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IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, founded in 1947, is an international firm with 21 offices.  

Within California, the firm maintains offices in San Francisco, San Antonio, Los Angeles and Irving. The firm is strong in banking and real estate and also active in M&A. 

The firm’s banking team is active in the entertainment sector and often advises on financings for investments and acquisitions within that sector. Bank of America was an active client, which the firm advised on a $300 million credit facility with Miramax (an entertainment company), a $120 million refinancing for FilmNation Entertainment and a slate financing for Cineflix Media. East West Bank was another key client of Akin Gump which it advised on a $67 million credit facility to Bona Film Group and on a production loan for seasons 6 and 7 of Netflix’s Orange is the New Black. 

In M&A, entertainment was again an active sector. The firm advised Narrative on the acquisition of a film library from eOne Entertainment and advised Lantern Capital Management on its $289 million acquisition of the assets of The Weinstein Company.  

Akin Gump’s real estate team has advised clients on real estate financings, real estate acquisitions and on obtaining licenses. Real estate M&A deals saw the firm advise BlackRock Realty Advisors in the sale of an office building in San Diego and advise Redwood Partners in with its sale of the industrial office campus in Santa Monica, California. The firm also advised Colony Capital with the upsizing of a mezzanine loan in connection with the redevelopment of a hotel. 

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.  

Duane Morris

Founded in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1904, Duane Morris operates 21 offices across the US, including in Atlanta, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles and New York. The firm has robust M&A, capital markets, banking and restructuring practices that handle clients across the country.  

Within California, the firm also has offices in San Diego, San Francisco, Silicon Valley and Lake Tahoe.  

The firm has an active restructuring and insolvency practice, though matters were confidential.  

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.  

Greenberg Traurig

A powerhouse in the middle and upper-mid market spaces, Miami-headquartered Greenberg Traurig operates 29 different offices in the US. With office locations that include New York, Chicago, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Denver and Houston, Greenberg Traurig’s presence truly extends to every region in the country.  

In Florida, the firm added real estate attorney Richard Caron as of counsel in the corporate practice. Caron works out of the Orlando office.  

In New York, Greenberg Traurig added five corporate attorneys: M&A partner Ejim Achi from Hogan Lovells, M&A partner Oliver Olah from Vinson & Elkins, banking partner Matthew Frankle from Bank of America and capital markets partner Jospeh Suh from Schulte Roth & Zabel.  

California 

Greenberg Traurig has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, Silicon Valley and Sacramento though the firm’s M&A lawyers are primarily based out of Los Angeles and San Francisco.  In California the firm maintains an active M&A and private equity practice.  

The firm advised Century Communities with its $356 million merger with UCP. The firm also runs a solid private equity practice out of its California offices. For example, partners advised Oaktree Power Opportunities Fund IV with the acquisition of the membership interests of Worldwind Services and advised Gores Group/VITAC Corporation, a private equity fund with the acquisition of Caption Colorado, which provides closed-captioning services. Transom Capital Group has been another key client. The firm helped the client acquire assets of A.T. Cross Company and sell American Driveline Systems to Icahn Enterprises. 

Florida 

In addition to its Miami headquarters, Greenberg Traurig also has Florida offices in Boca Raton, Fort Lauderdale, Orlando, Tallahassee, Tampa and West Palm Beach. The firm’s Florida offices have particularly robust capital markets, banking and M&A practices. 

The Florida banking team worked on a number of deals in the real estate sector, while also securing work in industries such as aviation and food and beverage. One highlight deal from the past year came from representing Penn-Florida Companies in connection with a $398 million financing package to develop a mixed-use real estate project in Boca Raton.  

Meanwhile, the Florida capital markets group handled several sizeable debt and equity offerings, including a $450 million secondary offering by Nomad Foods. The team was also very active in the pharmaceuticals sector, counting issuing companies TherapeuticsMD and Intec Pharma as clients.   

On the M&A side, Greenberg Traurig advised on a high number of transactions in the medical technology space. A couple of its medical technology deals from the past year include guiding Exactech on its $737 million acquisition by private equity firm TPG Capital and Biometry on its $257.6 million acquisition of LifeWatch.  

Georgia 

Greenberg Traurig’s Atlanta office has a leading banking practice and an accomplished M&A group. The manufacturing, banking and food and beverage sectors were important sources of work for the firm’s Atlanta banking practice this past year.  

One stand-out deal for the banking team came from a $1.55 billion financing transaction for Pilgrim’s Pride. Greenberg Traurig represented administrative agent and bookrunner Rabobank on the financing.  

Meanwhile, the M&A team was particularly busy with transactions in the pharmaceuticals sector. One such transaction was ADMA Biologic’s $40 million acquisition of assets from Biotest. Greenberg Traurig advised Biotest on the sale.  

Illinois 

Greenberg Traurig has a strong M&A and private equity practice in Illinois. The firm continues to be active in advising private equity firms. 

Falconhead Capital was an active client of the firm over the research period. The firm advised Falconhead Capital on the acquisition of Kwik Tek, a sporting products company, and on the sale of the assets of Rita's Holdings, which makes Rita's Italian Ice. Also in private equity the firm advised Linden Capital Partners on the acquisition of American Eagle Instruments, which manufactures dental instruments. Though the firm often advises private equity firms, it also advises companies on selling their assets to private equity firms. One example of this is the firm’s advice to The Bruery, a brewing company, on selling a majority stake in its company to Castanea Partners. The firm also works on acquisitions without a private equity component. 

John Boelter and Myron Lieberman left the firm over the research period. 

New York 

Greenberg Traurig’s New York M&A practice is one of the firm’s main strengths. The firm also has accomplished banking and capital markets practices in New York.  

One highlight deal for the New York banking team came in relation to a $250 million financing undertaken by client Marriott Ownership Resorts. The team also worked on several financing deals for foreign energy companies.  

The M&A group was especially busy with private equity deals this past year, including Siris Capital Group’s $1 billion acquisition of Intralinks Holdings. Greenberg Traurig advised Siris on the transaction, which closed in November 2017.  

With regards to capital markets, the firm landed quite a few significant IPOs over the course of this year. One was Modern Media Acquisition Corporation’s $180 million IPO, a transaction that Greenberg Traurig guided underwriter Macquarie Capital on.  

Virginia 

Located in the town of McLean in the north of the state, Greenberg Traurig’s Virginia practice specialises in M&A deals in the defense, technology and government service industries.  

One of the Virginia team’s recent technology industry transactions came from Arsenal Capital Partners’ $45 million acquisition of Cyalume Technologies. Greenberg Traurig advised Cyalume on the deal.  

Client feedback 

“Strong, detailed, responsive.” – Banking and finance 

“Greenberg Traurig is a great firm, the depth of team is superior, they have an expert in virtually every field. Very responsive.” – M&A 

“GT's M&A attorneys have an excellent grasp of the subject matter knowledge necessary for M&A transactions; however, if additional support was needed, GT always had a subject matter expert in the firm that was available to assist with our transaction. Furthermore, GT's attorneys have excellent communication skills, and they always exceeded our expectations when it came to ensuring that internal business representatives were kept abreast of the current status of the transaction and any pending requests or issues.” – M&A 

Cindy Davis 

“Responsive, knowledgeable and hard working.” 

Bruce March 

“Bruce March is a great lawyer and great networker. He is a businessman first and a lawyer second. He makes recommendations based upon business sense and not just from a legal perspective.” 

Gary Schneider 

“Gary is an expert in M&A matters, and he is the consummate professional. In addition, his team is excellent. I have not identified any weaknesses.” 

 

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.  

McDermott Will & Emery

McDermott Will & Emery was founded in Chicago in 1934. Since then the firm has branched out across the United States with offices in Massachusetts, New York, Texas, California, DC and Florida. Although the firm works across a range of sectors, it has established itself as a powerhouse when it comes to healthcare transactional work. 

Regular banking clients include the likes of Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Capital One. More recently, the firm acquired City National Bank and MidCap Financial as clients  

The firm gained four financial and corporate partners in Chicago including Gregory Metz in M&A, Joshua Samis in private equity financing, Michael McStay in mid-market private equity and Anh Lee in debt financing. Armando Ramirez and Jeffrey Meyers, who both focus on acquisitions and financings within the energy and infrastructure sectors, joined the New York office. Also in New York, Ivan Presant joined the M&A practice. In Miami, the firm added Roy Larson as an M&A partner.  

California 

In M&A, the firm’s California team advised Intuitive Surgical on its joint venture with Fosun Pharma.  The firm also advised Virttu, a biopharmaceutical company, on its acquisition by TNK Therapeutics. Technology is also an active practice within California M&A, although most technology work is confidential.   

In the financing space, lawyers led by Gary Rosenbaum in California advised new client MidCap Financial on several financings including a $345 million financing to fund the acquisition of an insurance brokerage. City National Bank is a big client for the firm. The firm advised the bank on a $90 million syndicated loan to Monrovia Nurseries. The firm also advised JPMorgan Chase Bank on granting a credit facility to Beecken Petty O'Keefe & Company, a Chicago-based private equity firm.  

Illinois  

Chicago is McDermott Will & Emery’s headquarters, and the firm conducts a significant amount of financing and restructuring work out of this office.  

The firm’s banking team often advises private equity firms as borrowers on acquisition financings. 

HIG Capital, a Miami-based private equity firm is a frequent client. McDermott has advised HIG Capital on financing a number of acquisitions including the acquisition of Just Home Healthcare services and of Scuf Gaming. 

A few recent transactions demonstrate the firm’s healthcare expertise. In one transaction, the firm advised Capital One Healthcare as agent on the $310 million syndicated senior credit facilities provided to Diplomat Pharmacy. The firm also advised Care Capital Properties on financing for the acquisition of six behavioral health hospitals.  

In Chicago, the firm divides its restructuring and insolvency practice into three categories: healthcare bankruptcy, municipal insolvency and transactional advice. Within municipal insolvency, the firm advised Goldman Sachs Asset Management on Puerto Rico’s $73 billion bankruptcy. In healthcare, the firm is advising Baptist Healthcare System with a turnaround plan for $600 million of debt and helped Presence Health with refinancing its debt.  

The firm’s M&A practice advises a mix of M&A clients and private equity firms.  Several private equity funds are regular clients of the firm including Great Points Partners and Industrial Opportunity Partners.  

The firm helped Motorola Solutions acquire Spillman and its affiliate Citadex. Like the financing practice, the firm’s M&A practice is also very active in the healthcare sector. For example, the firm helped Steward Health Care System acquire IASIS Healthcare for $2 billion.   

Massachusetts  

McDermott Will & Emery’s Boston team is focused on high-end corporate, domestic and cross-border M&A, primarily specializing in middle market and upper-middle market work, as well as private equity and securities work.  

The firm’s Boston office is a market leader in life sciences and healthcare transactions with close ties to many pharmaceutical, healthcare, and technology companies, which can be exhibited in its representation of Advent Life Sciences, one of Europe’s most established venture and growth capital firms, in its investment in Moximed, joining existing investors NEA, Morgenthaler Ventures, and Vertex Healthcare, among others. 

New York  

A consistent player in many middle and high-level transactions, McDermott Will & Emery has continually maintained its reputation as one of the biggest and most respected firms across the US. The firm focuses much of its energy on maintaining long term relationship with multinational companies, while also representing rising entrepreneurial firms, investors and capital providers, and many of the world’s wealthiest families. Beginning as a local Chicago firm, McDermott Will & Emery has grown to become a major global player with offices around the United States in major cities such as: Boston, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, Orange County, Silicon Valley, Miami, New York, Washington DC; as well as overseas in Brussels, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt, London, Milan, Munich, Paris, Seoul & Shanghai. 

The firm’s banking practice consists of 25 experienced attorneys across the Chicago, California, New York, Dallas, Boston, Washington DC and Miami offices.  

The firm’s New York practice represents many private clients and wealthy families in a variety of direct investing transactions. The firm’s international presence is also well known, as a large portion of the New York corporate practice is focused on Israeli technology and biotech companies, advising on more US IPOs for Israeli companies than any other law firm. The firm also maintains a large presence with businesses in Korea, as well as Germany. The firm’s presence in some of the largest international deals to date can be highlighted in the representation of Evonik, a German multinational chemical company, on its $3.8 billion acquisition of the performance-materials unit from Air Products & Chemicals, the largest acquisition ever for the German specialty chemicals company. 

McDermott Will & Emery’s California transactions practice consists of 15 lawyers across the Silicon Valley and Los Angeles offices, where it focuses efforts on healthcare, life sciences, technology and emerging companies, as well as collaborating with the firm’s Shanghai office.  

Ted Laurenson moved from the firm’s New York to its Silicon Valley office, boosting the firm’s securities investment management and broker-dealer practice in California. 

Texas 

The firm has an active M&A practice out of its Dallas office, focusing primarily on the upper middle-market space. The firm’s involvement in some of the market’s largest mergers can be seen in its representation of Amazon, acting as deal counsel alongside Sullivan & Cromwell attorneys for Amazon in respect of its $13.7 billion acquisition of Whole Foods. The deal marks Amazon’s biggest-ever acquisition and transforms Amazon into a grocery giant overnight. The team also has boasts a continued relationship with Dallas based convenience store chain 7-Eleven. 

The firm’s Texas practice began in 2015 with the acquisition of a group of partners from K&L Gates. 

Washington DC 

The firm’s Washington DC office represents U.S. and international companies in an array of upper middle-market M&A transactions. 

The team’s involvement in many high-level transactions can be seen in its representation of Steward Health Care System in connection to its $2 billion acquisition of IASIS Healthcare, resulting in Steward becoming the largest private hospital operator in the US, with 36 hospitals across 10 states, as well as a projected revenue of $8 billion in its first year of merged operation. 

Gary Rosenbaum 

"Gary is a very detailed and thoughtful attorney.  Gary strikes a balance between possible legal outcomes and probable legal outcomes.  Gary also is very knowledgeable of the debt markets." 

Bill Smith 

"Excellent experience, knowledgeable and viewed as a premier counsel to Debtors and Lenders within healthcare insolvency cases and other general insolvency situations.  He has a National reputation for premier service and results." 

 

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. 

Morrison & Foerster

Morrison & Foerster, founded in 1883, is headquartered in San Francisco, and operates eight offices within the United States. The firm also has five offices in Asia and three in Europe.    

California 

Within California, the firm is located in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Palo Alto and San Diego. 

SoftBank Group, a Tokyo-based firm which invests in the technology sector, is a key client of the firm. The firm frequently advises the client on high value acquisitions and investments.  For example, the firm advised SoftBank Group (who is the controlling shareholder of Sprint) and Sprint on Sprint’s proposed merger with T-Mobile. The firm also helped SoftBank invest $4.4 billion in US company WeWork and advised SoftBank when an investment group led by Softbank Group, Dragoneer Investment Group and Sequoia Capital invested $9.3 billion in Uber. 

Another example of a prominent transaction is the firm’s advice to Accela on its acquisition by Berkshire Partners. 

The firm is an active player within the private equity space. Partners advised Syneron Medical on its $397 million acquisition by funds managed by Apax Partners.   

Francisco Partners is a frequent private equity client of the firm and the firm has represented HealthcareSource and eSolutions, both portfolio companies of Francisco Partners, on acquisitions over the research period. The firm advised HealthcareSource on its acquisition of the Centricity Contingent Staffing business from the healthcare IT division of General Electric and advised eSolutions on the acquisition of RemitDATA.  

New York 

Opened in 1987, Morrison & Foerster’s New York office has strong capital markets, M&A and restructuring practices. Unlike many West Coast-founded firms Morrison & Foerster has a highly visible New York presence, where it is a leading firm in New York’s world-class legal market.   

The New York M&A led a significant number of deals in the energy and infrastructure sectors over the past year. The team counts a number of private equity funds as key clients, including Starwood Energy, Axium Infrastructure and UBS Infrastructure & Private Equity. 

In the consumer goods sector, one standout transaction that MoFo’s New York M&A team guided was Clorox’s $700 million acquisition of nutritional supplement company Nutranext. The team advised private equity firm WM Partners as seller on the deal.  

 

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.  

O'Melveny & Myers

O’Melveny & Myers was founded in Los Angeles in 1885. Although O’Melveny operates in several different countries, its California roots can be seen from its expansive state-wide presence. O’Melveny maintains five California offices, including its headquarters; the firm’s four other offices are in Century City, Newport Beach, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. O’Melveny also practices in New York and Washington DC.  

California 

The firm is active in M&A in California. The firm advised RSI Home Products (RSI) on its agreement to merge with American Woodmark Corporation, in a deal valued at $1.075 billion. The firm also advised Lionsgate Entertainment on its $1 billion sale of US television channel Epix. 

In capital markets, the firm advised the agent in the $300 million 4.35% notes issue of AvalonBay Communities, an Arlington-based equity REIT.  

New York 

O’Melveny’s New York office is highly regarded for its restructuring and finance capabilities. The firm frequently works in the energy and infrastructure sectors, and its energy sector expertise spans the range of energy production types. O’Melveny also handles some large M&A transactions from New York.  

One highlight deal for the New York restructuring team came from representing the ad hoc committee of second lien noteholders in connection with LINN Energy’s $9 billion Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Another oil and gas company Chapter 11 that the team worked on was undertaken by Stone Energy. 

In the coal industry, O’Melveny represented the ad hoc group of senior noteholders for Homer City Generation’s $600 million Chapter 11 restructuring.  

 

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.  

Proskauer Rose

Founded in 1875, New York-headquartered firm Proskauer Rose has eight US offices. In addition to its headquarters, Proskauer has US offices in large cities such as Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and Washington DC. However, Proskauer also operates in smaller cities New Orleans, Boca Raton, Florida, and Newark, New Jersey, giving the firm reach into several regional markets.  

Proskauer added partner Christopher Bell to its New York finance practice in November 2017. Bell joined the firm from Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.  

California 

Private equity M&A is an especially active space for the firm, and Los Angeles partners Michael Woronoff and Monica Shilling co-head the firm’s US private equity group.  

In healthcare, the firm advised MultiPlan, a healthcare cost management solutions provider, on Hellman & Friedman’s acquisition of MultiPlan.    

Ares Management, a Los Angeles-based asset manager, is a particularly active private equity client and a lot of the firm’s transactional highlights involve either advising Ares Management or advising its portfolio companies. For example, the firm advised Ares Management with Ares Capital Corporation’s $3.43 billion acquisition of American Capital. The firm also advised a fund managed by Ares Management in its acquisition of Convergint Technologies. Additionally, the firm advised Ob Hospitalist, another portfolio company of Ares Management in its acquisition by Gryphon Investors and advised portfolio company National Veterinary Associates (NVA) in the sale of a 33.9% stake in NVA to the Ontario Municipal Employees Retirement System. 

That being said, Ares Management is far from the firm’s only private equity client. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts (KKR) is another key private equity client which the firm advised on its $4 billion acquisition of UFC. The firm also advised JW Childs Associates, a Massachusetts-based private equity firm, in its $2.4 billion sale of Mattress Firm Holding. 

New York 

New York serves as the centre for the firm’s outstanding banking group. Like its California practice, Proskauer’s New York team works with a great number of private equity clients.  

Proskauer led a massive deal in the pharmaceutical industry this past year, advising European multinational Grifols in connection with a $6.3 billion financing deal. The proceeds of the deal were used to finance Grifols’ acquisition of Hologic’s Nucleic Acid Testing (NAT) unit, which closed in January 2017.  

The real estate and retail sectors were two that kept the firm’s New York attorneys busy throughout the year. One highlight deal for Proskauer came from $560 million in term loan financing for 99 Cents Only Stores. The firm represented 99 Cents Only and its sponsors Ares Management and the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPPIB) on the transaction.  

 

Reed Smith

Reed Smith is a middle-market leader with headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The international law firm has 16 total US offices, having opened an Austin, Texas location in May 2018. Some of the firm’s other locations include Chicago, Houston, Philadelphia, San Francisco and New York. 

The firm’s California team has an active banking and financing practice. Textainer is an active client of the firm which it advised on the expansion of a credit facility from $700 million to $1.5 billion, as well as a $259 million securitization. The firm also advised CR Group on a $100 million loan to Nanostring. William Veatch and Catherine Young Hagerty are key lawyers in the San Francisco office who are relatively new to the firm, having joined in 2017 from 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.   

Weil Gotshal & Manges

Weil Gotshal & Manges is an international firm, based in New York.  The firm can also be seen in Boston, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Princeton, New Jersey, Silicon Valley and Washington DC.  

The firm maintains one office in California in Silicon Valley. Within California, the firm is active in banking and M&A. 

In banking, the firm often advises private equity firms and their portfolio companies on obtaining financing, often to finance their acquisitions. In one example the firm worked on the financing related to Genstar’s acquisition of Ohio Transmission Corporation.  

The firm’s M&A team was active on advising private equity clients on acquisitions and sales. Genstar Capital was an active client of the firm. Weil advised Genstar on its acquisition of Ohio Transmission Corporation, on its sale of Boyd Corporation to Goldman Sachs and on its $910 million sale of the global marine and mobile business of Power Products to Brunswick Corporation. The Gores Group was another active client and the firm advised The Gores Group on its sale of Elo Touch Solutions to Crestview Partners and advised Gores Holdings II on its merger with Verra Mobility.  

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati

Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati is recognized by IFLR1000 as a leading M&A player in California and strong capital markets firm. The firm is based in Palo Alto, and maintains several offices within the US. Outside the US, the firm has offices in China, Hong Kong and Brussels. Within California, the firm also has offices within San Diego, San Francisco and Los Angeles. 

In capital markets, the firm has been active in IPOs, particularly with technology companies. For example, the firm advised the issuers on the Lyft IPO and SurveyMonkey IPO. In the healthcare sector, the firm also advised Allakos, a company focused on developing therapeutic antibodies, on its IPO. 

The firm’s M&A team has a stronghold in the technology space. Recent deals saw the firm advise Careem on its $3.1 billion acquisition by Uber, advise Apptio on its $1.94 billion acquisition by Vista Equity Partners and advise Ushr on its acquisition by Dynamic Map Platform.   

Winston & Strawn

Winston & Strawn, founded in 1853, is based in Chicago. The firm also has offices in North Carolina, California, Texas and Washington DC. 

The firm maintains an active California presence and has California offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco and Silicon Valley.  

Winston Strawn’s financing team works on credit facilities, bonds and securitizations. CIT Bank was an active public client which the firm advised on $366 million in credit facilities for a solar project in Texas and on a loan for solar projects in Hawaii. The firm also advised Beach Point Capital Management and CleanFund on a note securitization.  

Through its LA office, the firm also maintains an active M&A practice in the state. In one interesting deal, the firm advised US Well Services in its proposed merger with Matlin & Partners Acquisition Corporation, a publicly traded special purposes acquisition company (SPAC). 

The firm’s restructuring practice advises a range of parties including debtors, creditors and trustees. The firm advised Wells Fargo on the Chapter 11 cases of Breitburn Energy Partners.  The firm often works on debtor-in-possession credit facilities. 

The firm snagged Daniel Peters and Stephen Antion as M&A partners from Katten Muchin Rosenman over the research period.