air Force Village West on its Chapter 11 proceedings.  

Fenwick & West

Fenwick & West is based in Silicon Valley and operates six offices in total. Within California this also includes a San Francisco office and a new office in Santa Monica, which opened in March 2019.

Fenwick is an active capital markets firm. The firm has advised Dermira, a biopharmaceutical company, on its $169 million stock offer and Chegg on its $700 million .125% convertible senior notes offer.

The firm’s M&A team is strong in the technology space. The firm advised GitHub on its $7.5 billion acquisition by Microsoft, Glint in its acquisition by LinkedIn and HelloSign on its $230 million acquisition by Dropbox.  

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher was founded in 1872 in Los Angeles. The firm has international offices and within the US also has offices in Texas, DC, New York and Colorado.  

Within California, the firm can also be found in San Francisco, Orange County and Palo Alto. Gibson Dunn is one of the top firms for M&A in Southern California. The firm is also recognized for its work in capital markets and restructuring and insolvency in California. 

The firm’s M&A team has worked on deals in a range of industries. The firm advised CalAtlantic Group in its $9.3 billion merger with Lennar Corp, advised Jack in the Box on the $305 million sale of subsidiary Qdoba Restaurant Corporation, and advised Huda Beauty on the acquisition of a minority stake by TSG Consumer Partners.  

The restructuring and insolvency team is also active in the market. One example of the firm’s work is its advice on the iheartmedia Chapter 11. 

Hogan Lovells

A multinational law firm with global headquarters in London and Washington DC, Hogan Lovells operates 15 offices across the US. While the firm has a presence in international business hubs like New York, Houston and San Francisco, Hogan Lovells has offices in smaller metropolitan centers, including Baltimore, Colorado Springs and Minneapolis.   

In addition to its San Francisco office, Hogan Lovells operates California offices in Los Angeles and Silicon Valley.  

The firm is an active M&A player within Northern California. The firm has advised 21st Century Fox on its $52 billion acquisition by Walt Disney and Adobe Systems on its $1.68 billion acquisition of Magento Commerce. 

The firm’s California restructuring and insolvency practice is made up of a team of partners (Richard Wynne, Bennett Spiegel and Erin Brady) who joined the firm from Jones Day in August 2018. The team advised Mattel on the Toys R’ Us chapter 11, advised National Health Investors on the restructuring of its Master Lease Agreement with Holiday AL Holdings advised American Apparel on its Chapter 11.  

The firm recruited M&A partners Eric Hwang and Christopher Rose from WilmerHale over the research period.  

Kirkland & Ellis

Founded in 1909 in Chicago, Kirkland & Ellis is well-known as a top firm on a national level. The firm is also recognized as a leading firm in individual states, such as New York, California, Illinois and Texas. M&A and private equity are key practice areas for the firm, though the firm does well across the board. The firm’s banking practice often advises on some of the most prominent acquisition financing deals in the market.  

The firm is a top firm within California and maintains offices within Los Angeles, Palo Alto and San Francisco.    

In banking, the firm advised Fortress Credit Advisors in granting a credit facility for Perry Ellis International’s acquisition to become a private company.  

In M&A, the firm advised Vista Equity Partners on its $4.75 billion sale of Marketo to Adobe, advised Eagle View Technologies, a provider of aerial imagery and data analytics, on its acquisition of Spookfish and advised Francisco Partners, a technology-focused private equity firm, on its acquisition of Qualcomm Life. 

In Century City, the firm hired a team of transactional lawyers from Proskauer Rose. The team includes Monica Shilling, Philippa Bond, Jonathan Benloulou, Anne Kim and Chris Wu.

Latham & Watkins

Latham & Watkins is a top firm in the market, both nationally and at the state level, for finance and M&A work. The firm is based in Los Angeles and is recognized by IFLR1000 in several states including New York, Illinois, Texas and Massachusetts.  

Within California, the firm maintains offices in Los Angeles, Century City, Orange County, Silicon Valley, San Diego and San Francisco. The firm is a top firm in banking and M&A and is also strong in restructuring and insolvency and capital markets.  

The firm maintains an active capital markets practice within California. In one key deal, the firm advised the underwriters on SurveyMonkey’s IPO.

The firm’s M&A team is a top firm in both Northern and Southern California. The M&A team advised Mellanox on its $6.9 billion acquisition by Nvidia and advised Relypsa on its $1.53 billion acquisition by Galenica.

Morgan Lewis & Bockius

Morgan Lewis & Bockius, founded in 1873, is based in Philadelphia. Within the Northeast the firm is also present in Hartford, Connecticut, Wilmington, Delaware and Princeton, New Jersey.  

The firm maintains California offices in Century City, Los Angeles, Orange County, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Within California, the firm is strong in banking and M&A.  

Morgan Lewis has an active banking practice within the state. Wells Fargo was a key client, which the firm advised on a $225 million credit facility to Am General and a $100 million credit facility with a $10 million accordion option to The McClatchy Company. 

Within M&A, Platinum Equity is a key client of the firm, which it advised on its $2.1 billion acquisition of LifeScan from Johnson & Johnson, on its acquisition of Pitney Bowes' Document Messaging Technologies and on its acquisition of a majority stake in Yak Access. The firm also advised Welltok on its acquisition of Wellpass and private equity firm Corridor Capital on its acquisition of SPM Marketing & Communications. 

Munger Tolles & Olson

Munger Tolles & Olson, founded in 1962, has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Washington, DC. Munger Tolles is an active M&A firm in Southern California. In one key deal, the firm advised Oaktree Capital Group on the sale of 62% of its business to Brookfield Asset Management.  

Over the research period, Kelly Kriebs joined the corporate group as partner, focusing on M&A, corporate governance and restructuring and insolvency work.

Paul Hastings

Within the United States, Paul Hastings, based in Los Angeles, operates offices in five states (Georgia, Illinois, Texas, New York and California), as well as in DC. The firm maintains an active financial and corporate practice and is recognized in several practice areas by IFLR1000.

 The firm maintains California offices in Los Angeles, Orange County, Palo Alto, San Diego and San Francisco.

Banking is a strong area for Paul Hastings within California. For example, the firm advised Wells Fargo Bank, National Association, JPMorgan Chase Bank, and Morgan Stanley Senior Funding as joint lead arrangers and joint book runners on a $200 million asset-backed revolving credit facility to Pandora Media.  

The firm also has a strong M&A practice. The firm has advised Vector Capital on its acquisition of Aspect Software, Lexington Realty Trust on its $726 million sale of a 21-asset office portfolio and Viacom on its proposed $340 million acquisition of Pluto TV.

In Palo Alto, the firm added Alex Kaufman a to its private equity M&A practice. Kaufman was formerly partner and co-chair of the Israel practice at Morrison Foerster.  

Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom

One of the most well-known firms in the English-speaking world, Skadden is a top financial and corporate firm. The firm is headquartered in New York with offices in most of the US’ largest legal markets, including Houston, Boston, Chicago and Washington DC. 

In California, the firm operates offices in Palo Alto and Los Angeles. The firm is a leader in banking and M&A in both Northern and Southern California, is a strong firm in capital markets, restructuring and insolvency and real estate.  

Most of the firm’s banking transactions over the research period focus on advising borrowers, but the firm also advises lenders. Skadden has advised many clients on financing their acquisitions. Examples of acquisition financing include advice to SJW Groupin in the $975 million financing of its acquisition of Connecticut Water Service and Permira Fundsin in the financing of its acquisition of Duff & Phelps. One example of the firm’s bank-side work can be seen in its advice to BMO Capital Markets as arranger of $230 million in senior secured credit facilities for Extreme Networks.  

 

The capital markets team advises both issuers and underwriters on equity and debt offerings. On the debt capital markets side, the firm advised Trimble in a $300 million 4.15% senior notes offer due 2023 and a $600 million 4.9% senior notes offer due 2028 and advised the underwriters in American Homes 4 Rents’ $500 million 4.25% senior notes offer.  On the equity capital markets side, the firm has advised the joint bookrunning managers in Axon Enterprise’s $262 million combined primary/secondary offer of common stock.  

 

Several of the firm’s M&A deals took place in the technology sector, but the firm works across a range of industries. Skadden advised Juno Therapeutics in its $11 billion acquisition by Celgene Corporation, Cavium on its $6 billion acquisition by Marvell Technology Group and PayPal Holdings on its $2.2 billion acquisition of iZettle.

Van C Durrer II leads the firm’s restructuring and insolvency matters out of its Los Angeles office. Deals include advice to Toshiba Corporation with the Chapter 11 filing of its Westinghouse Electric Company and the advice to the government-appointed special liquidators of Irish Bank Resolution with the Chapter 15 bankruptcy of Irish Bank Resolution.  

The firm operates its real estate transactional matters out of its Los Angeles office. Real estate acquisition matters include advice to QIC Limited on its acquisition of Forest City Enterprises’ ownership interest in 10 regional malls and advice to Apartment Investment and Management Company (Aimco), a Denver-based REIT in the $590 million sale of its stake in a portfolio of 51 low-income housing tax credit apartment communities. On the real estate financing side, the firm advised QIC Limited on the extension of a loan from Fifth Third Bank in connection to the South Bay Galleria Mall.