IFLR1000 Reviews

Financial and corporate
Ballard Spahr

Since its founding in 1919, Ballard Spahr has grown to 15 offices nationwide. The firm launched in in Philadelphia and this remains its largest office, closely followed in scale by Baltimore and Washington DC. 


Focusses / specialisms

The Phoenix, Arizona office is highly regarded for its top tier work in the state.

The firm is experienced in many practice area across its offices, including M&A, banking, capital markets, project development and real estate.

The Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Minneapolis and Phoenix offices are well known for its work in M&A. The M&A, the firm represents strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition related matters.

In capital markets, the firm represents issuers in bond offerings, share offerings and IPOs. The banking team represents borrowers in credit facilities, loan agreements, project financing and acquisition financing. 

The project development team represents developers in P3 and private projects in the transportation, infrastructure, energy and oil and gas industries.

Real estate is a large focus firm wide, where the team represents commercial, residential and industrial developers, investors and REITs in real estate matters such as acquisitions, financing and development.


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Slang Worldwide, SVCP Management, Concrete Pumping Holdings, Healthpeak Properties, City Office REIT, Kilroy Realty, Upsher-Smith Laboratories, State Bankshares, Greystone & Co, 8minute Solar Energy, Pacific Southwest Development, VICI Properties, PNC Bank, Brixmor Propery Group, Citizens Bank Park, Cascata Packaging, SilencerCo and Kodiak Cakes.


Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

The firm has a diverse research cycle, with each office seeing different trends.

The teams in the Colorado offices advised strategic acquirers and sellers in acquisition related matters. Real estate and cannabis were popular industries for the Colorado teams. In financial matters, the team advised borrowers in ABL and term loan agreements and issuers in public share offerings.

The Baltimore, Maryland office advised borrowers in refinancings, credit facilities and mortgage loan agreements. It also advised issuers in public share offerings, ATM offering programs, bond offerings, tender offers, shelf registrations and derivatives. Many of its clients were real estate developers, investors or REITs. The team also advised clients in the real estate industry on property development matters.

The Minneapolis office represented strategic acquirers and sellers in acquisitions in the financial services and pharmaceutical industries.

The Las Vegas team represented real estate developers, financial sponsors and REITs in various real estate development projects and sales.

The Philadelphia team advised a private equity firm in an acquisition and a lender in several credit facility and ABL agreements. It also advised developers and public institutions in P3 and private projects in the social infrastructure, oil and gas and transportation infrastructure industries. A large part of its work was in advising real estate developers, investors and REITs in commercial and residential development projects and acquisitions.

The Salt Lake City off represented borrowers in a separate refinancing and term loan agreement. It also advised issuers in share offerings and strategic acquirers and sellers in merger and acquisition related matters. The team represented developers in residential and hotel real estate projects. 

In terms of lateral moves, the Salt Lake City office brought over M&A partner Travis Marc Wilson from Jones Waldo Holbrook & McDonough. The Baltimore office brought over public finance partner John Smolen from Nossaman. The Philadelphia office lost partners James MacDonald III, who left for Stevens & Lee, Craig Circosta, who left for Holland & Knight, Peter Hennessy, who moved in-house and David Pollack, who retired.


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

C7 Data Centers merger with DB Data Center Holdings

City Office REIT 6.625% Series A preferred stock at-the-market share offering

IPS and Alleghany Capital acquisition of Cardinal Holdings

Slang Worldwide $67 million acquisition of Organa Brands’ National Concessions Group

Southern Bighorn 475MW solar and 540MWh storage project

WEX $425 million acquisition of Discovery Benefits

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck was founded in 1968. Since then, it has expanded to 13 offices in in seven states. 


Focusses / specialisms

The firm is top tier in Nevada in M&A and also highly regard in Colorado for its work in the financial and corporate practice areas. Key partners include Nicole Ament who is the chair of the real estate practice.

Though the firm does outstanding work in Nevada and Colorado, it also maintains teams in Washington DC, California, Wyoming, New Jersey and New Mexico.

In Colorado, the firm does great work in banking and finance, real estate and M&A. The banking and finance team represents borrowers in project financing, capital markets investments and securitizations.

The real estate team represents property developers and investors in commercial and residential real estate development and acquisition transactions.

The M&A team represents private equity and strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition and joint venture related acquisitions. 


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Blue & Silver, Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners, Brue Capital, the Colorado Rockies, Bow River Capital Partners, Nexus Technologies, Caesars Entertainment, AmTrans Expedite and Encore Consumer Capital. 


Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Over the research period the banking team advised borrowers, many of whom were private equity clients in confidential financing matters.

The M&A team continued to represent mostly strategic buyers and sellers in acquisition related matters. It also worked with private equity firms on M&A agreements.

The real estate team continued to represent developers and investors regarding commercial and residential real estate development projects in Colorado, largely in Denver. 

In terms of lateral movements, real estate partner Ana Tenzer left for Hogan Lovells, real estate partner Noelle Riccardella left for Williams Weese Pepple & Ferguson and real estate of counsel left for Otten Johnson. In the corporate practice area, partner Darryl Landahl was brought over after serving in-house. Partner Christopher Reiss left for Polsinelli. In banking and finance, of counsel Jason Larkin was brought over from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and partner Mark Oveson left to become a software engineer.


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Colorado Rockies $300 million mixed use entertainment district project

Nexus Technologies acquisition of Notonsite

Dorsey & Whitney

Since its founding in Minneapolis in 1912, Dorsey & Whitney has expanded to 19 locations across the United States, Canada, the UK and China. In the United States the firm has 13 offices spread throughout the country, including in Alaska, Colorado, Minnesota, Montana, New York and Utah.


Focusses / specialisms

Though the firm is international, it has a stronghold on the Minnesota market with their top tier Minneapolis office. The office does market leading work in banking, capital markets and M&A.

The Minneapolis office’s M&A practice represents strategic acquirers and sellers in middle market transactions, where it maintains a stronghold.

The office also has a dedicated real estate practice, showing the firm’s expertise in the real estate industry. The team represents REITs, property owners, investors and developers in all aspects related to commercial, industrial and residential real estate. This includes acquisitions, development and financing. 

The New York M&A team is also known for its middle market transactions, as well as cross border transactions between the US and China. The office has a US-China practice group focusing on these transactions. The M&A team represents private equity and strategic acquirers and sellers in acquisition related matters. It also advises private equity firms on investments.

The Salt Lake City office is one of the largest corporate practices in Utah. The M&A team represents private equity and strategic clients on the buy and sell side in acquisitions and mergers. It also conducts banking and capital markets work, advising private equity firms on equity investments and issuers on public offerings.


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include UnitedHealth Group, Medtronic, US Bancorp, Land O’Lakes, United Properties Development, US Bank National Association, Fairview Health Services, Virtus Real Estate Capital, Dope Media, High Street Capital Partners, Airspan Networks, Verano Holdings, Tower Arch Capital, NaviMed Capital, Nu Skin Enterprises and Zions Bank. 


Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Within the research period, the Minneapolis M&A practice represented both strategic buyers and sellers in acquisitions. Most of its acquisitions were in the healthcare, agribusiness and consumer goods and services industry. The real estate practice represented REITs, property developers, owners and investors in mostly real estate development and financing projects. The New York M&A team represented a mix of strategic and private equity clients on both the buy and sell side of acquisitions. It worked on numerous deals in the cannabis, healthcare and technology industries. The Salt Lake City office represented companies in strategic acquisitions and sales, with many of the deals occurring in the healthcare industry. It also advised numerous private equity firms in acquisitions and equity investments. 

In terms of lateral movements, the real estate practice in Minneapolis added partners Michele Thurnblom, who moved from an in-house position at Honeywell International and Bradley Williams, who joined from Best & Flanagan. The New York corporate and M&A practice brought over partner Edward Davis from Brown Rudnick. 


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Best Buy $125 million acquisition of Critical Signal Technologies

EDP $375 million acquisition of Eli Lilly and Company rights

Pentagan South mixed-use urban redevelopment

New Age Beverages $85 million acquisition of Morinda Holdings

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher

Gibson Dunn & Crutcher was founded in Los Angeles in 1890. It has since grown to 20 offices throughout four continents. In the United States, the firm has 10 offices in California, Texas, Colorado, New York and Washington DC. Its greatest presence is in California, where it has five offices throughout the state. 


Focusses / specialisms

The firm maintains a strong presence in California, where it is has top tier M&A practices in Southern California. Additionally, its Denver, DC, Dallas and Houston offices are standouts in their respective states in corporate practice areas.

The banking team acts on the borrower side of financing transactions such as multicurrency credit agreements, term credit facilities, ABLs and construction loan facilities. These transactions are part of larger acquisition finance, project finance, construction finance or refinancing matters. 

In financial services regulatory the team represents banks and financial institutions in regulatory advice regarding Federal Reserve policy compliance, derivatives and corporate governance matters. 

The firm also has a depth of experience in capital markets on all sides. In debt capital markets, the firm acts for issuers and underwriters in investment grade, high yield, convertible, fixed rate and floating rate bond issuances.

On the equity capital markets side the firm also represents issuers and underwriters in IPOs, common share offerings, convertible preferred stock offerings and at-the-market equity programs. The capital markets team also frequently advises clients in the banking and financial services industry about derivatives issuances, specifically swaps and futures. These transactions also usually have a regulatory component with which the regulatory financial services team will assist. 

The majority of the investment funds team is based in New York, where it assists private equity and asset management firms in fund formations. There is frequent crossover between the investment funds and private equity practices due to the clientele. The private equity practice is based in California, New York, Washington and Dallas. It advises private equity firms on both the buy and sell side in high value acquisitions and joint ventures, ranging from $100 million to $5 billion. The M&A practice deals with public and private strategic acquisitions and joint ventures on the buy and sell side. It has large pockets of partners in the practice in the New York, Los Angeles, Washington DC, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco, Palo Alto and Denver offices, who frequently involve each other in cross border matters.

The project development team is highly skilled in the infrastructure industry, where it represents sponsors and developers in project acquisitions, financing, bidding and construction. Additionally, the team has a lot of experience working on PPP projects. 

In restructuring and insolvency, the firm advises creditors and debtors in out of court financial restructurings, Chapter 11 and 15 proceedings.


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Marriott International, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, Fox, Wells Fargo Securities, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America, US Chamber of Commerce, Capital One, Leonard Green & Partners, JP Morgan Asset Management, WndrCo, RedBird Capital Partners, The Williams Companies, PepsiCo, NTE Mobility Partners Segments 3, Denver Great Hall, AIG and Aetna.


Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Throughout the research period the banking team acted for borrowers in a credit facility and loan agreements. A large portion of the agreements went towards refinancing or acquisition financing.

In capital markets the team represented a combination of issuers and underwriters mostly on debt related transactions such as investment grade and high yield bond issuances. It did also work on a couple of IPOs as well as swap and futures regulatory matters.

The investment funds team represented private equity, banks and financial institutions in high value fund formations. Many of these funds were related to the real estate industry.

In M&A, the practice acted on both the buy and sell side for high value strategic acquisitions. It had a high number of transactions in the oil and gas and technology industries.

The private equity practice advised private equity firms in multimillion and billion-dollar acquisitions both on the buy and sell side.

The project development team continued to act for developers and sponsors in the infrastructure industry.

The restructuring and insolvency team represented mostly creditors in Chapter 11 proceedings. It did also represent a fair number of debtors and worked on out of court financial restructurings. 

Regarding lateral moves, the capital markets team in New York recruited partner Boris Dolgonos from Jones Day. In M&A, partner Charles “Chuck” Walker joined the Houston team from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. The Denver M&A team brought over partner Gerald Farano from Jones Day. Partner William Sorabella joined the New York M&A and private equity practices from Kirkland & Ellis. The California offices recruited M&A and private equity partners Chris Harding and Abtin Jalali from Kirkland & Ellis and partner David Lee from Latham & Watkins. Partner Ed Batts also joined Palo Alto’s M&A practice from Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe. Around the same time, partner Russell Hansen retired. Former co-lead of Debevoise & Plimpton’s banking industry practice Matthew Biben joined the New York office to serve as the co-chair of the financial institutions practice. His practice focuses on regulatory financial services. Partner Edward Nelson left the investment funds practice to join Latham & Watkins. In restructuring and insolvency, Los Angeles partner Samuel Newman left to join Sidley Austin. In the New York office, restructuring and insolvency partners Scott Greenberg, Steven Domanowski and Michael Cohen were brought over from Jones Day, with Greenberg serving as the co-chair of the restructuring practice.


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Fox Corporation $6.8 billion 3.666%, 4.03%, 4.709%, 5.476% and 5.576% bond issue

Green Equity Investors VIII

Marriott International $4 billion revolving credit refinancing 

Newark Liberty International Airport consolidated rent-a-car center and public parking facility

Parsons Corporation NYSE IPO

PG&E Chapter 11 restructuring

Platinum Equity $2.74 billion acquisition of Cision

VMWare $2.7 billion acquisition of PivotalSoftware

Targa Resources Partners dual tranche 6.5% and 6.875% high yield bond issue


Client feedback: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Investment funds

“Skilled in all areas of investment management.”

“They know the market and are very thoughtful and responsive.”

Holland & Hart

With 13 offices spread through Alaska, Colorado, Wyoming, Nevada, Idaho, Montana, Utah, New Mexico and Washington DC, Holland & Hart is a highly regarded business firm.

The firm was founded in 1947 in Denver, which remains the firm’s largest office. It is the largest Colorado-based firm as well as the largest firm in Wyoming. 


Focusses / specialisms

The firm does exceptional work in financial and corporate practice areas, as well as in project development. 

The firm has experience in capital markets, representing issuers in bond issuances, equity funding and recapitalizations.

In the M&A practice, the firm represents strategic sellers and acquirers in company acquisitions, asset acquisitions and strategic partnerships. 

The firm’s project development and finance practice largely work on project financing. It represents developers in power purchase agreements, project acquisitions, acquisition financing and project funding. It is well known within the energy industry. 

within the corporate practice firm-wide, 50% of partners are women.


Key clients

Key clients for the firm include Roaring Fork Wind, Flying Cow Wind, MGM Resorts International, Duke Energy Renewables, Summit Turquoise, Webroot, DCP Midstream, Caliber Midstream Partners, Jalex Holdings and Bow River Capital.


Research period review: 30th edition (2019/2020)

During the research period the Colorado offices engaged in a couple of capital markets transactions, specifically bond issuances, Series D funding and recapitalizations.

The M&A team acted mostly on the sell side in acquisitions.

The projects teams represented developers mostly in power purchase agreements and project sales. Renewable energy was a big industry for the team, especially wind and solar energy.

In the M&A practice the Colorado office hired partners Chuck Cotter and Finity Jernigan from Polsinelli. The Utah office saw partner Kristy Kimball join from Kimball Law. The Idaho office saw the departure of partner Tom Chandler.


Deal highlights: 30th edition (2019/2020)

Carbonite $619 million acquisition of Webroot

DCP Midstream $600 million 5.125% bond issue 

Duke Energy Renewables acquisition of 60MW Palmer solar project